By on March 6, 2013

The Geneva Auto Show gave us our first look at the Opel Cascada, aka the future Buick Verano Convertible. The Cascada is a four-seat, front-drive convertible in the vein of the Audi A5, the kind of car enthusiasts turn their noses up at, but regular consumers tend to gravitate towards. Besides, something has to compete with the Chrysler 200 Convertible.

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69 Comments on “Up Close And Personal With The Verano ‘Vert...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Y’know, I think this will compete well with the Chrysler 200, after all, it LOOKS like a Chrysler 200!

    If only the A-pillar window could open…

    It’s probably more reliable, though.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Reatta!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So does the 200 reference mean this is a steaming pile?

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      I take it at face value. Assuming Buick will price it so it will sell in reasonable numbers, what else do you see as possible direct competition other than the 200? Mustang and Camaro may overlap a little, but are more sporty than premium. Everyting else will (should be) either be more expensive, or much smaller.

    • 0 avatar
      StaysCrunchy

      Is the 200 a steaming pile though? I think for most people that’s a holdover thought from the old Sebring. The 200 is, by most respects, a decent little car.

      Is it a super fantastic, awesome, game-changing car? No, but its not a steaming pile either.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        It was a steaming pile. Now it’s old and outdated enough that it’s stopped steaming.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        In the 200′s own class it’s old but really not atrocious. Car people tend to torque their views to the max because in their world only a $55,000 M5 will do and everybody should drive one. In a general comparison I do admit the 200 would probably be last simply because everybody else has a newer chassis and the 200 is from the early 2000s I believe. It still sells adequately and as a convertible really is a fun car if you don’t want a small luxury compact that’ll run another 30% more to start.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Should we expect bad fuel economy and useless trunk space?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I thought GM was trying to bring the average buick buyers age down?

    This is definately an old persons car.
    Either way I don’t expect it will make it into production

    • 0 avatar
      RatherhaveaBuick

      Its the opposite of an old persons car. Its a hip little ‘vert. Think of the VW Eos. Easily marketable to young women and well-off teenagers.

      Throw a turbo in there and you might even attract some enthusiasts.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        You can’t be serious. Teenagers don’t buy cars, let alone buicks. Young women buy civics.

        • 0 avatar
          RatherhaveaBuick

          You’re right, teenagers don’t buy the cars, Their parents buy them for them.

          I’m 21, and in my college parking lot there are tons and tons of brand new cars from most every nameplate. Even when I was in high school, there was always the
          “new car” kids.

          If daddy’s little girl wants a new convertible, she probably doesn’t care who makes it, and if there’s a Buick dealer nearby….

          You’d be surprised how many people I know got cars for their HS graduation gifts too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Must be nice to on average to live far beyond your means. My HS graduation gift was a ’92 Cavalier/80K in 1999, and my parents had money… go figure.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Getting parents to buy them means getting the same people that gag when they’re handed the keys to a Buick at the rental counter to buy them. Buick would love to sell to people in their 40s and 50s, but they generally can’t. Why are they going to buy a car for their precious daughter that they consider to be a joke?

          • 0 avatar
            RatherhaveaBuick

            In response to 28-Cars-Later:

            I know what you mean. In 2009, my first car was an $1800 93 Buick Regal. Still driving it.

            All the kids I knew in HS that had money to buy new cars all spent it the wrong way. Some kid had $22k handed to him and he bought a 2010 Challenger V6…

          • 0 avatar
            RatherhaveaBuick

            CJinSD: Buick has lowered its demographic hugely in a very short amount of time…Plus the only rental Buick they have now is the base model Regal, which I’ve heard from a few (skeptical) people who’ve driven them was surprisingly nice.

            I’ve liked Buicks since I was 3, and I still love the brand at 21…they must be doing something right to change their ways.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Parents enabling their children to have cars they (the parents) cannot afford on average is poor economic planning… only through the magic of debt is it possible and we all saw how well that was working out a few years back.

            I would have loved my parents to give me that sort of cash but with strings attached… something to the effect of if you take this money you have to invest 50% etc, something to help me in the short term and into the future (although in truth to you, my parents at the time weren’t that intelligent to do such a thing, and I would have blown it on a Trans Am or Grand Prix GTP).

            The one thing I have learned since I was 21, is at that age you need to be mature enough to accept you don’t know everything and need to seek the wisdom of others even if its a little bit at a time.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            28 days is just a tightwad. Saying anything other than skinflint talk sets that man off. So sad….so sad.

            The verano convertible will sell to the same crowd that the 200s do: Younger to middle aged women and younger professionals in sunbelt states.

