The 2016 Cascada is the first Buick convertible on sale in North America in 25 years (anyone remember the Reatta?). It arrives in showrooms in early 2016.
Buick vice president Duncan Aldred says the Cascada “represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices.” In other words, it was developed with Opel.
Buick has offered Opels in the past, as you may recall, with mixed results. Everything from the Rekord and Kadett to the Opel GT and Manta. And don’t forget GM platform-sharing exercises like the Cadillac Catera and Saturn Astra.
The Cascada shares a little bit of a profile with the last of the Saab convertibles. Maybe. What do you think?
A 1.6-liter 200-hp (206 lb-ft) direct-injection turbo four powers the car, mated to a six-speed automatic. The front strut suspension is Buick’s HiPer Strut, first seen on the LaCrosse and Regal. It’s based on the MacPherson strut design, and Buick says it reduces torque steer and offers more linear, communicative steering. Rear suspension is a Watts Z-link design; Buick says it helps center the rear axle during cornering and is lighter and requires less space than an independent rear suspension. The Cascada rolls on standard 20-inch wheels.
The 106.1-inch wheelbase puts the convertible right between the Verano and Regal. The body is high-strength steel in strategic areas and the side sills and A-pillars are reinforced to compensate for whacking the top.
There are oodles of gadgets inside. Buick’s IntelliLink has a 7-inch color touchscreen with text message alerts, Siri Eyes Free for Apple phones with an iOS 6 or newer operating system, and navigation. The OnStar 4G LTE makes the car a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety equipment includes rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected, and lane-departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers.
The rear decklid opens rearward to stow the folding soft top –- it lowers in 17 seconds up to 31 mph.