New name under the roof
Astra reborn as Cascada makes a welcome return for long summer evenings, CHRIS RILEY finds.
WHEN most people think of convertibles their thoughts turn to summer.
But this is the worst time to drop the roof on one of these beauties. It’s too hot and you’re going to get burnt, trust me.
Many women don’t like convertibles either, because that wind in your hair plays havoc with their hair. But, in the cool of a summer evening — a convertible is magic.
Holden’s Cascada comes from Europe and is part of the rebadged Opel line-up.
The name is new but the car isn’t because we knew it before as the Astra convertible.
It looks and feels like a bigger car this time, but there has obviously been some input from Holden because the ride is unexpectedly supple — so unlike the Euros we’re used to.
Priced from $41,990, for a limited time you can also grab a special Launch edition with 20inch wheels and extra kit for $44,990.
The broad bonnet hides a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 125kW of power and 260Nm of torque (280Nm briefly during “overboost”).
It’s hooked up to a six-speed auto, with manual shift capability, but lacks change paddles.
Sports suspension, electronic stability control and 18-inch wheels are standard, along with a space saver spare.
It has four airbags but is yet to receive a safety rating.
The relatively small engine is not going to pin your ears back, but there’s enough there to make life mildly exciting.
Mid-range response is especially gratifying.
Too bad they couldn’t have found a smoother auto, though, because this one suffers from an occasional hiccup and at unexpected moments it bucks.
The chassis exhibits some flex and shudder without the support of a roof, but it’s a lot better than many drop tops we’ve driven.
Rated at 7.2 litres/100km, we were getting 8.1 after 430km.
The classic fabric, triplelayered acoustic power roof can be retracted in 17 seconds, even on the move at up to 50km/h.
With the roof up it’s pretty quiet inside but even then there’s not much room in the boot.
Inside you’ll find satnav, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, DAB digital radio, auto lights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors as well as a rear view camera.
The transformation from Opel to Holden has also brought with it Holden’s allsinging and dancing MyLink infotainment system, but it relies on your mobile to get the best out of it with apps like Pandora and Stitcher. The Cascada may not set the world on fire but it brings the high life within reach of the average punter — and that applies to most of us. It gets 3 ½ stars out of five.