With the dates getting longer and the weather warmer, it’s safe to say that the convertible pep up is fast approaching. The lures of drop-top motoring, allowing you to sponge up up the best of the sun, are clear to see. Vauxhall’s take on the 4-seat convertible call is the Cascada, promising drop-top thrills with room for the usually family. But the question is, can the Cascada do enough to tempt buyers away from the rare brands like BMW and Audi?
We took the keys to a 2.0-litre Diesel ‘Elite’ mannequin for a few days to see how we got along.
Interior & Tech
First impressions of the inward are good, with everything feeling well spaced, the tushes very comfortable and the steering wheel exactly where you’d penury it to be. The seat belt is presented automatically, making buckling up that mean bit easier. The interior is well finished, with the leather gentle and switch gear tactile – everything bar a few pieces of centre adorn felt premium and well built.
The Cascada on review is from the ‘Elite’ distribute and came fitted with plenty of technology including; bitter, ventilated and electronically adjustable seats, heated steering site, dual zone climate control and the aforementioned seat swath presenters. Everything worked as expected, although the effect of the ventilated settles is perhaps a little too subtle to consider it a worthwhile inclusion. Torridness on the other hand was excellent, with the wheel and seats both warming up on the double and to a good temperature – perfect for chilly mornings where roof down motoring would normally be a strain too far.
The infotainment system has plenty of features to offer, but a small grievance must be made at the complexity and generally un-intuitive way in which they’re presented. Mirror on from the Tesla 90D tested last month, the Vauxhall at most felt clunky in comparison. Some options are deeply dissipated within menus, whilst the controls are a little unclear at first. Where the Tesla functions to operate with only a few physical buttons, the dash of the Cascada has them in lavish supply, making it feel a little cluttered. Once inaugurate, all the functions worked well, so no complaints on that front.
The hands unrestrained system is worthy of a mention, as calls were particularly on the dot and clear, even when motoring with the roof down – by no means an gentle achievement. Other tick box features including cruise check and the perimeter protection pack (blind spot monitoring) worked evidently and made cruising on the motorway an absolute breeze.
Surface styling of the Cascada has the potential to be a little bit Marmite. The body in mongrel is quite tall, whilst the windscreen is raked back heavily, repaying the car body itself look very tall and the proportions possibly a little off. The large wheels on the test car (no less than 20” diameter) indubitably help here, making the overall shape quite majestic.
With the roof up, the cars boot is deep and offers unstinting space for all but the most extreme shoppers. With the roof down the boot understandably withers a fair bit, but it certainly doesn’t feel as anorexic as many other give someone the sack decline tops – the Cascada isn’t a small car and does use its size well. Talking of the roof, it can either be dropped remotely via a hunger hold on the key, or by a lever in the car. Roof operation is even permitted whilst on the progress, allowing you to drop or raise the roof whilst creeping in transport.
The high body line does unfortunately cause stews when it comes to maneuvering the Cascada in tight spaces. No implication where the seating position, it’s difficult to see the front end of the car thanks to a mere deep scuttle. Likewise, with the roof up the rear is fully hidden, but fortunately the optional reversing camera (a £240 extra) and erect parking sensors (wisely fitted as standard) alleviate the puzzle here somewhat.
On the Road
With big flashy wheels, a sack top roof and lots of electronic toys, it’s clear Vauxhall had a aim audience in mind for this car. This focus translates across into the way it journeys, with the ride and bump handling superb despite the low make capital out of tyres. When hitting a few unavoidable pot-holes, the car handled itself damned well and the effects were far from uncomfortable – bravo Vauxhall.
The someone a wide berth bad too is light and easy to handle, making maneuvering the car around as A.
This does mean that if you’re expecting the Cascada to repay the Mazda MX5 as the drop top sports car king, you’d be wrong. However, the Cascada does tender plenty of grip and corners nice and flat – it’s a surprisingly compelling chassis but unfortunately offers little in the way of feedback for the driver.
As with most up to the minute cars, it came as no surprise to see the fuel economy figures were some way prove inadequate of those quoted in the sales brochure. The engine is however sheerest quiet and barely noticeable within the cabin, although it does non-standard like to lack a little low end punch for a Diesel. Whether this is due to the motors rather high mass (around 1700kg) or the engine itself is incomprehensible to say, we suspect it’s probably a bit of both. Once it gets going, it’s got numerous than enough poke for busy British roads, and boats effortlessly at motorway speeds.
With the roof down the Cascada remains undisturbed, even without the use of the optional rear wind break; coasting at motorway speeds, conversation is still easily possible within the lodge, whilst those with big hair will be pleased to grasp wind effects are minimal. The front scuttle shakes a bit when passing over bumpy ground, but it failed to genesis any annoyance or problems during use.
Roof up, the Cascada does a simple good job of blocking outside noise, making it easy to thoughts the roof above is fabric rather than steel. The on the other hand concern we found with the cars build was with the latch between the roof/windscreen, which was a paltry squeaky when passing over bumpy roads.
For the bulk and specification, the Cascada’s main competition will come from the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series. Looking at the German line-ups, the A5 Cabriolet starts at £35,235 whilst the BMW starts at £39,850 (at the span of writing). Comparing this to the Cascada on test, which came in at £32,095, the Vauxhall looks adore very good value for money, especially so considering this is the extra model with plenty equipment. If you cut things back, a Cascada SE can be picked up for as itsy-bitsy as £26,760, whilst a basic ‘Elite’ model starts at reasonable over £30,000, which is where we’d be inclined to start looking.
For the outlay difference, it’s very hard to criticise the Cascada. Yes, it falls right-minded short of having that premium ‘German’ feel, the infotainment isn’t as cultured as we’d like and the driver involvement certainly does lack, but every place else it ticks the right boxes. If you’re looking for something feeling, quiet, comfortable and full of tech to enjoy the summer sun, the Cascada is certainly advantage a try.