Motoring review: Vauxhall Cascada SE 1.4 Turbo

A name to forget, but it's great for the six days of summer

Price: £23,995
Engine capacity: 1.4-litre turbo diesel
Power Output (PS @ rpm): 140 @ 6000
Top Speed (mph): 129
0-60 mph (seconds): 10.2
Fuel economy (mpg): 44.8
CO2 emissions (g/km): 148

This is Cassandra. Sorry, let me start again, this is the Cascada and it's the new convertible from Vauxhall. The idea is that the Cassandra, sorry Cascada, will tempt lots of Audi drivers out of their A5 cabriolets and VW drivers out of their EOS convertibles this summer.

We Brits love convertibles you see, and despite our unreliable weather and the fact the roof can only come down half-a-dozen days a year, we are – by some figures – the second biggest buyers of soft tops in Europe. And it's not just Jaguars and Porsches either, even sensible car makers like Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall like to take their tops off these days.

First though, we must deal with the elephant on the outside lane of the motorway. What on earth is it with this particular convertible's terrible name? As far as I can tell, someone in Vauxhall's marketing department has taken leave of their senses. This is probably the same person that recently allowed the release of a Vauxhall called Adam. Yes, Adam. And don't even get me started on Mokka, the firm's latest idiotically named crossover.

Vauxhall's nomenclature department is clearly run by a card, undoubtedly the same card who came up with this car's "summer is state of mind" slogan during what must have been a mind-numbingly dull meeting.

Anyway, enough of this nonsense, what's the car like? Vauxhall says it is an entirely new car – the body and new petrol engine certainly are – but much is borrowed from the Astra and Insignia. That's no bad thing though; Vauxhall has got the knack of making pretty things of late, thanks to British designer Mark Adams. Sadly General Motors (Vauxhall's parent company) has snaffled him to head up design for Cadillac and Buick in the States.

Inside the Cascada, everything is solid rather than stylish and there are far too many buttons – in other words, usual Vauxhall. In the basic SE trim I tested it all feels rather pedestrian too – no match for its rivals at Audi and VW but at least the soft-top roof works smoothly, there's room enough in the back for two reasonably sized adults (not just children) and there's a decent enough boot. Just don't plan on carrying many 6ft-plus passengers – they'll get buffeted if the roof's down. Visibility could be better too, with a tiny rear window and a prominent A-pillar blocking part of the view forward.

Not that any of this matters. Convertibles are all about how they look (the Cascada looks good) and how they drive. Thankfully for Vauxhall, the Cascada is a pleasant thing to run around in on a warm summer's evening.

True, it's no sports car and the smaller diesel unit I tested lacked grunt, but it tackles pothole well and wafts along nicely. Find a wide boulevard of sun-drenched B-road and it is (as with most convertibles and enough imagination) easy to imagine you are in St Tropez. And that's exactly why most buyers will spend £20k-plus for the privilege of being blown around six days of the year, even if it does have a silly name.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

    £18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

    SEN Teaching Assistant needed for long term assignment

    £45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...

    Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

    Primary Teachers needed in Ely

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain