The first production open-top model wearing the trishield logo since the 1990 Reatta Convertible, the all-new 2016 Buick Cascada, has just been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. Europeans and Australians may feel like they are having a deja-vu while looking at the new model, but that is completely understandable since the Cascada has already been selling under the Opel, Vauxhall and Holden badges since 2013. Even though the new convertible was unveiled in January 2015 for U.S. consumption, the production variant will take some time to reach showrooms, with Buick announcing that it will actually go on sale in early 2016, or the same year that its European counterpart may be heading toward a mid-cycle facelift.

Nevertheless, the simple fact that Buick is finally getting a cabriolet model in its lineup again may actually lift some spirits. "The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. "It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success." Despite being almost as long as the Buick Regal/Opel Insignia, the all-new Cascada is actually based on GM’s Delta II platform, which is shared with the Buick Verano/Opel Astra/Chevrolet Cruze.

Still, the car offers a 2+2 seating arrangement that should prove satisfactory for four adults, especially if they are on the smaller side. Its electro-hydraulic soft-top can be retracted in just 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph, making for a rather classy way of exposing its interior to the sun, while the only engine available so far is a turbocharged, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder that develops 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque.

Updated 09/23/2015: Buick announced that the all-new Cascada will be put on sale at a starting price of $33,990. According to the company the 2016 Cascada is $3,535 cheaper and offers more standard features compared to German cars like the Audi A3 Convertible.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Buick Cascada

  • 2016 Buick Cascada
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4(Est.)
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    200 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    206 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L (Est.)
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    33990
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior
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As a rather peculiar twist on the story, the 2016 Buick Cascada will be the only Buick model in the entire lineup not to feature the trademarked "waterfall" grille, despite the fact that "Cascada" actually means "waterfall" in Spanish. With that being said, the grille and trishield emblems are largely the only different design features compared with the Euro-only Opel/Vauxhall Cascada or with the Aussie Holden Cascada. Since this is not the only re-badged Opel in the Buick lineup, its overall look blends well with the other models.

The front end is somewhat typical Buick, even without the "Waterfall" grille, while the almost wedge-like side view is enhanced by an extremely raked A-pillar. On the other hand, despite Buick bragging about the Cascada having been developed as a convertible from the start, the model’s profile still has a look similar to that of a convertible derived from a sedan or coupe platform. On the rear we find a pair of wing-shaped LED taillights bridged by a strip of chrome to enhance the car’s somewhat premium appearance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in / mm): 106.1 / 2695
Overall length (in / mm): 184.9 / 4696
Overall height (in / mm): 56.8 / 1443
Overall width (in / mm): 72.4 / 1839
Track (in / mm): 62.5 / 1587 (front and rear)

Interior

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2016 Buick Cascada Interior
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2016 Buick Cascada Interior
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The Buick Cascada’s interior is also quasi-identical to that of its European and Australian counterparts, with the model benefiting from an array of soft-touch materials that are not necessarily leather, despite the car receiving contrasting stitching on just about every surface. Heated seats and steering wheel are available to keep the front occupants comfortable in colder climates, while the rear seats can fold down electrically to expand the cargo capacity, which is 9.8 cubic feet with the top down and 13.4 cubic feet with the top up.

Speaking of which, the electro-hydraulic soft-top is built using a multi-layer construction that includes both acoustic and thermal protection, while the rear deck storage lid has a unique backward-opening in order to accomodate the roof. Both rear seats are accessible via electrically moving the front ones, while the front safety belts automatically extend forward courtesy of telescopic arms just like in a Mercedes-Benz coupe model.

Drivetrain

2016 Buick Cascada Drivetrain
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At least in the beginning, the 2016 Buick Cascada will be powered exclusively by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with direct injection that develops 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. Torque is pushed to approximately 221 pound-feet of torque thanks to a limited overboost feature. As standard, the engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which should enable the model to offer a comfortable if not a bit mellow driving experience.

The MacPherson-based HiPer Strut front suspension found on the Buick LaCrosse and Regal is found on the Cascada as well, while the semi-rigid rear suspension features a Watts Z-link design to help it behave more like an independent one. As with most modern cars, the Cascada comes with electric power-steering. No performance numbers are currently available, but you shouldn’t expect it to leave any similarly powered cars in the dust since the Opel Cascada with a variant of the 1.6-liter engine and a six-speed automatic tips the scales at around 3,821 pounds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 1.6L turbo I-4 DOHC with direct injection
Horsepower (hp / kW): 200 / 149
Torque (lb-ft / Nm): 206 / 280 (221 / 300 with overboost) – estimated
Transmission: six-speed automatic

Prices

2016 Buick Cascada Exterior
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The Buick Cascada retails from $33,990, which makes it the most affordable convertible sold in the U.S. in its class. The Premium trim starts from $36,990. Significantly more affordable than its German competitors, which cost more than $45,000 before options, the Cascada costs less than smaller cabriolets, including the Audi A3, which fetches at least $37,525. What’s more, the Buick comes with more standard features than the A3, including heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and tech such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Front/Rear Park Assist.

