Vauxhall Cascada convertible 2013 review - CarBuyer


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“Vauxhall’s Cascada is a convertible cruiser with the power to spring a few surprises.”

The sun comes out and at the same time, so do many lovely cars and of course drop tops really come in to their own. The new Vauxhall Cascada is the replacement for the Astra TwinTop and on the face of it looks like a massive improvement.

For starters, Vauxhall has ditched the folding metal roof for a lighter fabric one (put the roof up and point) and it is much better looking with its stylish contours and large alloy wheels. In fact it has a different concept, hence the new name and slips in to the range in between the Astra and Insignia.

The boot is spacious and easy to load items in and out of. When you are not using the roof just slide this back to create more room. Plus you can flip the rear seats down at a touch of a button

We are in a top of the range Elite today so are blessed with features and options including these gorgeous leather heated seats, sat-nav, climate control and parking sensors. The stitched leather dash certainly gives it a more up market appeal as well.

The Cascada looks good on the road and the roof will operate of speeds up to 30mph and takes only 17 seconds, perfect for our constantly changing weather.

The Cascada has been designed to be more of a cruiser than a sports car, so the ride is soft and irons out most of the bumps in the road. Wind buffeting is suppressed with the roof down so you can have a decent conversation with your passengers, well I suppose that is down to who your passengers actually are, as mine won’t talk to me. Hello? What do you think of the Cascada? I give up.

Instead I will enjoy cruising around with the roof down and tell you about its fuel economy. There is a broad choice of engines, however the most efficient is the 2.0 diesel returning 54.3 miles per gallon, although the best blend of performance and economy will be the BiTurbo diesel, which arrives in late 2013 and will return the same economy but with more power. If you prefer petrol there is a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine and a new 1.6, which is only available with a 6 speed automatic gearbox at first. That returns 39.2 miles per gallon.

Time for the negative points, the Cascada is not that fun to drive and has quite a lazy throttle response. Visibility is poor due to thick windscreen pillars. Finally, it has pitched itself against the Audi A5 cabriolet but claims to be £8,000 cheaper. By the time you add all the options on including essential things like the acoustic roof to limit road noise, you have spent much closer to the price of the Audi anyway. I did not criticise the Audi for having a dated interior, quite the opposite, the Cascada though, well it is a brand new model and already feels in need of an update.

Both suffer with head and legroom although I think the Cascada slightly more as it is a bit cramped even for me.

However all that aside, if you don’t get carried away with spec it genuinely is £8,000 cheaper so you must ask yourself, do you have something else that you would rather spend £8,000 on? Overall the Cascada is smooth, easy to drive and very good looking.