Over the weekend, when I went to the gas station for a fill up, I noticed an absolutely gorgeous car in the stall over from mine. The nameplate read “Cascada” and it had a Buick emblem on it.

Make no mistake, it is quite a rare occasion for me to go off the deep end over a car. But this one, an exquisitely styled, flashy convertible with big wheels on equally nice looking rims, made for that rare moment when it was more than just a fleeting admiration. I could just picture myself in it, driving down the highway with the top down.

The lease on my current car is coming due soon. So, I stopped at the Buick dealership on my way home from work today to take a look at the Cascada. And I have to say that this is what put an end to my fascination with it because the unworkability and poor quality of the interior combined with the price tag of around $37k is quite the showstopper.

To start with, the interior is mostly plastic, and looks it, right down to the seats. Whether the seats are actually upholstered with plastic I do not know, but they look and feel like it. I felt like I was sitting on a board when I sat down in the driver seat. The color of the interior, including the seats, is a rather interesting attempt at black. But it is more like a brownish off-black that reminds me of the contents of the undesirable sort of doggie bag.

The dashboard is loaded with buttons. To some, it might be the perfect thing to have so many options available at the push of a button. But I found many of them to be redundant, and the overall number of them to be overwhelming, especially when the dashboard is tilted so far back and toward the front of the car on an incline as to make them an effort to reach. It would definitely be a distraction to find just the right button and aim in the right place with my finger, hoping to reach it, while driving. I am sure I would get used to this predicament if I HAD to drive this car every day – but I wouldn’t want to be put in that position.

The Cascada comes standard with an automatic top. You just push a button and the top goes up or down. It’s a really nice idea. But the contraption that makes this all possible takes up so much room in the trunk, a Cascada owner can forget trying to store groceries there.  Perhaps one or two plastic grocery bags can fit in there, but I wouldn’t try buying an item as large as a twelve-pack of soda unless I plan on putting it in the back seat. The salesman showed me that the back seats fold down to increase the cargo space, and that there’s more room in the trunk with the top up. And it’s true. But I asked myself if I was interested in dealing with the seats and the top contraption in the trunk in order to just have a place for a reasonable amount of groceries – and I decided it wasn’t for me.

It really is too bad. The car really is beautiful on the outside. But the interior has so many opportunities for improvement as to make it an absolutely terrible value. I simply wouldn’t spend that kind of money for it as is – and this point, I do not see a Cascada in my future any time soon.

Advertisements