Model Price
Buick Cascada 1SV $33,990
Buick Cascada Premium $36,990

Competitors

BMW 4 Series Convertible

2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Unless it receives a more powerful unit, the Buick Cascada will be no match for BMW’s entry-level 4 Series Convertible. Powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the base 428i benefits from 240 horsepower and more interior luxury than the Cascada could offer. The 4 Series also provides a sportier experience behind the wheel, backed by fuel economy figures that go as high as 34 mpg on the highway. The cabrio can be had in either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive guises.

Naturally, the 4 Series is a lot more expensive than the Buick Cascada, with a sticker set at $48,750 before any options. The range-topping 435i model fetches at least $54,900.

Read our full review on the BMW 4 Series Convertible here.

Audi A5 Convertible

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Much like the 4 Series, the A5 is also more powerful and luxurious when compared to the upcoming Cascada. Available in three trim levels, the German convertible carries a 2.0-liter, four-pot engine under the hood, with output figures sitting at 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The A4 needs 6.2 seconds to accelerate from naught to 60 mph and comes fitted with standard quattro all-wheel drive. The unit mates to either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed, Tiptronic automatic.

Pricing begins from $47,600 for the base A5 Convertible and reaches into $56,000 territory once the Prestige version is selected.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Even though Buick did next to nothing in the development of the Cascada, the simple fact that it returns to having a convertible in its lineup should mean nothing but good things for its image in the US. Sure, the Cascada will probably be one of the most boring to drive open-tops in the entire country, but it looks quite nice and it offers true seating for four passengers, which should be its main qualities from a first impression anyway. The only unknown so far is its starting price, but judging by the rest of the Buick lineup it should be too rough on the wallets.

  • Leave it
    • Underpowered relative to its competitors
    • Another rebadged European GM model
    • Lack of engine options

Updated History

Updated 04/16/2015: Buick dropped a new video for the new Cascada, featuring a waterproof test applied to the convertible. Enjoy!

Updated 01/11/2015: Buick unveiled the all-new 2016 Cascada at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and announced sales will begin in early 2016. Click past the jump for the new details.

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Press Release

Buick today introduced the 2016 Cascada – a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement the driving experience.

2016 Buick Cascada Interior
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The Cascada will be the first Buick convertible offered in the United States in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio. It goes on sale in early 2016.

“The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.”

The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine.

And when it comes to dropping the top on a whim, it lowers in only 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. When it’s up, superior thermal and acoustic insulation contribute to driving comfort.

“Cascada’s driving enjoyment is rooted in technologies that make it more comfortable and refined,” said Aldred. “Its features work harmoniously to provide a safe, connected and confidence-inspiring driving experience.”

Technology and safety highlights include:

2016 Buick Cascada Interior
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Buick IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen featuring Text Message Alerts, Siri Eyes Free for Apple phones with an iOS 6 or newer operating system and navigation
OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
Electronic rear-seat entry system automatically powers the front seats forward by simply pressing the seatback forward. It moves the seats back when the seatback is returned to the upright position
Electric safety belt presenters that use telescopic arms to slide the upper front safety belt assemblies from behind the front seat into closer reach for easier buckling
Rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected
Lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers.

Distinctive design and thoughtful features
Designed from the outset as a convertible, the Buick Cascada has a flowing, sculpted profile, with fast-raked A-pillars that convey a wind-in-the-hair flair. When lowered, the top folds neatly and completely beneath a hard tonneau behind the rear seats, giving the car a pure open-air aesthetic.

“The Cascada’s design blends the suggestion of speed with sophisticated and uncompromising details,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “Most convertibles are designed from existing coupes or sedans, meaning stowage of the top is an afterthought, but not this Buick. It looks handsome and has a premium appearance when the top is lowered – and a perfect, seamless profile when it’s up.”

The windswept exterior design is further accentuated with a sweeping body-side line and sleek headlamps that flow into the front fenders, with Buick’s signature wing-shape light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lights delivering a distinctive appearance.

2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Chrome trim bridges between the wing-shaped taillights, which are also LED-lit.

The rear deck lid opens rearward to accommodate the folding softtop. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – designed for a comfortable ride in various conditions.

Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in colder weather conditions.

The Cascada also has plenty of storage space for the trappings of a weekend getaway, including 13.4 cubic feet (380 liters) of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet (280 liters) with the top down. The rear seatbacks fold down electronically to expand cargo capability for longer items.

Turbocharged performance, engaging driving experience
The Cascada is driven by a 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW). With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft (280 Nm), with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm).

Direct injection and variable valve timing complement the turbo engine’s performance with efficiency. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.

Power from the turbocharged engine is translated into driving enjoyment via the innovative suspension system, which employs the sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension pioneered on the LaCrosse and Regal.

HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control, and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.

2016 Buick Cascada High Resolution Exterior
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A responsive Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Cascada’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.

The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight enhances efficiency, while the compact design enables the Cascada’s generous cargo room.

Steering inputs are executed by a fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering system, while stopping power is handled by standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Cascada rolls on standard 20-inch wheels.

A rigid body structure features high-strength steel in strategic areas, reinforced side sills and press-hardened steel in the A-pillars. It is the foundation for the Cascada’s driving experience, contributing to steering precision, ride quality and quietness – as well as safety. A 106.1-inch (2,695 mm) wheelbase enhances ride smoothness while enabling greater rear-seat legroom.

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