2016 Buick Cascada Review, brings the goods from overseas

– Cleveland, Ohio

The Encore subcompact crossover has become Buick’s best-selling vehicle of late, and it’s based on an almost identical vehicle sold in Europe as the Opel Mokka. It makes sense that Buick would call the same play when it decided it needed a convertible in the lineup. The Cascada also comes from Europe where the identical, original version is called the Opel Cascada (and there’s a Holden Cascada in Australia and a Vauxhall Cascada in the UK). Buick hopes the Cascada will strike a chord with the American public just like the Encore has, but it’s a lot harder for us to get behind because there are so many good convertibles to buy these days, many less expensive than this one.

Pros

  • The Cascada handles well for what it is, a droptop version of the European economy car on which it’s based. The steering is light but accurate and the suspension is compliant with just a little bit of sharpness. It’s more darty like a Mini than sporty like a Mustang.
  • Convertibles really have one job they need to do well, which is retracting and opening their removable roofs quickly and easily. The Cascada excels here. There’s a small chrome switch in the center console that you pull back to retract the roof, then the whole top of the rear section tilts backwards to accept the folding, insulated top, glass window and all. The whole dance is done in 17 seconds and can be executed at speeds up to 31 miles per hour (hence the second set of tailights that are visible when the rear section ...