Buick Says Color Is Back, but Will You Buy a Cascada That's Not Silver?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
buick says color is back but will you buy a cascada thats not silver

By the standards of niche market convertibles, the Buick Cascada is, or at least was, a certifiable hit.

Sales of the Cascada have tumbled by a fifth in 2017, year-over-year. More recently, Cascada sales fell by nearly 40 percent during the height of the summer. But since going on sale at the beginning of 2016, more than 11,000 Buick Cascadas have been sold in the United States. At times, the Buick has even outsold Mazda’s MX-5 Miata. And no, before you draw an entirely incorrect conclusion, hardly any Cascadas have gone into the daily rental mix. More than 99 percent of the Buick Cascadas sold in America were retail acquisitions.

But for its third model year, Buick feels it’s time to spice things up. The Cascada, historically available in very few shades, is getting new paint options for the 2018 model year. Why?

“Color is back,” Buick’s Catherine Black says.

Or is it? Black is the lead designer of Buick’s Color and Trim Studio, and she points out that, “80 percent of the exterior colors purchased globally are neutrals — black, silver or grey.”

But Black also believes there is also an appetite for a real color palette. So for 2018, Buick is adding new top colors to the previous black-only family: a brown roof called Sweet Mocha and the wine-hued Malbec. As for paint options, there’s a new red called Rioja, another Dark Moon Blue, and a foresty green called Carrageen.

In 2017, the basic Cascada was marketed in just two colours: white and blue. One rung up, the Cascada Premium was available only in white, blue, silver, or brown. The top-trim Cascada Sport Touring was a red or blue affair, only. The new colors aren’t available across the board, but the top trim, for instance, is now available in five shades rather than two.

It’s hardly earth-shattering news, but it’s not Buick-exclusive news, either. For example, color is making an appearance on the 2018 Acura MDX, one of many vehicles historically linked to the colorless. San Marino, a bright red hue, will be available on top-spec Advance models, a major turnaround for a vehicle that majored on greys and blacks.

At Buick, where the brand says 70 percent of Cascada buyers were previously non-GM customers (making the model more popular than droptop versions of the BMW 2 Series and Audi A3), new paint options aren’t enough to make the 1.6-liter turbo more powerful or the 4,000-pound curb weight less prodigious. But in an increasingly monochromatic car universe, we’ll be happy when any automaker says, “Color is back.” Even if it’s up to you, the customer, to actually choose the colorful options.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • SPPPP SPPPP on Sep 20, 2017

    "Color is back," says Cat Black. This has the makings of a great nursery rhyme. On the actual topic, I am strongly in favor of ANY addition to the color palette at this point. This car is not really on my list, but my chroma receptors will welcome a change from gray and black.

  • Seanx37 Seanx37 on Sep 20, 2017

    I live in Warren.Where ever other car is a GM. And I have seen 2 of these on the road. I just assumed they were all for rental in Florida.

  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.