2018 Buick Cascada Review

Pros & Cons

  • Large trunk for a convertible if you forgo being able to lower the top
  • Soft top offers good sound and temperature insulation
  • Base model offers plenty of features for the price
  • Poor acceleration, especially compared to competitors
  • Limited and out-of-date technology features
  • Weight hurts handling and fuel economy
  • Overcomplicated button layout and user interface
Other years
Buick Cascada for Sale
List Price Estimate
$17,405 - $19,986

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Which Cascada does Edmunds recommend?

The base Cascada is definitely the best value. It comes with almost all of the same equipment as the more expensive trims, and it is mechanically identical. The upgrade doesn't seem worth it for the handful of extra features, especially considering that the navigation system is no great shakes.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

5.6 / 10

The 2018 Buick Cascada promises to be a reasonably priced four-person luxury convertible. Unfortunately, under its sleek shell the Buick Cascada is an aging vehicle that is not up to the standards of today's market. It simply can't compete in terms of price, performance, comfort, features or quality.

We do like the Cascada's low levels of interior noise for a convertible. And, yes, the trunk is more sizable than other convertibles'. But that's only if you commit to top-up motoring and close the partition that lets you lower the roof. Beyond that, the car's substantial weight and small engine conspire to make it slower, less efficient and less gratifying to drive than its competitors. Meanwhile, the dated interior is packed with buttons and a touchscreen infotainment system that's decidedly a generation behind those of competitors. It doesn't help that the firm seats and hard plastics within don't live up to the badge's premium aspirations.

Before committing to a Cascada, we recommend test-driving some of the Buick's competitors. The Ford Mustang convertible offers a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, more comfortable front seats, and a folding roof that doesn't interfere with trunk space.

If you don't like the sports-car look, there's the Mini Convertible, which feels more premium, is more fun to drive, and is only a little less utilitarian than the Cascada when the top comes down.  The Cascada's top trim level is even priced within spitting distance of the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which in base trim offers similar equipment and a significantly more upscale experience.

2018 Buick Cascada models

The 2018 Buick Cascada convertible is offered in three trim levels: base, Premium and Sport Touring. All trims come with largely the same equipment, with the Premium receiving a handful of upgrades and the Sport Touring primarily being an appearance package.

Powering all versions is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment for the base model (referred to as simply Cascada) includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a power-operated convertible soft top, adaptive xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors and remote engine start. Inside, you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power and heated front seats, 50/50-split folding rear seats, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen display (with Buick's IntelliLink interface), voice controls, a rearview camera, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot), and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB media interface.

The Cascada Premium adds foglights, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, air deflectors for the front and rear seats, and a navigation system.

Step up to the new Sport Touring trim and you get a unique paint color and distinctive alloy wheels, special black interior trim and flat-bottom steering wheel.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Red Sport (turbo 1.6L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

Driving

5.5
It's heavy, underpowered and saddled with an indecisive transmission. As such, the Cascada is slow, and the numb steering and poor handling don't inspire confidence. Brake pedal feel is a high point, but poor braking performance undermines that lone plus. This car is clearly designed for cruising.

Acceleration

5.0
The engine is lackadaisical until it's high in the rpm range, where it sadly sounds unhappy. The transmission is too eager to change gears, making gas pedal modulation more difficult than it should be. Our tested 0-60 mph time of 9.1 seconds makes the Cascada one of the slower cars on the road.

Braking

7.0
The firm and responsive brake pedal offers a good amount of feedback and is undoubtedly the Cascada's strongest dynamic feature. The car remains stable, even during panic stops. Unfortunately, we measured a longer than average stopping distance for this class.

Steering

6.0
While the steering is precise, it lacks a natural buildup of resistance as you turn the wheel, and it has almost no useful feedback. This makes it hard to judge what's happening at the front wheels and to trust what limited capabilities this car has.

Handling

5.0
There's generous body roll in turns. The Cascada's SUV-like 4,000-pound curb weight coupled with its other dynamic shortcomings conspire to make this a car that is neither capable nor confidence-inspiring. It approaches its limits rapidly and with little warning.

Drivability

5.5
Even on flat roads, the transmission is almost always hunting — grabbing a higher gear the moment you ease up, then downshifting when you ask for even a little bit of power. It's also difficult to judge where the corners of the car are, which makes maneuvering in tight spaces a challenge.

Comfort

7.0
The Cascada's top does a good job of insulating the cabin, and the seats accommodate a range of body types, though they start to wear on long drives. The ride quality is also poor, especially at the price. We appreciate that the climate control relies on buttons, but the layout isn't very intuitive.

Seat comfort

7.0
The seats are shaped to accommodate a number of body types, but they are a bit flat and firm, which means they don't do very much to improve ride comfort. On longer drives, we also found ourselves fidgeting as the seats got a little swampy; the stiffness begins to wear on you after a while.

