2016 Buick Cascada Preview

FAST FACTS
  • 4-passenger convertible
  • Based on European-market Opel Cascada
  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive, standard 20-in. aluminum wheels
  • Highlights include leather, dual-zone automatic climate control, touch-screen infotainment, premium sound, and several safety technologies

Introduction

The 2016 Buick Cascada, introduced at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, is an all-new 4-passenger convertible based on the Opel Cascada, which has been on sale in Europe for several years. It is the first convertible model that Buick has offered in 25 years and is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms in the spring of 2016.

Exterior Features

Available in six different colors, the new Buick Cascada rides on standard 20-in. aluminum wheels and also features HID headlights, LED running lights, and LED taillights. According to Buick, the Cascada's insulated, fabric convertible top will open in 17 seconds, and at speeds up to 31 mph. The top folds flat, and is hidden by a hard tonneau cover.

Interior Features

Buick aims for an upscale look and feel with the Cascada's cabin, which is equipped with 2+2 seating and enough room, according to the automaker, to carry four adults. To load rear-seat passengers, an Easy Entry system automatically powers the front seats forward to make it easier to enter the back seat.

With the top raised the Cascada's trunk holds 13.4 cu. ft. of luggage, and fold-flat rear seatbacks expand that space. With the roof lowered, trunk space shrinks to 9.8 cu. ft.

Optional Features

In the Cascada's introductory information, Buick did not clearly define standard and optional equipment. Based on discussion of leather upholstery with heated front seats, without mention of ventilated front seats, it would appear that seat cooling will not be offered for this model.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the new Buick Cascada, rated to make 200 horsepower and 206 lb.-ft. of torque. An "overboost" feature can briefly supply up to 221 lb.-ft. of torque for short bursts of accelerative power. A 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard.

The Cascada's sport-tuned suspension employs MacPherson struts in front with a Watts Z-link setup in back. Effectively a sophisticated version of a beam axle suspension design, the Watts Z-link arrangement is used for its lighter weight and to maximize cargo space. The front suspension uses Buick's HiPer Strut tuning approach to reduce torque steer and improve steering response.

Safety

Rollover protection bars are standard for the 2016 Cascada, designed to automatically deploy from behind the rear seats in order to add occupant protection in the event of a rollover accident. Rain-sensing wipers, a reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, lane-departure warning system, and a forward-collision warning system are also either standard or available. Buick makes no mention of a blind-spot warning system.

Technology

A Buick IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-in. color touch screen is included with the new Cascada, featuring OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Siri Eyes Free capability, and text-messaging alerts. Buick announced available navigation and Bose premium audio systems, but did not confirm whether they would be standard or optional equipment.