- Swish looks
- New engine
- Lots of kit
- Cramped cabin
- Poor switchgear
- Firm ride
The Vauxhall Cascada is a svelte four-seater convertible that aims to go toe-to-toe with premium brand drop-tops from the likes of Audi and BMW.
Although it’s certainly not cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned German offerings, it certainly has plenty to recommend it. It’s competitively priced, offers comparatively low running costs and drives fairly well.
Electrically operated fabric roof
Its soft-top, which opens in 17 seconds, can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph, which is handy in the event of a sudden rain shower. It's worth noting that you have to pay extra for the firm's acoustic roof, which helps cut down on unwanted noise on the move.
With the top down there’s no visible roof-top cover or roll-over protection to clutter the car’s lines.
The roof does take up some boot space when lowered – the Cascada’s 380-litre boot shrinks to 280 litres if you want to partake in a spot of top-down motoring. The rear seats fold down electrically, however, which boosts loadspace in the rear should larger objects need to be carried.
It’s also worth noting that the roof’s long shape does compromise rear visibility quite significantly.
Good on-road manners
The Cascada drives well but it's much more suited to cruising than more challenging back-road routes. It uses the same front suspension set-up as first used in the Insignia VXR and also found in the Astra GTC - a clever arrangement which gives the car plenty of grip.
Vauxhall’s ‘FlexRide’ system is available as an option – an adaptive chassis system which allows the driver to select from one of three ‘modes’ for suspension, steering and throttle response to suit road conditions.
Although the steering is a little heavier than you might expect, it has a precise feel at higher speeds.
The range of petrol and diesel engines are familiar Vauxhall fare, offering decent fuel economy and CO2 emissions while providing a choice of performance options.
Two equipment levels
Equipment levels are a straightforward choice between two trims - SE and Elite - the latter featuring leather trim, heated seats and front fog lamps.
Entry-level SE models are fairly well-appointed in terms of kit, including digital radio, 18-inch alloy wheels and cruise control.
While the Cascada shares its headlights and a few other bits and pieces with the Astra, it’s 20cm longer and has quite a different character.