My Car Quest

June 21, 2024

Buick Cascada: “Tepid” Enthusiasm for this Rare Convertible

by Wallace Wyss –

In my idle time, waiting for a refill of coffee perhaps, I think about what car I’d like to own for fun. Sometime I type the name of the prospective candidate into Google Images to see how the owners have modified them.

But in the case of one candidate–the Buick Cascada (also sold as a Vauxhall Cascada and Opel Cascada) I never see mods made by owners. It’s like there was enough enthusiasm to form an owner’s club but to date none of the owners want to modify their car into their own dream car.

Buick Cascada

Now I’ll admit that, back when I drove a test car when it was new, I was disappointed that it weighed so much (over 4000 lbs.) and only came with a four cylinder engine and was front wheel drive, all things I think that doom enthusiasm for it as a sporty convertible.

Even the styling, which I say is A-plus on the side, B on the back and C in the nose is a draw. Proportionately it’s too snub nosed–needs another 6 inches of wheelbase between the front wheel centers and the leading line of the front doors, but no owner is going to lengthen the nose and add another 500 lbs. to an already overweight car.

One feature I like (silly me) is the remote top activator. You can be sitting in a restaurant and press the button and it will put the top up (or down).

The car was a big flop in America–too high priced and not regarded by the performance crowd as a car to take seriously. They are now hovering at $16,000 on used car lots, less than half what they sold for new. But that’s not as bad as the Chrysler Crossfire which Wikipedia describes as follows:

The Chrysler Crossfire is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat sports car that was sold by Chrysler and built by Karmann of Germany for the 2004 through 2008 model years.

Developed during the union of Daimler and Chrysler, the two-seater is based on the Mercedes-Benz R170 platform which shares 80% of its components with the first generation SLK. The second generation SLK was built on a new R171 platform starting in the 2005 model year; the R170 platform was essentially handed down to Chrysler for use in building the Crossfire.

Buick Cascada

They are under $6000, about one fourth of what they were new. So why do I need someone else’s example of modifying a car before I go for it? I want to see what potential it has. I’m in the horse field, working at a ranch where thoroughbreds are bred. But as good as any one horse looks, and how impressive its pedigree, that means nothing until I see it perform. Does it have the will to win? A nose for the wire? So far I’m waiting. The Cascada owners haven’t lifted a finger to show their enthusiasm…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss will be bringing his car portraits to Concorso Italiano. He can be reached at text 213-344-6496.


Buick logo

Photos from Car and Driver.

Buick Cascada: "Tepid" Enthusiasm for this Rare Convertible
Article Name
Buick Cascada: "Tepid" Enthusiasm for this Rare Convertible
Why don't Buick Cascada owners show more enthusiasm for this convertible?


  1. This is really unattractive – it is no surprise there is “Tepid” Enthusiasm.

  2. Les Seifer says

    I hear that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the Cascada is damned pretty! So much so that I bought one in 2017 as a present to myself upon my retirement. I still own it and suppose I will until something equally as “pretty” comes along.
    I wanted a convertible that could also serve as a daily driver and the Cascada filled the bill. Front wheel drive was, to me, an advantage as it could go in snow. Four seats. Same top mechanism as on cars twice its price. Split drop down rear seats accommodate trips to Home Depot. Great paint job (and color choices). Massive 22” wheels (we all know it’s largely about the wheels). Not to mention, for this 75 year old “boomer”, it has a CD player and it alerts me when I have forgotten to turn off the directional signal!
    I’ve owned three or four dozen cars (including a 300Z and a Mazda RX-8. But the Cascada is the only car to have elicited requests from perfect strangers for me to take their phone number in case I want to sell it. And all for about $35,000 out-the-door including tax and tags. And since nobody knows what the Hell a Buick Cascada is, people compliment me on my “new” car! Tepid enthusiasm my ass!

  3. wallace wyss says

    One thing I left out was one reason I have a Cascada near the top of my list is that it is unrecognizable as any given marque whereas if i bpught a Camaro and modified it people would just say “Look at how much that poor fool spent on his Camaro.” I want a conversation starter. Why? Because i sell art and the right one could get my toe in the door. Now the ultimate example is an artist I wrote about in MCQ over a decade ago–who i met (on my family ranch coincidentally) because of his penchant for gluing seashells on cars. When i met him he was an unknown but now he’s world famous and still driving those cars. Now I won’t go far as Larry but he’s created many examples of four wheeled conversation starters..

  4. wallace wyss says

    I ws wrong on the prices–they are falling faster than I thought.Found two on the net
    at dealers an hour’s drive away for $13,000 and change.
    2019 Buick Cascada for sale in Murrieta, CA And they been gettin’ old on the lot….kinda like bridesmaids that
    go to a lot of weddings but never get to be a bride.

    $13,998 $208/mo*
    45,215 miles
    1.6L I4
    Days Listed
    $7,763 below avg.
    4,095 miles below avg.
    Driveline Used Cars of Murrieta
    Murrieta, CA • 44 mi. away
    2019 Buick Cascada for sale in Glendale, CA

    $13,995 $208/mo*
    59,359 miles
    1.6L I4 Turbocharger
    Days Listed
    $7,766 below avg.
    10,049 miles above avg.
    Dream Cars
    Glendale, CA • 35 mi. away
    Get a Free Vehicle History Report

  5. Glenn Krasner says

    I have never, ever seen a Cascada in person on the road, while I have seen plenty of Crossfires. The only time I ever saw a Cascada was at the Buick pavillion at the New York International Auto Show, and I did study it there because it was kind of cool and sporty to look at. However, I was immediately turned off when I opened up its truck. For some reason, the convertible top mechanism took up most of it – honestly, you would not have been able to fit a bag of golf clubs in that trunk!!! Once I saw that, I wrote it off completely. Another Opel-based car I saw at the same display, was the Buick Regal Tour X, another car I have never, ever seen on the road, although it received excellent reviews at the time. Somebody told me it was very popular in the Midwest because of its all-wheel drive.
    Glenn in Broooklyn, NY.

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