            As for young adults/Teens and new cars: Anecdotes aside I see most driving around in secondary family cars younger than 5 years old or in other words the average US car. The average age median is driven up by a slew of old trucks still hanging on.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Guilty as charged, I am a cheap bastard. :)

            But on the same token I’m not a welfare addict and I’ll never need a bailout.

          • 0 avatar
            kjb911

            @RatherhaveaBuick

            I’m a year older than you and had the same thing at my HS which was a private catholic with a lot of the state’s wealthy attending (meanwhile my parents struggled to pay the tuition) I remember buy my Fiero for 500.00 and being mocked for not having a BMW or mercedes or even a newer car…its quite sickening how many people feel entitled to a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Your right Rather,

      The below comment is more spot on, Middle aged fat women.

      Ignoring the old person stigma that’s a given with buick post GN,GNX.

      I cannot honestly see anyone young in this, the kids fortunate enough to have money are not going to be dumb enough to of all places go here, girls will naturally go to BMWs and the majority of guys, trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo-4

      Their heeerrrrrreee!

      http://www.tflcar.com/2014/03/spied-is-this-the-2016-buick-regal-cabriolet-caught-in-the-wild/

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I think it looks pretty damn good. I like those taillights.

    Has GM announced officially that this is coming the US as the Verano vert? I think they should give it a unique name — Cielo or something.

    Middle-aged, overweight women will eat this up.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “Middle-aged, overweight women will eat this up.”

      No way, man. Middle-aged overweight women buy things like the Honda Element. Overweight people don’t want a car they’d have trouble getting into.

      Anyway, as for the “old person’s car” thing, the average age of a new car buyer is 51, so most new cars are old person’s cars. The average age of a VW buyer is 48, and that’s the youngest. Beyond the Sebring/200 convertible, the most comparable car to this that I see is probably the Eos (but that’s a hard-top convertible), although I’m not sure how the age of an Eos buyer compares to all VWs. It’s probably higher than the average VW buyer because the Eos is more expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The youngest buyers are Land Rover (sorry if this pedantic, as you are correct that VW buyers are tied with Mazda for the youngest of the non-premium brands).

        You’re also correct that the average new car buyer is an ancient 51 years old ;-)

        Buick’s average buyer is 59 and was the only make to see its average age decline. Buick’s average buyer age less than a decade ago was tickling – 70. Demographically, to drop it that much is a massive shift (Cadillac went through a similar re-invention about a decade ago, also plunging the age of the average buyer).

        The wail, “this is an old persons car,” is just a non-starter. EVERY new car is apparently an “old persons” car where the average car buyer is from 47 to 60 years old, depending on make. That’s solidly “middle-age, widening belt line, and graying hair territory, male or female.”

        This points to another trend – Gen Y and a lot of Gen X isn’t and/or can’t buy new cars. From the same Polk study, a whopping 1% of new car buyers, are 18 to 24. That’s it. 1%. About 12% of all new car buyers are under 34! On the other hand, 41% of new car buyers are over 55.

        Polk Study based on 2010 data:

        http://blog.polk.com/blog/blog-posts-by-tom-libby/buick-goes-against-trend-and-attracts-younger-buyers

        USA Today story, September 2012, with updated 2011-2012 data showing a 1% uptick in 18-34 year old buyers:

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/driveon/2012/09/26/new-car-buying-by-younger-people-back-on-rise-after-years-of-decline/1595499/

        So if your job is to sell cars and make a profit – are you going to target 1% of the market or…

        • 0 avatar
          kjb911

          so what does it mean when at 21 I bought a new manual stick shift focus hatch? probably .00000001 I swear to god I haven’t seen a single person in a new focus who isn’t under 30

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I’ve shed a lot of weight in recent years and I still have some ways to go but the verano is not a weight issue car, it’s a height issue car. Don’t be over 5’10 and hope to slide in.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Cielo, yuck. They named the midsize Cadillac coupe, CTS Coupe… why not Regal Coupe?

      • 0 avatar
        mr_muttonchops

        For one, it’s based on the same platform/car as the Verano, so Verano Coupe would be more fitting (which I’m okay with.) Two, you’d then have to put up with even MORE whining about it not being a Grand National/GNX

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good suggestion, Verano coupe could work. This as a “Grand National” doesn’t work, GNX was essentially a limited production custom muscle car in Buick guise. In my mind they’d have to clone the Camaro to have a proper GNX, and if you’re cloning the Camaro you’d might as well bring back Pontiac and call it a Firebird/Trans Am instead.

          • 0 avatar
            RatherhaveaBuick

            My only fear about returning the Grand National/GNX name is that they’ll make it a sedan. I’ve heard rumours of something based off the Cadillac ATS, and in that case…I’m not pleased.

            It should be a coupe version of the current Regal, with some sporty styling add-ons and a turbo…and it should only be availible in black. Otherwise, they shouldn’t bother.

