2018 Buick Cascada

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MSRP: $33,065 - 37,070

2018 Buick Cascada Review

The 2018 Buick Cascada has a comfortable, quiet cabin and above-average trunk space for a convertible. Still, it sits near the bottom of our rankings due to its lukewarm performance and uninspiring technology.

7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 6.7
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • More cargo space than most luxury convertibles
  • Quiet ride with the top up
  • Smooth, composed ride quality

 

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Infotainment system feels dated and slow

 

Is the Buick Cascada a Good Car?

The 2018 Cascada is a decent convertible. It comfortably seats two adults in the front and can accommodate a pair of back-seat passengers on occasion. Compared to most convertibles, it has composed handling and a quiet ride. The Cascada also has a good track record for safety and reliability. That said, it’s only available as a convertible – many rivals also offer coupe variants.

Should I Buy the Buick Cascada?

Although it’s not a high-ranking convertible, the Cascada might still be a good fit for you. This Buick is an easy-going cruiser that comes at a reasonable price. You can stow a fair amount of cargo in the trunk; it’s larger than what a typical luxury convertible offers. It’s peppy enough to keep up with everyday driving as well. You’ll want to look elsewhere if blistering acceleration tops your shopping list, though. The Cascada’s touch screen is also outdated compared to what you’ll find in the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series.

Compare the Cascada, A3, and 2 Series »

Should I Buy a New or Used Buick Cascada?

Navigation is newly standard for 2018, and a Sport Touring trim was new for 2017. Otherwise, the Buick Cascada remains mostly unchanged since its debut for 2016. You can save money and get a very similar car by shopping for an older Cascada. Visit our overviews of the 2016 Buick Cascada and 2017 Buick Cascada if you're interested in a used model. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Buick Cascada »

We Did the Research for You: 19 Reviews Analyzed

Our Buick Cascada review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 19 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision. This 2018 Buick Cascada overview incorporates relevant reviews and data from the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars, cover up-to-date car news, and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising. 

How Much Does the Buick Cascada Cost?

A new Buick Cascada is one of the least expensive luxury convertibles you can buy. Starting prices begin at $33,065 and reach as high as $37,070. These are only suggested retail prices. To get great savings at your local Buick dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

Buick Cascada Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Buick Cascada or Audi A3?

The Audi A3 convertible costs roughly $5,000 more than the Cascada. That’s not money wasted, however. The A3 delivers zippier acceleration and a balanced ride. Its cabin materials look and feel higher quality. Inside, you’ll also find an easier-to-use infotainment system. Upgrades like Audi's virtual cockpit, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and Apple CarPlay are also available. The Cascada is surely a good value, but the A3 is the better luxury small car.

Which Is Better: Buick Cascada or BMW 2 Series?

If you're looking for high performance, you'll enjoy driving the BMW 2 Series over the Cascada. The 2 Series has athletic handling, and its standard power plant is a punchy turbocharged engine. A 365-horsepower six-cylinder engine is available. The 2 Series also boasts a more luxurious interior, as well as a better infotainment system. These advantages come at a steeper price (the 230i convertible starts at $40,750), but they’re worth the extra money.

Compare the Cascada, A3, and 2 Series »

Cascada Interior

How Many People Does the Cascada Seat?

The Cascada is comfortable for shorter trips, offering a quiet ride and seating for four people on standard leather seats. Dimensions in both rows of seats are typical for a luxury small car, but when the top is up, the cabin can feel a little cramped. 

Cascada and Car Seats

Both rear seats in the Cascada have a tether anchor and a set of lower anchors. However, between the limited amount of rear-seat space and the difficulty accessing the top tether anchors, this is not a good vehicle if you regularly use child safety seats.

Cascada Interior Quality

The Cascada's interior gets mixed reviews. Some note that the Cascada's premium materials and comparatively low price make this vehicle a good value. Others say the presence of hard plastics lowers the feeling of luxury. Most agree that the styling comes across as bland and dated.

Cascada Cargo Space

The Cascada lets you take along more luggage than you can in a convertible Audi A3 or BMW 2 Series. Its trunk measures 13.4 cubic feet, slimming to 9.8 cubic feet when you put the top down. That's enough luggage room for a weekend excursion, but you'll have to lay down the split-folding rear seat if you want to pack a set of golf clubs.

