Buick Cascada Quick Drive: Charming, But Flawed
Buick Cascada offers handsome looks, and a well-appointed interior, what’s the catch?
Buick is an interesting position right now. Ten years ago Buicks were stalwart, entrenched in position as the go-to for the…erhrm…more mature buyer in need of wheels. The styling wasn’t anonymous, which is good, but it, instead, was synonymous with “Grandpa’s car.” Following suit was the lackadaisical rate of innovation or improvement made to the product line. 4-speed automatic transmissions (remember those?) and carryover powertrains propelled silver and beige Lucernes, and LaCrosses all over America.
Then, in 2011, there was a ripple in the Buick pond. The Regal GS was coming back. The concept was stunning: a blend of evocative curves, European styling and a modern, turbocharged powertrain. 2012 came, and along with it, the production-ready Buick Regal GS. It was just as handsome as the concept build, and had the guts to put the spotlight on Buick.
Since then, the brand has continued to evolve from, and refine the aesthetic and intention that sprouted from the Regal. Now, in 2018, just a few years since then, Buicks across the board have more style and substance than ever before. And the sales reflect it, in short, they are up, with the luxury brand moving over 1.4-million cars worldwide in 2017. Through an increasingly competitive line-up, and targeted marketing towards a younger demographic, the idea of Buicks as “old people cars” is disappearing.
That brings us to the Cascada.
The Cascada is Buick’s first convertible since 1991, with the Reatta, and is something of an eyebrow-raising choice for the manufacturer. Has the nearly three decade drop top absence hindered the Cascada? Not really.
Under the hood is a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Paired with that turbocharged engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission.
This test car is a loaded Sport Touring model. That means it rides on large, 20-inch wheels, and features sharp-looking black and chrome trim throughout. Inside, black perforated leather seating is offset nicely by the occasional piece of bright work and a “waterfall” style dashboard, loaded with buttons, a 7-inch touchscreen and many add-ons to play with, including a lot of innovative active and passive safety technology.
It’s well-dressed and ready to party. So, let’s hit the road and see how it all works in the real world.