            They’ll just piss off a bunch of GN fans like myself.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wouldn’t worry too much, I don’t see Cadillac sharing their “hot” platforms with Buick, nor do I see them resurrecting 80s era GM glory, names or otherwise.

            The whole mission of GM post bailout was to reinvent its brands. Heck I’m surprised the Impala and Malibu nameplates were even continued since none of the Cadillac ones have, and only one Buick nameplate (Lacrosse) was carried over and it only dates to 2005. Seems only the truck platforms are keeping with tradition.

            I agree there already should have been a Regal coupe, and I suspect this will be it. The bailout I’m sure put a crimp in R&D which is why your brand halo models either haven’t been released (Buick), are existing models (Corvette) or are up-powered current models (CTS-V)… of course they did just release a new Corvette.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Camaro is a Camaro, but a muscle car should be like a Malibu, but with 2 doors. It should also be RWD… The GNX Silverado? GM needs an answer to the Lightning anyways.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Would be nice, but how many Lightning edition F150s are sold each year, is this market big enough to justify spending money to produce a competitor?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well, the GNX sold for $29,995 or roughly 2X more than the regular Regal. You have to charge a premium for specialty limited editions, but that was kind of Wow.

            It helps if it’s based on a regular production car, but the Silverado is already obscenely profitable so there must be a lot of room for R&D. The Lightning didn’t sell that strongly or was production capped? I know the Raptor is selling like crazy and I believe outsold the Corvette again in February.

          • 0 avatar
            cargogh

            Just read in worldcarfans where the GNX is coming in 2015. Unfortunately, it says sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “Middle-aged, overweight women…”

      Mmmmmmm..

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Isn’t the A5 AWD?
    I really don’t see this in the A5 vein. maybe the VW Eos.

    • 0 avatar
      jco

      apparently the Eos will die. and since we so far haven’t been told we’ll get the Golf cabrio here, rumor is we’ll get a new Passat cabrio.

      although the internet made VW give us the GTD, so maybe there’s hope. in my opinion, the Golf cabrio makes much more sense than an A5-competing Passat version.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      A5 has optional AWD.

      But I do expect this will be a much lower price point, much closer to the Eos. If that’s how GM prices it, they’re being realistic and they will at least have a chance of succeeding.

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        Forgive the pedantry, but in any market that the Cascada is likely to be sold as a Buick (i.e. the US and Canada) non-quattro A5s aren’t offered.

  • avatar
    jco

    thank you TTAC. someone has to provide us with Geneva coverage that isn’t focused on million-dollar toys. what other mass-market cars debuted here? i really do want to know; it seems like Geneva was a really important show this year.

    • 0 avatar

      The only reason I didn’t do more on Geneva this year was because there were a lot of important/interesting events occurring that had nothing to do with La Ferrari and the other austerity-busters; Google Cars, the UAW’s visit to the Expo hall, Sub-prime financing. I figured most of you have seen the big ticket items, so I tried to cherry pick some of the relevant mass market stuff.

      What is interesting is that, even though Europe is in the crapper, three hypercars debuted. And I bet Europe is an afterthought for their respective manufacturers.

      • 0 avatar
        Rod Panhard

        The kookie looking Lambo was presented in Geneva, but given that all three were spoken for, methinks it really had nothing to do with Europe at all. Now, if there was a Salon d’Riyahd, we’d be having a different conversation. … possibly about product specialists in fashionable outfits that are more appropriate for protection from sandstorms.

    • 0 avatar
      Bobby Peru

      jco: I think we have most of the volume-debuts in our gallery…
      http://bit.ly/YP8XYv
      …if u don’t mind the german descriptions.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It does very much resemble a Chrysler 200, but I like it. Now dump the Regal sedan nobody’s buying and replace it with this and OFFER A V6.

    • 0 avatar
      RatherhaveaBuick

      I see plenty of Regals…the GS is underrated and therefore unpopular though.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I see more Veranos than Regals in these parts. I am the traditional Buick/Pontiac car customer and I don’t see a new mid-size Buick in my future that doesn’t offer a V6 and takes regular gas (I am aware some Lacrosses offer the 3.6 but its not my style). The closest thing I suppose is Regal GS and I believe it requires premium fuel (although I could be wrong).

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Hmmm…..I see much more Eos than 200 in the Cascada. Buick will likely position this as a more premium vehicle than its closest domestic competitor anyhow.

  • avatar
    ott

    Maybe it’s the pics but the hood-height looks waaaay too high and out of line with the top of the doors and the rest of the body. It really accentuates the FWD layout, and not in a good way.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    These photos are as flattering to the car as a face is in a portrait taken with a wide angle.

