When you think of affordable, European convertibles, Holden probably doesn't spring straight to mind. But the Lion brand has just added a new budget-conscious, fashion-conscious drop-top to its line-up - the new Cascada.
The Cascada is Holden's first convertible model since the 2000s when it had the Astra twin-top. And while it's probably not convertible weather today, we still want to take a chance to show you what the Cascada is all about.
Inside, the Cascada's cabin is quite nice and that's partly because of these lovely leather seats with this etched finish, which really lifts the cabin ambience.
Also lifting the cabin ambience are these LED strip lights that are hidden away under the gear shifter and in the doors.
The model we're driving has niceties like a heated steering wheel, which does help on days like today, and heated seats. There's also dual-zone climate control so the passenger and driver can set their own temperatures.
Up the top of the dash there's s a colour media screen. Now, it's not a touchscreen, which can be a little bit confusing if you're used to more modern screens, and these buttons underneath are a bit old world.
Further to that, inputting a destination using the navigation system is really hard work.
Being a convertible, it's all about the roof and to control it you use this little toggle in between the driver and passenger. It should take about 17 seconds for the roof to go up and to go back down and you can do it at speeds up to 50km/h, which is pretty handy if you experience a sudden downpour.
Getting into the backseat is much easier with the roof down, and the backseat is capable of holding adults but is better suited to kids.
The storage is decent throughout the Cascada's cabin including big door pockets and also cup holders for rear seat passengers. And the boot is hatchback rivalling when the roof is up - it does get cut down a bit when the roof is down though.
When it's time to drive, the Cascada will feed you your seatbelt so there's no awkward reaching over moments. And speaking of going for a drive, it's time. Let's go.
There's only one drivetrain available in the Cascada in Australia - a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine teamed to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It pumps out 125kW of power and 260Nm of torque.
That 1.6-litre turbo is quite a willing little thing, especially considering the weight of the Cascada - it's not a lightweight convertible, let's say that. And the six-speed automatic gearbox also shifts through the gears pretty well, although, there are no paddle shifters and there's no sports mode.
Being a convertible, you do notice a few body shudders through the cabin, especially through the steering wheel and through the windscreen. It's not unusual, but there are some convertibles out there that do feel a bit stiffer on the road. You especially notice it when the roof's down.
It's not a drivers' car. There's not a whole lot of driver engagement on offer but that's not really what this car's supposed to be - if you want that, you go for a BMW 4 Series Convertible or something like that.
But the Cascada is a competent cruiser. It eats up country kilometres with ease. And I guess Holden, as a brand, has built its name on that.
For the most part the ride is quite good. It deals with big bumps really well but you do notice a few of the smaller little lumps and bumps in the road being transmitted through into the cockpit.
As for the steering, it does take corners fairly well and it turns in nicely. However, it doesn't feel like the most agile car on the road, namely because of that weight.
The Cascada offers a stylish and polished option that's not too hard on the hip pocket. If you're after an affordable alternative to the more expensive European drop-tops on the market, you should definitely check it out.