Cascada Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Cascada's technology appears lower-grade than a luxury car's should, and it feels out of date next to the high-tech system inside the Audi A3. The Cascada's system features a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The navigation can be slow to load, and a multitude of buttons clutter the center stack. Upgrades like a premium sound system and Apple CarPlay are not available.

Read more about interior »

Cascada Performance

Cascada Engine: Highway Cruiser

As a touring car, the Cascada is at home on the highway. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission feel refined and eager, and this Buick is energetic enough to easily manage tasks like merging onto the highway. Don't line up to drag race a BMW, though, as this isn't a sports car.

Cascada Gas Mileage: Below Average

The Cascada gets poor gas mileage for a luxury small car. Its rating of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway is one of the lowest in the segment. 

Cascada Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Composed

The Cascada leans more toward comfort than sport and makes for a relaxing touring car. With the top up, the ride is quieter than most soft tops, and the suspension keeps the ride smooth while minimizing body roll.

Read more about performance »

Cascada Reliability

Is the Buick Cascada Reliable?

The 2018 Cascada has a great predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Buick Cascada Warranty

The Cascada has better coverage than the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series. In addition to a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (which is typical for the class), the Cascada comes with a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Cascada Safety

Cascada Crash Test Results

The 2018 Cascada has a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earns five out of five stars for its overall side rating and four stars in both the frontal crash and rollover evaluations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not conducted crash tests on the Cascada.

Cascada Safety Features

The Cascada comes standard with a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and adaptive headlights that move to better illuminate corners. Upper trim levels also come with front parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Read more about safety »

Which Buick Cascada Model Is Right for Me?

For 2018, the Cascada comes in three different flavors: 1SV, Premium, and Sport Touring. All feature the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The main differences among the trim levels include a suite of advanced safety technology added to the Cascada Premium, and cosmetic upgrades with an athletic flair added to the Cascada Sport Touring. Trim levels beyond the base model also have more options for paint and interior colors. If you're looking for the best value, we recommend the Cascada 1SV, which comes with a nice array of standard amenities.

Buick Cascada 1SV

The base Cascada 1SV ($33,065) comes with Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, a USB port, Bluetooth for phone calls and streaming audio, satellite radio, a seven-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, and OnStar with a Wi-Fi hot spot. The leather-appointed seats include heated front sport seats with 10-way power adjustments and split-folding rear seats.

Buick Cascada Premium

The $36,070 Cascada Premium adds more safety technology, including front parking sensors, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Buick Cascada Sport Touring

The Cascada Sport Touring ($37,070) features sporty upgrades such as a flat-bottom steering wheel and alloy sport pedals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Buick dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

See 2018 Buick Cascada specs and trims »

The Final Call

Whether you're taking a slow cruise through town or an outing in the countryside, the soft-top Cascada is an ideal partner. Handling and engine power are well-suited for a laid-back drive, and combined with Buick's Quiet Tuning, the Cascada provides a soothing environment. For a luxury convertible, the Cascada is also a good value, costing thousands of dollars less than the closest competitor. However, the Cascada isn't as opulent as its German-built rivals, and few amenities are worthy of a whistle of approval. Additionally, if you're looking for a car with sportiness that is more than skin deep, this isn’t it.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "A stylish 4-passenger convertible, the 2018 Buick Cascada is a sporty and luxurious ride for sun-worshipers looking for some fresh air. Buick's first convertible in 25 years competes with the BMW 2 Series, Audi A3 as well as soft-top versions of the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Really, the Cascada's competitors are either smaller and/or more performance-oriented, significantly limiting their appeal. Admittedly, the Cascada's trunk and back seat wouldn't be what we'd typically consider spacious, but in the drop-top realm, they're actually quite good. At the same time, other similarly sized and equipped convertibles from luxury makers can costs tens of thousands more." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Pros: Quiet and comfortable ride on the highway and over bumpy roads; lots of features for a reasonable price. Cons: It's heavy and not very powerful, and that results in underwhelming acceleration and fuel economy; dashboard controls all look alike, which can be distracting on the road; tech interface is dated compared to rivals; mediocre interior quality." -- Edmunds (2017)
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