By on October 17, 2012


Are you planning a vacation to Portugal, Spain, Italy or a similarly depressed Eurozone country in the next year or so, you’ll have another choice for topless motoring on your way to the topless beaches.

The Vauxhall/Opel Cascada is based on the Insignia  Astra platform and is being positioned as an Audi A5 competitor. The badge won’t hold up against the Audi, but the Cascada looks sharp in photos, even if it shares a moniker with an awful techno group. The Cascada gets the HiPer Strut front suspension Insignia VXR/Regal GS, but the Cascada will be carrying golf clubs and passengers, not helmets and extra brake pads, so it’s a bit of a moot point.

The rest of the blogosphere thinks that the Cascada will arrive here as a Buick. Why the hell not? GM gets some more scale out of the car, and it will have the Chrysler 200 squarely in its sights. Chevrolet has two “surprises” in store for 2013, but who’s to say that there’s nothing in store for Buick either?

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44 Comments on “Vauxhall Cascada Previews Your Next Eurozone Rental Car...”

  • avatar

    Buick needs some sort of convertible halo vehicle. Might not have enough cachet to wear the Riviera label but Buick Cascada might sound nice.

  • avatar

    Would much rather see this as a Buick than the Encore…it’d look pretty nice parked next to the Verano in the garage. Not so sure about the name, though…

  • avatar

    I bet the Vauxhall brand sell more of these than the Opel brand manages in most sunnier countries. Simply because the UK is the companies biggest European market and because we like drop tops.

    • 0 avatar

      I like it a lot. As long as they offer some decent engine options, I could happily see myself in one.
      It would make a logical step up from my Corsa and if it drives like the Insignia I’ll like it. I wonder if there are any plans for a VXR? ………

      • 0 avatar

        It is strange that with the climate in the UK we do buy a lot of cabs.

        Rumours are that a more powerfull 197bhp engine will be in the line up in due course. Maybe we’ll see a VXR? or maybe the 197bhp will be badged a VXR?

  • avatar

    Does anyone else see a HUGE resemblance to the BMW 650i Convertible in the main picture? Its almost uncanny to me.

  • avatar

    This would make an amazing Buick! I wonder if we’ll see some of the design ques show up in the refreshed Regal.

    Yet another example of why Opel is so important to the future of GM. The Opel Astra was my first GM product (as a Saturn here)and I loved that car.

  • avatar

    Total US sales of convertibles is something like 1% of the market. So it’s niche.

    On the other hand the market is definitely open for a convertible that can seat four adults, carry a weekend worth of luggage with the top down, is reasonably affordable, and not be a complete and total steaming pile.

    The Chrysler 200 is “better” than the Sebring, but you can’t hide what’s inside. Nothing says, “hey I’m driving a rental,” like a 200. Ya, I know sales are better.

    Toyota killed the Solara in their continued attempts to take any any all excitement out of the Toyota dealerships.

    The Eos is too small, and has the unfortunate label right or wrong of being a chick car.

    The 3-series BMW is not exactly affordable, doesn’t exact seat four adults, and is not priced in the average car sweet spot of $30Kish. Ditto for the Audi convertible options.

    The Mustang is close, but not really a four seater for adults. It does seat two well and can carry a weekend of luggage. The Camaro falls into the same category. Both get north of $30K fast if you go above base.

    This is an attractive car, there is what I perceive a market gap it could fill. But feature/pricing is critical. Midsize convertible offerings from GM for the past 20 years (current Camaro aside) has been steaming piles of crap. They can’t have it be like the Pontiac G6 and Solstice where it becomes trunkless with the top down for starters.

  • avatar

    This is sharp but I think that this is still a poor decision on the part of management. I hope that this shares almost everything with the insignia but it would have been still cheaper to just have an insignia convertible…

  • avatar

    It’d perfect as a Buick, and certainly classier than the current 200. They should give it a new name though. Both Cascada and “Verano Convertible” just aren’t doing it for me.

  • avatar

    Someone from Europe enlighten me- do many Europeans ever spend their time thinking “man, those Americans get ALL the cool cars that we can’t have”? I’m doubtful, but I’d like some confirmation on this.

    • 0 avatar

      I was thinking this while watching Fifth Gear the other day. Do our friends across the pond get anything like the Mustang or the Raptor? Chevy sells the Camaro over there.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you’re right. Never heard a European say anything like this. Mustangs are available over the grey market and you’ll see them every once in a while.

    • 0 avatar

      No, Europeans don´t think like that. We get a limited number of american cars, but there´s is always some company that can get you that cool “US Only car”, for a (high)price.

    • 0 avatar

      This is ironic wit right? My guess is Europeans think – why does every car in America look like a big blunt object – are they driving or just hitting trees?

    • 0 avatar
      johnny ro

      My european contacts are not jealous of the selection over here, but do see lower prices for the cars and the fuel.

      My A4 with turbo and quattro costed less than the base model in Germany.

      This advantage is offset by some of the roads here.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      If Europeans weren’t jealous of the cars available in the US, then Brits like me wouldn’t be reading a US car website!

      You guys in the States get a lot of good cars from the Japanese/Korean manufacturers that we don’t get. Genesis, Sportage Turbo, Scion etc.

      That said, with the increase in global platform sharing, most of your cars are similar to what we get on our side of the pond, although we don’t get the pickups or big SUVs.

      Obviously we’re very jealous of your low fuel prices, low vehicle prices, and warm dry climate in the southern states that allows you to preserve fantastic 60s and 70s cars without the rust worries we have in Britain.

