‘Chevrolet Forum’ Review: 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring

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2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring

Chevrolet Forum‘s Derek Shiekhi spends a week in a topless Buick.

For the 2016 model year, Buick released its first convertible in 25 years. The Cascada was the long-awaited successor to the drop-top version of the Reatta from the early 1990s. Just one model year later, Buick has followed up its image-changing two-door with a new trim line: Sport Touring. I spent a week under a 2017 Cascada Sport Touring’s fabric roof and, when the weather cooperated, the sky beyond. These are a few of the things that I learned:

GM Should Hold onto Opel’s Aesthetic–At Least a Little

General Motors recently announced it would be selling its Opel subsidiary (as well as Vauxhall) in Europe to the PSA Group, which produces Peugeots and Citroens. The Cascada got its swoopy lines and luscious curves from its Opel Cascada corporate cousin. The Buick version may be derivative, but it sure looks delightful.

More of One Than the Other

Buick calls this new Cascada variant the “Sport Touring.” My experience with it emphasized the “Touring” part of the name. Throttle response wasn’t all that snappy. I couldn’t pep it up because there wasn’t a “Sport” button to push. The six-speed automatic did have a gate on the left for “manual” shifting and the flat-bottom steering wheel had a Regal GS flair to it, but there were no shift paddles behind it.

 

Once I had only clouds above, carrying on a conversation was as easy as it was under the acoustically-insulated soft top. No roof, no shouting.

 

There were some upsides to the Cascada’s emphasis on touring-car characteristics, though. The ride quality was composed and relatively gentle. Wind noise was generally subdued. I appreciated the heated steering wheel and seats in cold weather, especially when I just couldn’t resist having the top down in jacket-and-scarf temperatures. Lowering the lid only took 17 seconds and holding back one chrome switch. Once I had only clouds above, carrying on a conversation was basically as easy as it was under the acoustically- and thermally-insulated soft top. No roof, no shouting.

Hurry Up and Wait…Then Hurry Up

All Cascadas come with a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter I4 with 200 horsepower and a minimum of 207 lb-ft of torque. That’s right–minimum. That little four-banger has an overboost function which allows it to generate 221 lb-ft between 2,200 and 4,000 rpm. There was noticeable turbo lag, but I turned it into a game I call “Wait and Straight.” I’d find an opening on the road in front of me, push my right foot down deep, wait for the turbo to spool up, then feel a gentle push back into the driver’s seat–and a smile forming.

If you’re looking to experience the 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring firsthand, it’s worth a test-drive at your local dealership. Prices start at $37,990.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

 

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