Ride comfort

6.0
The Cascada manages to mitigate larger impacts, but the overall ride feels far too stiff-legged and busy. Even on relatively smooth pavement, you feel every imperfection. It's not harsh, but it also isn't pleasant, and it feels surprisingly downmarket considering our tester's price.

Noise & vibration

7.5
Noise insulation is good for a convertible, with the soft top doing a good job of keeping out the sound of traffic. There's noticeable wind, road and tire noise, but it's on par with what we'd expect from this class.

Climate control

7.0
The climate control system works well, managing cabin temperature nicely. While we appreciate tactile interfaces, there are quite a few buttons, and they're not all sensibly organized. There is a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it's a straightforward system.

Interior

6.0
We appreciate the comfortable seating position and well-insulated soft top, but many of the controls are illogically organized, and the touchscreen is outdated and difficult to reach. The high beltline and short windscreen hurt visibility and make the car feel small inside.

Ease of use

5.5
The steering wheel controls are easy to learn, but beyond that the Cascada has issues. The recessed touchscreen requires leaning out of your seat to reach it, and the interface is dated and not streamlined. The many buttons on the center stack are not logically organized and take a while to master.

Getting in/getting out

6.5
The high front seats for a convertible are a promising start for easy entry and exit. But there's a surprisingly high and wide step-over. Overall, getting in and out in moderately tight parking spaces can be difficult. Accessing the rear seats is a real squeeze.

Driving position

6.5
Longer-legged drivers might wish for more steering-wheel telescope, but the primary controls are in easy reach and the position is comfortable. But the driver sits very low relative to the dash and beltline, which hurts visibility and feels claustrophobic.

Roominess

6.5
The car feels small inside, especially with the low front windshield that adds to the feeling of closeness even with the top down. Front passengers have enough space, but rear head- and legroom is too restrictive for most adults, and the removable wind blocker renders the rear seat unusable.

Visibility

5.0
With the top up, rear visibility is impaired because of the small rear window. It's also hard to tell where the front end or the corners of the car are. The small side mirrors, poor overall visibility and lack of blind-spot monitoring complicate lane changes.

Quality

5.5
We were disappointed to note a number of creaks and squeaks from around the cabin while driving since our tester showed less than 2,000 miles on the odometer. There's also quite a lot of hard plastic around the interior, though the touch points are mostly padded or covered in soft-touch material.

Convertible top

The Cascada's top is well-insulated against both sound and temperature, and it can be operated at speeds up to 25 mph. However, it takes about 17 seconds to operate, which makes it one of the slower power tops on the market.

Utility

6.5
The Cascada offers some of the utility of a compact car, but only as long as you're willing to forgo using the convertible top. Unfortunately, it lacks many of the clever storage solutions commonly found in newer vehicles. The manual trunk partition that allows the top to work is not convenient.

Small-item storage

7.0
The door pockets are made to fit water bottles, and the car also has a sort of phone cubby/tray and standard cupholders. The center console box and glovebox are relatively small. The Cascada straddles two segments, and for a convertible the storage isn't bad, but for a small car it's lacking.

Cargo space

7.0
There's a manually folding partition in the trunk that must be in place to lower the top. With the top disabled, the 13.4-cubic-foot trunk is average for a small car, although the trunk opening is small. With the partition in place, the usable cargo space drops to about average for a small convertible.

Child safety seat accommodation

6.0
The rear outboard seats offer LATCH anchors, but access is difficult because the front seats don't leave much space and have a tendency to move back if not held in place. With the top up, situating a child seat would require some contortions, but it's possible.

Technology

5.0
The Cascada's technology is notably outdated, with a clunky navigation interface, poor smartphone integration and frustrating voice controls. It also lacks most of the driver aids that are common in cars at its price point.

Audio & navigation

6.0
Sound quality is OK for a premium vehicle but nothing more. The navigation system has quite a few features, but using them is an exercise in patience. Voice commands can be hit-and-miss, and using the screen interface isn't a straightforward process. The system looks and feels dated.

Smartphone integration

4.0
The Cascada has Bluetooth but doesn't support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. With only one USB port, charging and USB music options are limited, and the USB interface is poorly optimized. The audio system switches to USB any time a device is plugged in, a minor but persistent irritation.

Driver aids

5.0
The Cascada has forward collision alert and some very loud forward and rear proximity sensors, but no driver aids or active safety features beyond that. There is a rearview camera, but it's low to the ground and presents an awkward and low-resolution view. At this price, we expect more.