      For comparison, here in Britain, gas is currently £1.40 a litre (about $8 a gallon) and a low spec Vauxhall Insignia (Chevy Malibu) with a 1.4T engine is $30k (before discounts/incentives).

      We’re less jealous of your low speed limits and crazily strong used car prices. The used car auction reports on this site are very interesting.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not that their used car prices are strong, it’s that yours are ridiculously low, because your cars are built for driving on the wrong side of the road and thus are unexportable.

    • 0 avatar

      We can get any car we want, as importing US cars is not “that” difficult, and plenty of private importers do the job. So we never have the feeling of being deprived of cool cars…
      I’ve even seen a Nissan official dealership in Europe with 2 Murano Cross Cabriolet, which means we can also get all the crappy cars we want! See, easy!

      • 0 avatar

        Here in Düsseldorf I don’t see many American cars except for the occasional Cadillac CTS although Mustangs, old and new, seem to have a place in German hearts. There is a shop here with grey market Mustangs (GTs and Shelbys mainly) that rejoices in the name “Canadian Motors.” On the other hand, I don’t see many Opel GTCs around either. The 280 hp OPC version beat the VW Scirocco in a recent German magazine comparison test.

      • 0 avatar

        @ Sprocketboy
        I’m here in Düsseldorf too and would say you are pretty much spot on. I see only a few American cars (cadillacs, jeeps and even a dodge or 2). Mustangs seem pretty popular though.

        I’d say the main reason is that very few American cars have something to offer that European ones don’t. Include the cost of fuel and perceived quality of American cars and they don’t really get a look in.

        It would have been nice to have a few more 2-door, 4-seater choices though when I was buying my last car (mustang, genesis coupe etc..).

    • 0 avatar

      Ford’s evidently developing a RHD version of the Mustang for sale in the UK and I imagine other RHD countries, Oz, Japan, etc. For the amount of potential sales, this looks like dev money pissed down the drain, there just simply aren’t enough people looking at US-dev models and thinking, ‘yeah, that’s me, if only the wheel was on the other side’. Then there’s the cost of running it, even the V6 is thirsty, which will put people off no matter what side the steering wheel.

      SprocketBoy – I’m pretty sure that Cadillacs are still officially imported into Europe, so they’re not that unusual.

      And Spreadsheet Monkey, don’t be jealous of the low prices available for equivalent cars in North America. Most, like the Regal, are stripped out to meet a specific price point within the existing range.

  • avatar

    The Cascada is based on the Delta II platform (Astra/Verano) not Epsilon II (Insignia/Regal). It shares the Verano’s little A-pillar windows.

  • avatar

    It’s nice to see roomier convertibles making a comeback. Not everyone wants to drive a go-kart Miata or bunker Camaro, plus more seating of course makes for more company on the longer trips.

  • avatar

    I often wonder if anyone from the carmakers troll these blogs to see what people’s opinions are and if they even care. This would be a natural fit in the Buick line-up that’s in real need of anything but another sedan.

  • avatar

    I could see this being a reincarnated Buick Riviera, especially if a fixed-roof iteration surfaces. However if it carries that nameplate, it needs to have the power to back it up…

  • avatar

    Looks like the Mitsubishi Eclipse Convertible.
    Nothing to see here.

  • avatar

    Serious miestake here…Cascada is not based on the Insignia platform but on the Astra one

    • 0 avatar

      yeah i think its an Astra GTC with the roof cut off

      its a good looking car no doubt… the GTC is a fine looking quasi hot hatch but the reality is its more a lukewarm hatch at best… and it has a LOT of Cruze dna so i hope you like the 1.4 to 1.6 ecotec turbo fours with their 135 to 175hp motors and the corporate GM handling… coupled with AWESOME Euro build and reliability… and by Euro build I mean the Mercedes/BMW on a bad day

      and the name… Cascada? Evacuate the dancefloor? Evacuate my stomach more like it…

    • 0 avatar

      That would explain the little window behind the a-pillar.

    • 0 avatar

      If it’s the Astra … how much rear seat room will there be? Same wheelbase as the Astra?

      I had an Astra 1.4 rental last month, not a lot of room in the back seat. (And, yes, that engine struggles in the mountains, even if it’s nominally 100 hp.)

  • avatar

    ok here’s another bad statistic

    the Astra GTC 3 door hatch weighs in at a porky 3,300lb thru my sources

    so add the extra weight of an electric top and you have a car that will struggle with a 1.6 turbo let alone a 1.4 turbo…

    good luck GM… you’ll need it here

    compare to a Chrysler 200 sebring convertible

    • 0 avatar

      There is no reason why it couldn’t be offered with the Regal’s 2L turbo engine in North America.

      And engines aside, it’s light years ahead of the Sebring/200.

  • avatar

    Honestly GM just say no and move on. Opel has killed enough brands in the US.

  • avatar

    That is a very pretty car. I’d still like to see the Riviera come back as a coupe, but this could make a nice Skylark or Cielo.

    Just to maintain tradition, GM should book all costs related to initial development, federalization, and tooling to Opel, but all American and Chinese profits to Buick.

  • avatar

    Nice car but terrible name.

    GM Europe should get a name from their back catalogue like Cresta, Velox, Victor, Ascona or Manta.

  • avatar

    Cascada looks good – just hope GM Europe didn’t have to pawn the family silver to bring it to market ’cause it’s not exactly a high-margin big-volume product.

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