The Buick Cascada Isn't the Chrysler 200 Convertible Rental Queen You Thought It Would Be

the buick cascada isnt the chrysler 200 convertible rental queen you thought it would

Front-wheel-drive, soft top, four-cylinder engine, hefty curb weight— the ideal car for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot at Miami International Airport?

Not so.

On sale since January, the Buick Cascada has attracted 6,154 individual U.S. buyers over the last ten months.

According to Buick, General Motors has only seen three Cascadas make their way into fleet use, for a total of 6,157 Cascada sales through the end of October.

Considered an apt successor to the defunct Chrysler 200 Convertible, the Buick Cascada — essentially a rebadged Opel Astra convertible — has not found extensive critical praise in the U.S. “Cowl shake and rattling are evident, as is significant noise, even when the top is up,” says TTAC’s review. “Ride quality is stiffer than you might expect or want from a Buick convertible, a feeling amplified by larger-than-necessary 20-inch wheels.”

Car And Driver called the Cascada sluggish, blaming a 3,962-pound curb weight hampering “every type of performance we measure.” Consumer Reports said the Cascada is “just a bit dated in some details.”

But while the natural assumption was that General Motors would push the Cascada toward daily rental fleets in southern climes — C/D suggested vacationers could enjoy “some fun under the sun” before considering a Buick “when shopping for a new car back home” — GM is presently attempting to minimize the company’s reliance on daily rental companies.

87 percent of Buick’s U.S. sales through the first ten months of 2016 occurred on the retail front. Company-wide, the percentage of GM sales produced by fleets fell from 23 percent in the first ten months of 2015 to 19 percent this year. Total GM sales are down 4 percent this year, but the company’s retail volume is up 1 percent.

Apparently, the Buick Cascada most ably exemplifies this trend. Only 0.05 percent of Cascada sales are linked to the dreaded “fleet” tag.

The Cascada is nevertheless featured in GM’s vast fleet guide for 2017, if you’re of a mind to purchase a few dozen Cascadas for your friends at Del Boca Vista, Phase III.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • Mr. Orange Mr. Orange on Nov 17, 2016

    Welcome to the new world. Where we have a British Infiniti, Hungarian Mercede Benz's, a Mexican Fiat,an American NSX and Italian Jeeps.

    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Nov 17, 2016

      Buick is the new Geo; retailing Chinese, Korean, and Polish cars to an indifferent public.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Nov 21, 2016

    It isn't badged as an Astra convertible though. In Europe it is a distinct model, Opel / Vauxhall Cascada, it is positioned in a strange place between the Astra and the Insignia (Buick Regal) though it sits on the Astra Delta 2 platform. The rumour / urban myth is that it is something of a strange entry in the GM Europe lineup (otherwise made up mostly of hatchbacks and crossovers) and size wise between the Astra and Insignia models because it was originally intended to be a new Saab 93 cabrio, and was hurriedly rebadged when that marque was spun off..... Of course it is also the successor to the folding roof Astra convertible, now that hinged metal convertibles seem to be out of fashion with their aircraft carrier rear decks.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
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