Formula One returns this weekend, and the British carmaker is celebrating
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The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Cascada
For:Decent looking, comfortable cruiser
Against:Engines lack premium class, unremarkable interior
1.6T SIDI SE 2dr
A good car, if not maybe a Top Gear one. You’ll take in the scenery, but hardly notice the drive
“The new Cascada shares not one exterior panel with any other Vauxhall…” Paul Horrell reports
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.
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.
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.