  • avatar
    AFX

    It’s the new Buick Solara !.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So is this “Verano” sized or “Regal” sized – fully aware the difference between the two isn’t that much.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      I think this is Regal sized, based on the Delta platform, like the Insignia. The Verano is Delta II, which is the smaller Cruze, Volt, and Astra, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I hate to be the Platform-Nazi here, but the Regal isn’t on the Delta platform. It’s on the short-wheelbase (SWB) Epsilon II platform, same as the Malibu. The long-wheelbase (LWB) cars on that platform are the LaCrosse, XTS, 9-5 and upcoming Impala. And the Delta II platform isn’t actually any smaller than the Delta platform; it’s just the successor to that platform, meant to underpin a newer generation of compact cars. There are no longer any GM products being produced on the old Delta platform…

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    I like it. I think something like this could be a good image booster for Buick. There aren’t a lot of comfort/relaxation oriented convertibles out there right now, and not everyone wants a roadster or muscle car.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I agree.

      It’s also something that you can get from Buick that you can’t get just anywhere. (You can get uncomfortable sedan with leather seats anywhere.)

      Chevy is all things to all people, and distinctively middle class. Nice niche vehicles like this one could be a start of carving out an actual reason for Buick to exist!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I was thinking that this might be a good basis for a reincarnation of the Buick Riviera, a car that has always stood for power, luxury and relaxed comfort. True, the Rivieras of yore were bigger, had V8s and supercharged V6s under their hoods, and only one generation was accompanied by a drophead version (the sixth, and only for a short while), but times have changed and the big, large personal luxury coupes really aren’t viable these days until you get into BMW 6-Series territory. Plus, the only other dropheads in the GM stable are the Corvette and Camaro, both of which are high-strung torque-by-the-ton machines.

    Yes, I think GM is prime for another Riviera, but I’m kind of partial to that particular model, so maybe I’m not quite seeing things clearly…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d love to see a new Riviera too, but not whats shown above I see this as a Regal or Verano coupe. I want a halo car Riv, something like the last generation, very unique.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    In the other pictures on the web, it appears to have a cloth top. I think I have more confidence in the longevity of a retractable cloth top on a Buick than I have for a steel top on a VW.

    Another way to look at this is to consider the success of the Saab 900 convertibles. They came along with the right look at the right time at the right price. It’s not something the Car We Know Know As The 200 ever really had. Or the Volvo C70.

    And given that the new Buicks handle much less like couches and more like something like an Opel, GM might have something here. Thanks for bring this to our attention. I truly believe that a car like this, which has to meet specific parameters dictated by price and engineering, is a LOT more interesting than a “money is no object so let’s make it go 220 mph” hypercar.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “I think I have more confidence in the longevity of a retractable cloth top on a Buick than I have for a steel top on a VW.”

      I couldn’t agree more. Have you seen a VW Eos top retract? We did, and it almost gave me nightmares on how you could fix the thing when it would go bad, which was just a matter of time!

      After seeing that Rube Goldberg contraption operate, our serious consideration on an Eos last summer ended rather quickly. I – we chickened out and bought another Impala, and glad of it!

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Cascada? Oh boy, someone better evacuate the dance floor…

    (…am I the first person to notice this?)

  • avatar
    motormouth

    This will kick the 200 into the cheap seats. Built on the Delta II platform (as seen in the Euro Astra, amongst others), it’ll drive fairly well and there is quite a decent amount of trunk space – the roof folds into a dedicated area so as not to compromise the rear literage.

    Interestingly, the rear seats also fold forward – which is odd, as in other drop tops the bench is used to make the chassis more rigid.

    Anyway, as long as the engine lineup offers some power (the downfall of the PSA and Renault convertibles, which were quite heavy), it’ll be a good soft top choice, me thinks.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’m not really the market for this kind of car, but this signals to me that GM will keep Opel alive, or at a minimum harmonize offerings between Opel and Buick, at least in North America. Possibly worldwide if GM can move quickly enough.

    Here in NA, particularly the US, we could use another choice in soft top driving. I don’t see the 200 Convertible making it another generation. It’s too bad, really. There are a few trim levels of the 200 Convert that are pretty attractive.

    The amusing issue to me is that I’m getting used to seeing Opels with Buick grilles on them, so much that when I see an actual Opel I wonder where the Tri-Shield is on the grille…

    • 0 avatar
      motormouth

      The real blasphemy is that the 200 is being offered as the Lancia Flavia. If the Castrato (sorry, Castrada) is a signal of intent that GM plans to make a proper go of Opel in Europe, the cynical rebadging of the 200 as an unworthy Lancia product (joining the Chrysler-sourced Ypsilon, Delta and Thema – although the 300C is easily the best of this bunch) could mean the end is in sight for that grand old Italian marque.


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