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Vauxhall Cascada New For April

By raccars Published

April will see the release of a new, four-seater convertible Vauxhall, the Cascada, designed to compete with the Audi A5. Slightly larger than its German rival, the Cascada will carry four adults comfortably and buyers will benefit from Vauxhall's 100,000 mile lifetime warranty.

With prices starting at just under £24,000, the Cascada will be made available with a choice of three powerplants. The entry-level 1.4 litre petrol unit returns 138bhp and 44.8mpg, with CO2 emissions 148g/kg. A new 1.6 litre SIDI turbo Ecotec petrol unit is next up, producing 168bhp for 39.2mpg and 168g/kg in emissions, with a modern, six-speed, low friction automatic gearbox.

There is also one diesel option planned for launch, a 2.0 litre, 163bhp CDTi from the Insignia and Zafira models, giving 54.3mpg and emissions of 138g/kg, with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. There are apparently plans to offer a twin-turbo version of this engine further down the line, that will take it from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 143mph. Vauxhall's FlexRide system is in place to adjust the car's ride properties, according to driver preference and road conditions.

The Cascada's fabric roof can be opened within 17 seconds and at speeds of up to 30mph. With the roof down, the boot's original 350 litres storage capacity is reduced to a still useful 280 litres, while interior legroom is significantly more generous than market rivals. Even with that fold-down roof, safety and rigidity are exemplary in this car.

Trim levels are badged SE and Elite. The SE boasts 18-inch alloys, LED taillights and a sports chassis, while the plusher Elite comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel and front fog lights. The generous options list includes masses of convenience features, such as Adaptive Forward Lighting, Lane Departure Warning, a rear-view camera, Hill Start Assist and Side Blind Spot Alert.

While some might think Vauxhall are punching above their weight here by pitching for the A5 Cabriolet crowd, the rather handsome Cascada does fill a sparsely populated spot in the market, a space previously filled by Saab. The Cascada also benefits from accessible pricing compared to higher-end options and sleek, chic looks, that don't scream 'economy class,' inside or out.

With such a successful marriage of practical and luxury elements, it will be interesting to see if the Cascada can steal market share from its more expensive but correspondingly more prestigious rivals. It's certainly a very impressive effort.

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