$23,124 - $26,140

2017 Buick Cascada Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Buick Cascada was new.


Performance: 6.8

If you're comparing the Cascada to models from luxury marques like Audi or BMW, you'll find it to be less athletic than its rivals. This Buick convertible is made for boulevard cruising and soaking up the sun, not putting up fast numbers at the track. That's not to say you can't have a little fun with the Cascada. There's plenty of power with the Buick's four-cylinder engine, even for overtaking other cars. It's relatively sure-footed around turns, and steering is precise and responsive. The Buick's sophisticated suspension rides well on smooth surfaces, though bumpy surfaces can be a little jarring.

  • "While we wouldn't pit a 2017 Buick Cascada against a BMW 2 Series in the corners, for the way most people drive, this drop-top Buick should prove most satisfying." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the road, the 2016 Buick Cascada is a viceless car, performing every task well but never exceptionally so." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "This is not a vehicle you're going to jump into to get your dose of driving kicks – it's a touring car, one that you buy to enjoy being seen in and taking in the world around you. It can and will dance if you ask it to, but it would rather waltz than rumba." -- Cars.com (2016)

Acceleration and Power

All Cascada models come with a 200-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. That's quite a bit of power for an engine this size. Also, the turbocharger's overboost function improves torque for stable low-end performance. It returns 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is below average for the class.

This Buick weighs nearly 2 tons, but its small turbocharged engine produces enough power to give it brisk acceleration. When taking off from a stop, there is a barely noticeable bit of turbo lag, which is a slight delay in power delivery when you press the accelerator. The Cascada can pass other cars and merge into traffic without any issues. The six-speed automatic transmission feels refined and finds the right gear with ease.

  • "Despite its nearly 4,000-pound curb weight, the Cascada's tiny 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine does an adequate job, delivering good acceleration via the 6-speed automatic with only the faintest hint of turbo lag. It's no match for its German and American rivals, however, with a zero-to-60-mph time in the 8-second range." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This engine moves the Cascada smartly into traffic or easily past slower vehicles on the highway, and the transmission is well matched to it as well. Never once in nearly 200 miles of driving did I feel like the car was underpowered or in the wrong gear for conditions." -- Cars.com (2016)
  • "A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice; it is similarly relaxed and unobtrusive." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Cascada's tuning favors a smooth ride over athletic cornering ability. That doesn’t mean this front-wheel-drive luxury convertible is clumsy, however. Handling remains composed and secure around turns, even when pushed. Steering is accurate and provides good feedback from the road. Ride quality is comfortable on well-paved main roads, but things may get jittery on poorly maintained streets.

  • "The rigid chassis is coupled with a sophisticated suspension highlighted by Buick's HiPer Strut front struts. An aggressive 20-inch wheel/tire setup and responsive electric power steering help Buick's 2+2 convertible deliver a comfortable ride on smooth surfaces with minimal torque steer when pushed hard in the curves." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The best way to wrap your head around the Cascada is to think of it as a comfortable cruiser. With that role in mind, GM engineers have tuned the suspension to favor a smooth ride over sporty handling." -- Edmunds
  • "Handling, with the standard 20-inch tires and alloy wheels, is responsive and predictable, and the ride is firm but comfortable except on really bad roads." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

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