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Holden Cascada CJ 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Alistair Kennedy road tests and reviews the Holden Cascada with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Another new name on the Australian motoring scene, Holden Cascada is the convertible version of the Holden Astra. The cars are sourced from Holden's General Motors affiliate, Opel.

Opinions are divided on the material used for convertible roofs. In the last decade or so there was a move away from the traditional fabric top towards a solid retractable roof, the logic being that buyers wanted the perceived advantages of the looks and security of a coupe when the roof is closed.

Opel/Holden followed this trend with the previous Astra Twin Top but has now reverted to the soft top roof that was used in the original Astra Convertible with the new Cascada.

Convertible buyers are very fashion conscious and their cars have to look the part. Cascada ticks all the boxes, it's a neat and attractive car. Like all convertibles it looks at its best – and attracts most looks – with the roof tucked away inside the boot.

At a fraction under 4.7 metres Cascada is significantly longer than its competitors which include the convertible variants of Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mini Cooper, Renault Megane CC, and VW Golf.

As such it can provide a level of comfort for four full-size passengers that its smaller rivals can't match. Rear legroom for taller occupants will probably require doing a deal with those in front.

As is the norm with convertibles, boot space is compromised by the need to store the roof within it. Cascada's 360 litres with the roof in place and 280 litres with it stored away is pretty good.

There's a 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel under the boot floor to save boot space.

The roof has three layers and opens automatically in just 17 seconds and at speeds up to 50 km/h.

Engine / Transmission

Cascada uses the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine as the sporty Astra GTC coupe with a handy 125kW, and torque of 260Nm from 1650 to 4500 revs. The only transmission is six-speed automatic and it does not have paddle shifters.

That extra torque is welcome because, with a kerb weight of 1710kg, Cascada is easily the heaviest car in its class. Indeed it's heavier than many Commodore models.

Fuel consumption is listed at 7.5L/100km. We averaged 9.1L/100 km during our week-long test; 7.3L/100 on the motorway and 10.1 around the suburbs. So, as is often the way the officially measured number are very optimistic.

Features

The Cascada uses the latest Holden MyLink multimedia system displayed on a seven-inch colour screen display (non-touch). Features include satnav; Bluetoooth phone and audio streaming; apps such as Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn Radio; and DAB+ digital radio.

Safety

In addition to mandatory safety features such as airbags (dual front and side), ABS brakes and stability control Cascada also comes with hill start assist; dual ISOFIX child-seat anchorage; reversing camera; rain sensing windscreen wipers; front and rear parking sensors; auto protector halogen headlights; daytime running lights and front fog lights.

Other standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels; sports suspension; electric parking brake; leather trim perforated Siena seats; alloy sports pedasl; cruise control; and dual zone air conditioning.

Heated front seats and steering wheel provide an added incentive to drive with the roof down during the cooler months – often the best time for open-top driving.

Driving

Cascada is nimble enough around town with only reasonable outside visibility with the roof up, obviously much better with it down. It cruises comfortably on the motorway although rough rural roads can generate some scuttle shake, which hardly comes as a surprise considering the large cabin opening. Otherwise ride quality is firm but comfortable.

Its mass means that it not as sporty as we'd like but steering response is predictable and safe with only a hint of understeer when pushed through corners.

Verdict

Holden Cascada is a welcome addition to the affordable convertible niche market and it compares well with its all-European rivals in terms of engine performance, interior space, features and price.

It's more a cruiser than a sports car but that's what most of its potential buyers will have in mind.

Click here to see more 2015 Holden Cascada pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$22,990
Based on 21 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$16,990
Highest Price
$26,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $16,990 – 26,990 2015 Holden Cascada 2015 (base) Pricing and Specs
Launch Edition 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $25,960 – 32,010 2015 Holden Cascada 2015 Launch Edition Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$12,990

Lowest price, based on 22 car listings in the last 6 months

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