The Vauxhall Cascada convertible offers lots of space and comfort, at a price
When the sun comes out, ‘drop-tops’ come into their-own. The Vauxhall Cascada is a replacement for the Astra TwinTop and on the face of it is a massive improvement.
For starters, Vauxhall has ditched the folding metal roof and replaced it with a lighter fabric hood and it much better looking with its stylish contours and larger alloy wheels.
It now slips into a range between the Astra and the Insignia. With the hood folded down, the boot is spacious and easy to load; with it up, you can also fold the rear seats and there is even more room for larger items.
The range-topping Elite model features a heated leather steering wheel, gorgeous leather-heated seats and has optional sat nav, parking sensors and climate control and stitched leather dash give it an up-market appeal.
The Cascada looks good on the road and the roof will operate in 17 seconds at speeds up to 30mph. The Cascada has been designed to be more of a cruiser than a sports car so the ride is soft and it irons out most of the bumps making it fairly comfortable. Wind buffeting, with the roof down, is suppressed, which means it is possible to have conversation with your passengers.
There are several engine options, with the most fuel-efficient being the 2.0-litre diesel derivatives returning 54mpg. The 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine is mated to an automatic gearbox and returns 39mpg.
On the downside the Cascada is not much fun to drive; the throttle response is lazy and the visibility is poor due to the large windscreen pillars. Vauxhall has pitched the Cascada against the Audi A5 cabriolet, but claims to be £8k cheaper.
However, by the time you have added a few essential options, like the acoustic roof to limit road noise, the price gap diminishes. Although a relatively new model, the dash feels dated.
Composed handling, supple ride, spacious interior