I'm running a Vauxhall Cascada Elite 1.6i 16v Turbo 200 for a week. Here are my impressions after a few days.
The Vauxhall Cascada range starts at £23k. The one on test costs £28k. That's a lot of money but consider that its target rival is the Audi A5, which starts at £31k, and it is not as expensive as you might think.
It looks stylish with the fabric roof up or down. The interior looks pretty sensational. Cover up the Vauxhall badges and it really could rival premium convertibles from ze Germans.
Do these first impressions stack up when we explore it further?
Well, largely, yes.
The Cascada sits on a flexible GM platform on which the Zafira and Astra are also built. It feels much more spacious than an Astra though, and doesn't share any body panels with any other Vauxhall or Opel. There's plenty of room up front, with a decent space between the occupants and loads of storage spaces. The rear seats are pretty generous too, and the boot is massive, although with the roof up a large flap intrudes on some of it.
The Cascada is front wheel drive. It has 200bhp from a 1.6 litre petrol engine. The test car has a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine is quiet and smooth but has plenty of oomph. It's probably the best Vauxhall engine I've tried, and returns decent mpg and CO2.
The ride is sensationally smooth. I drove it over a particularly bumpy road which has had other cars flying through the air at 50mph (Astra VXR in particular) but the Cascada glided over it with no fuss.
The suspension is a softened version of the Astra VXR's set-up. It's quite soft but suits the character of the car. The handling isn't super-sharp but it is adequate and most buyers will love it.
The interior looks sumptuous, particularly the seats and lovely door design. The central dash is standard Vauxhall fare, which is no bad thing. The seats aren't quite as comfortable as they look but they are fully electric and have fans as well as heaters built in.
The Cascada in Elite trim gets every bell and whistle you could want for. DAB, Bluetooth, satnav, heated steering wheel, reversing sensors etc etc
As well as looking premium it feels it to sit in, to play with and to drive.
After a few days with it I'd say the Vauxhall Cascada is one of the best Vauxhalls on the market, and a properly good car in its own right.
Price - £28,315
Engine - 1.6 litre, inline-4, turbocharged, petrol
Transmission - 6-speed manual
0-60mph - 8.5seconds
Top speed - 146 mph
Power - 200 bhp
Torque - 206 lb ft
Economy - 42.3mpg
CO2 - 158 g/km
Kerb weight - 1,733 kg
By Matt Hubbard