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Vauxhall Cascada

£24,300£30,145
5/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Decent looking, comfortable cruiser

Against: 

Engines lack premium class, unremarkable interior
Cabrios are image cars; is Vauxhall an image carmaker? Simple answer: not yet. But you never know what'll happen down the line...

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Our choice

Vauxhall

1.6T SIDI SE 2dr

£26,380
7/10
42mpg
8.50s
200bhp
158g/km

What we say: 

Vauxhall says it's a cut-price Audi A5 rival. We say it's good, but not that good.

What is it?

Supposedly, Vauxhall’s answer to the likes of Audi’s A5 Convertible. Based on the Astra hatch, the Cascada is good, but not that good. It’s a car that’s likely to find friends, but the Audi will still be the cool kid in school. Nice try though, Vauxhall.

Driving

The Cascada is a placid car, not an involving one. The steering is accurate but numb, the body free of flex, making it a car far less troubled by lumpy roads than a front-drive A5.

The ride’s impressively supple. It takes the HiPerStrut suspension from the Insignia VXR, though with softer settings. The tracks are actually wider than the Insignia’s, but the wheelbase is shorter.

Best engine of the range is an all-new 1.6 direct-injection turbo. Vauxhall has badly needed new mid-sized petrols for a while, and this is the first of the family. It’s a stout low-down lugger, and spins sweetly - though in this tune, not gleefully - to its red line. It suits the Cascada’s nature well: quiet, unassuming, but responsive. Not that quick, mind. Its 170bhp and eco-gearing are hampered by 1,660kg of heft. 

On the inside

A big glass rear window stops it being too gloomy inside when the roof is raised, further enhancing decent room for four. Pity the interior lacks a bit of class, though: it’s all a bit too Astra diesel rather than executive Audi.

Owning

The most economical Cascada - the 165bhp 2.0-litre diesel - does a little over 54mpg, while the petrols manage anything from 44mpg down to late thirties for the 170bhp 1.6 turbo with an auto box. Residuals aren’t likely to be as strong as an A5s, either. 

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6T SIDI Elite 2dr
8.5s 158g/km 41.5 200 £29,275
The cheapest
1.4T SE 2dr
10.2s 149g/km 44.1 140 £24,300
The greenest
2.0 CDTi 170 Elite 2dr
9.6s 129g/km 57.6 170 £29,830

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

9/10

Ariel Atom

£64,800
For true wind-in-your-hair motoring, you need something a little less sophisticated. Ariel Atom? No?