Holden Cascada CJ
Another new name on the Australian motorbike race, Holden Cascada is the convertible version of Holden Astra. The cars are sourced from Opel’s branch of General Motors, Opel.
Opinions are divided on the material used for the roof conversion. In the last decade, there has been a shift from the traditional fabric top to a solid retractable roof, the logic being that buyers want the coupe’s appearance and security advantages when closing a convertible. .
Opel / Holden followed this trend with the previous Astra Twin Top but has now returned to the soft roof used in the original Astra Convertible with the new Cascada.
Buyers of convertibles are very fashion conscious and their cars have to look at part. Cascada tick all the boxes, it’s a neat and attractive car. Like all convertibles, it looks best – and attracts most looks – with the roof hidden inside the shoe.
In a segment below 4.7 meters, the Cascada is significantly longer than rivals including the convertible variants of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mini Cooper, Renault Megane CC and VW Golf.
Therefore, it can provide a level of comfort for four full-size passengers that smaller rivals cannot match. Rear legroom for taller occupants will probably require making an agreement with the front occupants.
As standard with a convertible, the boot space is compromised due to the need for roof storage inside it. Cascada’s 360 liters with the roof in place and 280 liters with it taken away are pretty good.
There’s a 17-inch steel space-saving spare wheel under the boot floor to save boot space.
The roof has three layers and automatically opens in just 17 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km / h.
Engine / Transmission
Cascada uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder petrol engine similar to the sports Astra GTC coupe with a convenient 125kW and 260Nm of torque from 1650 to 4500 revs. The only gearbox is a six-speed automatic and it has no gearshift paddles.
That extra torque is welcome because, at 1710kg, the Cascada is easily the heaviest car in its class. Indeed it is much heavier than the cargo model.
Fuel consumption is listed at 7.5L / 100km. We averaged 9.1L / 100 km on a week-long test; 7.3L / 100 on the freeway and 10.1 around the suburbs. So as is often the way the official measurements are very optimistic.
Cascada uses the latest Holden MyLink multimedia system displayed on a seven-inch (non-touch) color screen. Features include satnav; Bluetoooth phone and streaming audio; applications such as Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn Radio; and DAB + digital radio.
In addition to mandatory safety features such as airbags (front and dual sides), ABS brakes and Cascada stability control also come with support for steep horizontal departure; ISOFIX child seat anchors dual; reverse camera; rain sensor rain; front and rear parking sensor; Halogen headlights with automatic protection; Daytime running lights and front fog lights.
Other standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels; sports suspension; electric parking brake; Siena perforated leather upholstery; alloy sports bicycle; cruise control; and dual zone air conditioners.
Heated front seats and steering wheel provide extra motivation to drive with the roof down during the cooler months – usually the best time to drive open.
Cascada is agile enough around town with a reasonable exterior view with a roof up, obviously much better with it down. It flies comfortably on the highway though rugged rural roads can create some shakes, which is hardly surprising considering opening a large cabin. Otherwise ride quality is firm but comfortable.
Its mass means it’s not as sporty as we’d like but the steering response is predictable and safe with just a hint of the driver when pushed through corners.
Holden Cascada is a welcome addition to the affordable convertible niche and is on par with rivals across Europe in terms of engine performance, interior space, features and price.
It’s a cruiser rather than a sports car but that’s something most of its potential buyers will have in mind.