Voice control

5.0
The voice controls are very particular about phrasing and procedure, which can make them frustrating to work through. There are spoken prompts, but no on-screen guide. In fact, the voice system prompts you to check the manual for a full list of commands. It's another system that feels outdated.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall5.6 / 10
Driving5.5
Comfort7.0
Interior6.0
Utility6.5
Technology5.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Buick Cascada.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Much Nicer Than They Say
willie,08/13/2018
Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I just bought one of these, and regardless of the negatives that people point out, I absolutely love it. My wife loves it, and my daughter loves it. Much more room and comfort than in the BMW 4 Series we drove. So much is standard on this car. It is roomy, comfortable, and does everything I want it to do. The rear seats are actually usable for average-size people. I can fit a set of golf clubs into the trunk if I take the woods out of the bag and put the woods in the back seat. You can't put the clubs in or out with the top down, though. I put the clubs in, then lower the shield and the top. When I get to the course, I raise the top and the shield, then remove the clubs. I love that the rear seat backs fold forward to increase the trunk space. As for being a dog, it really isn't. I used to own a Pontiac Firebird 400 4-speed back in the day, so I'm no stranger to a performance car. 0 to 60 in 8.3 seconds? So what? I never do that, and I doubt that you do either. I go from maybe 20/25 to 70/75 up an acceleration lane to merge on a highway, and it handles that just fine, thank you. Passing on the highway? Again, no problem. The turbo handles that with barely a touch of the gas peddle. The other knock is all the buttons on the dash. These buttons are redundant functions found in the on-screen menus. Well guess what? When I want to do something while driving at 70 mph, I much prefer pressing a labelled button to drilling down through on-screen menus (even though the Cascada responds to voice commands for calling, changing radio stations, etc.). And secondly, on a bright sunny day with the top down, the screen can be a little hard to see, like your cell phone in the sun. So again, give me those redundant buttons. Once you know what they do it's no big mind-boggling confusion factor like everyone seems to think. Someone did mention that with the top down and no one in the passenger seat, the passenger seat belt clip rhythmically hits the door post and it's irritating. Well it does - lol. I took care of that by putting a thin strip of self-stick furniture pad on the door post. No more noise. My only knock is I really, really don't like red interior lighting on the dash. But I wasn't going to not buy the car for that. As for the ride, it is nowhere near as harsh as I expected with the 20-inch wheels. And finally, since I started looking for a convertible a couple of years ago, I see so many BMWs and Audis. It's nice to stand out from the crowd a bit, and everyone that sees it tells me what a beautiful car it is. Oh, sorry, one more thing: I chose the 2018 instead of the 2019 because they changed the backup camera. They went from a nice big view on the dash screen with guidelines to a tiny video in the left corner of the rear-view mirror, without the guidelines. I hated it, and it was a deal-breaker for me and my wife. So that's my 2 cents. Color me a happy camper.
better than you think
jimmy,07/31/2018
Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The center stack for the controls is the only low part of this auto, otherwise very nice vehicle. Many, Many, nice features. and it has plenty of pep. I have owned over a dozen rage tops. Best soft top I haver ever had, by far. Now 10 months Later---- have 10,000 miles on car Get well over 30 mpg at 70 mph. everything works well. Heater is very good for Wisconsin winter. Love the car. 15months and now have 16,000 miles on vehicle. Average mpg is over 30. No problems at all. Great car for the money. Now as time goes by, I have had the buick close to 2 yrs. No problems, 22,000 miles, tires are doing great (20 inch) I love the vehicle. I now have 27,000 miles on the buick.. everything going ok. Maybe will replace tires at 35,000 miles. No problems at all, My lady friend just purchased a used 2016 cascada because she liked my so much.
GREAT FOR WHAT IT IS
ELLIOT GEIMAN,04/15/2018
Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Having traded in a 328i hardtop convertible our expectations were high. This car is everything the BMWis not; roomier, quieter, more comfortable seats and a more relaxing ride. The Buick seems to be an easier car to live with even with some of the shortcomings mentioned. If you do not need a European performance car this is worth looking at.
Mid life crisis car
Coachwendys,08/25/2018
Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Looked at lots of convertibles and picked this one as it really gives you more bang for the buck. Really eye catching on the road, and very comfortable to drive. Yes, the rear window is small (some equated it to trying to look through a mailbox slot)....but put the top down and enjoy the ride!!! Have enjoyed the car totally and I feel very safe driving it.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 Buick Cascada features & specs 

Safety

Our experts like the Cascada models:

Forward Collision Alert
Warns the driver when it detects a potential collision with an obstacle in front of the vehicle.
Lane Departure Warning
Alerts the driver when the vehicle drifts out of its lane.
Automated Rollover Pop-Up Bars
Deploys hidden roll bars to protect passengers in the case of a rollover.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%

More about the 2018 Buick Cascada

Used 2018 Buick Cascada Overview

The Used 2018 Buick Cascada is offered in the following submodels: Cascada Convertible. Available styles include Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 1SV 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Sport Touring 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Buick Cascada?

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Which used 2018 Buick Cascadas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Buick Cascada for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Buick Cascada.

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Find a used Buick Cascada for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,651.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Buick Cascada?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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