RIP, Buick/Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Cascada
Arguably the most interesting — or at least atypical — Buick in the brand’s lineup, the Cascada was a European creation that wore many badges. And now it’s truly, definitively dead.
Unlike the recent deep-sixing of the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Cruze, the last Cascada to roll off Opel’s Polish assembly line did so with little fanfare. Perhaps a few autoworkers raised a tallboy of Tatra after work, we don’t know. For Opel parent PSA Groupe, the ceasing of Cascada production is akin to sweeping old cobwebs away in preparation for new wallpaper.
But what a life it had.
Bye, Bye, Buick: A German-American Convertible Prepares to Exit the Stage
Everyone knew this was coming, but now it’s official. The current model year will be the Buick Cascada’s last.
Hitting dealer (and rental) lots in the U.S. at the dawn of 2016, the Opel-built drop top motivated its two-ton weight with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder — an engine that gave away the model’s European heritage. With Opel no longer in the hands of General Motors, Americans stand to lose another model that, while perhaps not hugely desirable, is at least interesting and different.
A Buick Is in Danger
The Buick Cascada, known to Europeans as the Opel Cascada, appeared on North American shores for the 2016 model year, offering buyers (and renters) a pleasant, four-seat replacement for the discontinued Chrysler 200 drop-top.
Now wholly owned by France’s PSA Group, not General Motors, Opel plans to ditch the model once 2019 is up, meaning America stands to lose its last non-sports car convertible. It would also knock the Buick brand down to five models.
2016 Buick Cascada Review - Best-Before Date
After years of covering the automotive industry, I’m still amused by the enormous gulf between auto enthusiasts and “real people.” (I’m talking to you, B&B!) We get excited when Honda decides to offer a manual transmission in the V6 Accord, despite the tens of buyers who will come running for it, or General Motors’ confidence to sell the Chevrolet SS here at all. “Real people” like it when there’s a less expensive way to get into a BMW M product, as well as the ability to go into a showroom and walk out the same day with the same nameplate they know and trust.
A great example of this chasm/schism is the Buick Cascada. Here’s how we imagine the reaction of each affinity group:
Auto enthusiasts/press: “Buick’s decided to rebadge an aging Opel and try to pass it off in the United States as The New Thing in the segment abandoned by the Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 convertible?”
Real people: “There’s a convertible Buick now?”
2016 Buick Cascada is Your $34,915 Affordable Mid-life Crisis
Buick announced Wednesday that its first convertible-only model in the U.S. for 25 years will start at $34,915, including $925 destination, when it goes on sale early next year. The Cascada Premium model, which adds front and rear park assist and other safety features, will start at $37,915.
The front-wheel drive, 2+2 convertible will come standard with 20-inch wheels, remote start, backup camera, heated seats and LED headlights.
The Cascada will line up against the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which starts at $37,525, including $925 destination, and the Mini Cooper Convertible, which starts at $26,550, including $850 destination, for coveted upper middle-class divorcee money.
Report: Buick Will Import Most of Its New Cars by 2016
Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan.
Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come from Europe and China respectively. Production of the Verano would shift from Michigan to China, the next-generation Regal would come from Germany instead of Canada, and the Encore would continue to be assembled in Korea, but would eventually shift to China, Reuters reported from an unidentified source.
NAIAS 2015: 2016 Buick Cascada Marks Brand Return To Convertibles
Revealed ahead of its 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut, the 2016 Buick Cascada marks the brand’s return to the convertible game after a 25-year absence [Live photos now available – CA].
Opel Cascada May Become Buick Velite If Trademark Is Approved
When the Opel Cascada hits U.S. showrooms in 2015 as a Buick, it may leave its name at home, as well.
Opel Cascada Leading Brand's Return To Australia
Though the local auto industry in Australia is slowly drawing to a close, a few Opels will soon be found in Holden showrooms, beginning with the Cascada convertible.
GM Trademarks Opel Nameplates Calibra, Cascada in U.S.
It’s being revealed that Opel registered the Calibra and Cascada names with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December. While some have speculated from the fact that Opel was the registrant of record that General Motors is considering returning its European brand to the United States, more likely the use of Opel was to hide a possible plan by GM to use the nameplates on Buicks. When GM sold Opel’s Astra as a Saturn before shuttering that brand, Opel had been the registrant for that name as well.
QOTD: What Would You Do With The Cascada?
The Opel/Vauxhall Cascada got a surprisingly warm reception on TTAC, considering that it’s a ragtop with humble origins based on the Delta II platform (thank you, readers, for correcting my mistake).