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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, January 16, 2016
THE Cascada is one of the most
important new models from Holden
being aimed at seeing the company
through the difficult period of shutting
down Australian manufacture, then into the
future of import-only cars.
Holden has painted itself into a corner
created by many people thinking that all
cars with Holden badges have been made
in this country. So the news that Holden is
closing its factories has these folks thinking
no Holdens will ever be sold again. Sales
have slowed and the marketing guys are
desperately trying to get them up and running
As a matter of interest, cars with Holden
badges on them have been imported from
Germany, Poland, Japan, South Korea,
Thailand, Mexico and other countries.
Which brings us back to the Holden
Cascada one of the European models, built
by Opel in Poland. One was with us over the
Christmas and New Year break and has been
just the right car for long summer evenings
when the soft-top was open almost all the
Cleverly Opel opted for a soft-top rather
than a folding hardtop for the Cascada /
Astra. While hardtops may be more practical
they invariably look like a coupe when the
roof is closed. A soft-top tells everyone you re
in a convertible even when you ve been forced
to shut out the weather.
We initially felt the body behind the
windscreen was rather too long; stretched
out, even. But after spending time with the
shape it grew on us, possibly because the
upward sweeping lines in the sides help to
shorten it visually. Anyhow, beauty is in the
eye of beholders and Holden dealers tell us
there has been no shortage of them checking
The convertible s interior is classy, with
sweeping lines enhanced by the exposed
stitching. The dials are well placed and pass
their messages at a glance.
Naturally, Cascada has the Holden MyLink
infotainment system. In this instance it has a
7.0-inch colour screen display with satellite
navigation and Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn
Radio apps. It s not particularly easy to use
but with experience you will learn to find your
way around without too much frustration.
The 1.6 turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine
has 125 kW power and 260 Nm torque and
drives thorough a six-speed automatic
transmission. There s no manual option as in
other vehicles in the Astra range.
In addition to mandatory safety items such
as airbags (dual front and side), ABS brakes
and electronic stability control, the Cascada
also comes with two IsoFix child-seat
anchorages; a reversing camera; automatic
lights and wipers; and front and rear parking
Holden Cascada is said to be designed for
four adults rather than the usual two-plus-
two convertible layout. Legroom is somewhat
restricted in the rear so compromises
between those in the front and back will
often be necessary. However, Cascada is
significantly better than most in this class
due to its long body.
Boot space is reasonable because soft-tops
need less space to stow the roof than do
folding hardtops. But when Cascada s top is
where it should be -- down -- the boot loses a
lot of vertical height in its rearmost section.
Check for yourself as the shape of the boot is
To counter the problems the rear seatbacks
have a 50/50 split to let you choose your
passenger / luggage compromise.
The extra mass of the convertible body
(which needs extra metal under the floor to
make up for the strength lost by removing
the roof) takes the edge of its performance.
Unlike the Astra hatch that has 147 kW power
and 280 Nm torque if you opt for the six-
speed manual, Holden Cascada is automatic
only. If you re looking for a high-performance
open-top car then Cascada isn t it, but as a
cruiser it s excellent.
The engine s peak torque runs all the way
from 1650 to 4500 revs so most drivers will
be running with maximum torque virtually all
day, every day.
Fuel consumption was reasonable, about
six to seven litres per hundred kilometres on
motorways and country roads, rising to eight
to ten litres around town.
On smooth roads the Cascada is
exceptionally quiet and comfortable. Rough
roads do generate some scuttle shake, which
is probably inevitable considering the large
This is probably the most comfortable
open-top car we have ever experienced. Wind
buffeting and noise is minimal, even when
the windows are down and we did a trip of
a couple of hours under the stars that will
remain in our minds for a long time. Sadly, in
most open-top cars we find ourselves putting
the roof back up again after half an hour or so
due to windrush.
Cascada comes with an amazingly
complicated folding windbreak that clips over
the rear seat, but after we removed it to carry
passengers for the first time we left it double-
folded and stowed in the boot - and certainly
never missed it...
Handling is on the soft side and unlikely
to appeal to those who enjoy early Sunday
mornings on their favourite mountain roads.
Holden s new Cascada is an excellent
convertible that s designed for cruising not
bruising. With a starting price of just 41,990
plus on-roads we can see it carving out a nice
niche for itself amongst longtime Holden
lovers, as well as pulling others into the
showroom as well.
The German Opel marque has been
controlled by General Motors for almost 90
years. Holden and Opel have been closely co-
operating for decades, with the first Holden
Commodore being virtually an Opel Rekord
with Holden engines and tough Aussie-style
For all your Holden enquiries contact
Mildura Holden LMCT 11142 at 689-691
Fifteenth St, Mildura, phone 5024 4500 or
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