Vauxhall Cascada vs rivals

Vauxhall Cascada vs rivals
19 Jun, 2013 11:00am

We pit the Vauxhall Cascada against three new cabriolet rivals from Audi, BMW and Volkswagen

It's been a long time coming, but summer is finally here. And with blue skies overhead, there’s no better time to lift the lid on the latest crop of convertibles.

Starting our rag-top round-up is the Vauxhall Cascada – part of the brand’s push upmarket. With classy looks, a spacious cabin and attractive pricing, the newcomer has premium rivals like the Audi A5 in its sights. We test it in £23,995 entry-level 1.4 SE guise.

The Audi RS5, meanwhile, promises supercar performance in a stylish, four-seater soft-top. But the coupe got only a lukewarm reception, so can the Cabriolet do better?

If it’s high fashion rather than high performance that floats your boat, then the new VW Beetle Cabriolet could be ideal. Retro lines and VW Golf running gear combine to deliver stylish and sensible wind-in-the-hair thrills.

And no convertible test would be complete without a roadster. The BMW Z4 has been given a mid-life refresh, but has this done enough to lift it above the talented Audi TT?

Verdict

With summer now in full swing, the charms of a convertible are hard to resist – and our four contenders demonstrate that there should be something for every taste and budget.

The Vauxhall looks good, has a roomy interior and, in entry-level guise, isn’t too expensive to run. It’s not the most fun car to drive and its cabin can’t match those of premium rivals for quality, but it’s a capable and composed drop-top.

Buyers wanting more thrills will love the RS5’s performance, soundtrack and muscular looks. While it’s expensive, only BMW’s M3 Convertible comes close to matching its blend of talents.

If you’re looking for fun on a smaller budget, then the Beetle is hard to ignore. It looks great, and it’s as easy and engaging to drive as a Golf.

Finally, the Z4 has been lifted back into contention by this update. It’s still not quite as enjoyable to drive as you’d expect from a BMW roadster, but the new entry-level engine is smooth and reasonably powerful, as well as cost-effective to run.

Disqus - noscript

I like this type of group test occasionally, where the vehicles are similar in some ways, but in others will appeal to completely different buyers

The testers place the Cascada on top with 3 stars. Audi follows with 4 stars, followed by the Beetle with 4 stars and the Z4 is relegated to the bottom with 3 stars.

I've never seen a more messed up road test result ever in my entire life.

Also it struck me that a non-German car had "won". Who would have believed it from AE? The I recalled that it was just as German as the others but with a camouflage name.

None of these cars are rivals to each other they are different price brackets and different customer appeal what a waste of a test - poor

I'm looking forward to the Range Rover Sport vs Rivals, featuring the Ford Focus, Nissan GT-R and VW UP!

I enjoyed my test drive (a SE) so much that I've bought a Cascada! I had an Astra GTE Convertible way back in the late 1980's and although that car was seriously flawed in many ways I loved it. I get my new Cascada 2.0 CDTI Elite in a couple of days time and I can't wait for it to hand me my seat belt which apparently it does all by itself! :-) I think the Cascada should have had a Saab badge on it though, GM really did b*gger up my favourite car make.

Cascada is bigger than it looks

AEX 1337
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