Enjoying a top-down drive can certainly brighten anyone’s mood. But affordable convertibles that comfortably fit four people have been scarce ever since the Toyota Solara and Chrysler Sebring left the segment. GM’s response? The Buick Cascada, imported from Europe. It includes many niceties you get in a $60,000 convertible. The only price-comparable ragtops—a Mustang or a Camaro—won’t provide the rear passenger room or the same level of convenience.

The Cascada’s fabric top keeps out noise and holds in comfy temperatures. The power-operated top opens and closes in just 17 seconds­ at up to 31 mph, allowing flexibility for changing mood or weather on the go.

The car isn’t particularly quick or fuel-efficient. The body structure is sturdy, free from the agitating shimmy that afflicts many convertibles. Handling is responsive and secure. The ride is steady, but sharp bumps do come through.

The interior is well-trimmed, with comfortable seats and handy touches such as a wind deflector. Heated front seats and steering wheel let you extend open-top season into the autumn chill. Many of the buttons, knobs, and dials feel dated, and the infotainment system is a generation behind. But if you don’t mind those compromises, you’ll have the wind in your hair without breaking the bank.

Read the complete Buick Cascada road test.

2016 Buick Cascada Review

HIGHS: Well-insulated top, opens/closes on the go, seats four, nice details
LOWS: Visibility, dated controls, ride, fuel economy, long doors
POWERTRAIN: 200-hp, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine; 6-speed
automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
FUEL: 22 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $37,385


Editor's Note:
 This article also appeared in the October 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.