October 17, 2017

VAUXHALL CASCADA 1.4 VVT TURBO ELITE REVIEW: A PREMIUM CABRIO AT A MAINSTREAM PRICE

Vauxhall_Cascada_review_writeonmotoringIntroducing Vauxhall’s first new mid-sized convertible in 70 years – the Cascada – which is set to take on established premium rivals, such as the Audi A5 Cabriolet.

It certainly looks the part and top down boasts a clean profile, with no roof-top cover or visible roll-over protection disturbing the car’s silhouette aft of the steeply-raked A-pillar.  Available in ten colours, Cascada can be ordered with solid, two-coat metallic or two-coat pearlescent paint, and a choice of three roof colours.

A range of powertrains are available, including the all-new 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC petrol engine producing 170PS and 280Nm of torque. Diesel power comes in two flavors: a 2.0-litre 165PS and 195PS twin-turbo unit. Tested here is the entry level 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, producing 140PS, and up to 220Nm, returning a combined 44.8mpg and 148g/km CO2.

Cascada’s fabric roof opens in an impressive 17 seconds at driving speeds of up to 30mph, so it’s easy to drop the top for some wind-in-the-hair motoring. The cabin has a classy and quality feel with good equipment levels – you won’t have to trawl through the options list like you would with some German brands. Even entry level SE cars get 18″ alloy wheels, LED tail lamps and aux-in/USB, as standard. High spec Elite trim includes leather, heated front seats, steering wheel and front fog lamps.

Vauxhall_Cascada_review_writeonmotoring_002The Driving position is comfortable and there’s room for four, although taller rear passengers will grumble over leg and head room. However, access to the back is good thanks to large doors and fold/slide front seats. There’s pretty good visibility with the roof down, except for chunky A-pillars that create blind spots at junctions and, as with most cabrios, the raised roof does result in obstructed rear three quarter vision.

At 350 litres with roof up and 280 litres roof down, boot size is impressively capacious for cabrio standards and 50:50 split rear seats fold to extend carrying ability.

On the road the Cascada proves to be a capable and secure, if rather unexciting drive. Admittedly this 1.4 Turbo is the least powerful engine in the range and to make decent progress you’ll need to be constantly stirring the rather notchy six-speed gearbox and taking the revs to the red-line. But all-out performance isn’t what this car is about; instead delivering relaxed and refined open top motoring. High levels of torsional ridigity result in a smooth comfortable ride, with no perceptible scuttle shake or body flex, even over rough road surfaces. Vauxhall have also gone to considerable lengths to reduce NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) and this shows with impressively low levels of road and wind noise. There’s even a more heavily insulated roof available at extra cost.

VERDICT

Vauxhall’s Cascada offers buyers a stylish, comfortable and luxuriously equipped mid-size convertible. It might not offer the driving involvement of more expensive rivals, but in all other areas it proves a worthy competitor.

TECH SPEC
Vauxhall Cascada Elite 1.4 VVT Turbo
OTR Price: £26,095
Max power 140 PS @ 4900 – 6000 rpm
Max torque 200Nm @ 1850-4900 rpm
0-60 mph: 10.2 seconds
Max Speed: 129 mph
CO2 emissions: g/km) 148
Claimed combined mpg: 44.8
Insurance group: 21E
Annual VED: £135 (FY) £135 (SY)

 

 

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