2017 Buick Cascada Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
June 1, 2017

The 2017 Buick Cascada's sunny demeanor is best when the road is smooth.

The Buick Cascada is the brand's first convertible since the generation-ago Reatta, and it's also GM's first American-market car made in Poland.
Would that it were GM's lightest-weight, best-handling convertible instead.
No matter whether it's a base Cascada, a Premium edition, or the new Cascada ST, we rate it at a 5.6 out of 10, mostly for its nicely tailored shape and plentiful standard equipment. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Polish people have many grievances in being saddled with this as their chief trade representative. The Cascada has a charming look, and convertibles warm our hearts no matter what the season. But it's also way too heavy for the powertrain GM's chosen to install, and it rides too stiffly over the kind of roads it encounters on a daily basis.

Buick Cascada styling and performance

With the Cascada, Buick breaks no new styling ground. Flamboyant looks take what back seat there is to an attractive, subtle shape with a rakish profile. Though it's completely unrelated to the Regal sedan, the Cascada's incised door panels wear some of the same lines, so family resemblance? It has that. Even better would be a cockpit that shared Buick's latest touchscreen tech: the Cascada has a half-generation-old, legacy interface, with lots of tiny buttons and switches that break up its muted, soft-touch chi.

Performance bears the brunt of hefty curb weight. The front-drive convertible draws power from a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 that produces 200 hp; shifts happen via a 6-speed automatic. Acceleration is adequate, but could rank alongside a GTI if the Cascada didn't weigh in at just about 4,000 pounds.

The Cascada packs on the pounds in the form of body reinforcement, so it doesn't wiggle going down the road. That damps its ride on very smooth roads, but on broken pavement, the weight presses hard on big 20-inch wheels, eating up all its compliance quickly, turning the daily-driver convertible into something best saved for clear days with almost-perfect pavement.

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Buick Cascada comfort, safety, and features

Top-down driving is the Cascada's forte. Its thickly lined convertible lid can be lowered or raised in under 17 seconds, while the car is moving as fast as 31 mph—so stoplight maneuvers are in its wheelhouse.

Front passengers enjoy the best of the Cascada. Their seats are a bit high off the ground, but have great long-distance support shaped into their cushions, and have power control and heating. The back seat is much less adult-friendly; it's narrow and has low-mounted seats, but also gets sensors that block front seats from moving too far back. The Cascada has 13.4 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up, but just 9.8 cubic feet with it down.

As for safety, the Cascada hasn't yet been crash-tested, but a rearview camera is standard. An option package adds forward-collision warnings and front parking sensors, but adaptive cruise control and active lane control are not offered. 

Standard equipment includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; eight-way power front seats; remote start; a heated steering wheel; and leather trim. The Cascada's infotainment system has a smaller, lower-resolution screen than many other Buicks, though. A wireless data connection is built in, and the Cascada has wi-fi hotspot capability, navigation, and Siri Eyes Free compatibility. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are no-shows.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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MSRP based on 2-Door Convertible
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Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 6
Fuel Economy 6
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