Cruising along with the sun softly warming your skin, feeling the air thickening in your open hand as speed increases, tipping back your head and finding no limit to your view, just diving into the deep blue sky – these are typical Cascada moments, as Opel/Vauxhall puts it.
Owners of the previously teased new convertible would try to do all that early next year, when the Cascada is launched in Europe. The four-seat cabrio’s name is derived from the Spanish word meaning waterfall, and it’s to convey a rhythmic, dynamic and flowing nature. This mid-size soft top from the Astra family looks sleek enough, more elegant than previous generations of Kadett and Astra cabriolets.
“Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up. Thanks to its high-quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Opel Cascada also cuts a fine figure when closed,” says Malcolm Ward, director of exterior design. We agree.
Inside, the dull Astra dashboard is enhanced by real stitching, while the AGR certified ergonomic seats are wrapped in Nappa leather and benefit from heating and ventilation systems. Electric seat belt extenders that use a telescoping arm is a nice touch, while the electric Easy Entry system makes access to the rear seat well, easy.
Boot volume with the roof stowed is 280 litres, stretching up to 350 litres with the soft top up. Speaking of that, the fabric roof can be opened in 17 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
The Cascada can be had with a 1.4 turbo petrol combined with a six-speed manual transmission. There are two output versions of 120 hp and 140 hp, both delivering up to 220 Nm thanks to an overboost function.
On the diesel side, the 2.0 CDTI with 165 hp/380 Nm comes with either a manual or six-speed auto. There’s also a new engine, the 1.6 SIDI Turbo Ecotec gasoline. It delivers 170 hp (between 1,650 and 3,200 rpm) and 280 Nm max torque on overboost.
It shouldn’t be too shabby to drive with Opel’s HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension, which separates the functions of damping and steering, as well as reduce torque steer. FlexRide, Opel’s adaptive chassis control system, is also available. The Cascada can be equipped with 17- to 20-inch wheels. Brake discs have sizes of up to 326 mm in front and 325 mm in rear.
Bundled tech include AFL+ Adaptive Forward Lighting (up to 11 automatic functions), the second gen “Opel Eye” front camera with new functions (enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, new Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Alert), a rear-view camera, Advanced Park Assist and an ultrasonic based Side Blind Spot Alert, among other kit.