Road test: Vauxhall Cascada

Road test: Vauxhall Cascada
Road test: Vauxhall Cascada

Vauxhall have been missing a drop-top in their range ever since the pretty, but unimaginative Astra TwinTop disappeared from showrooms in 2011. Now they're back with the Cascada, and AOL Cars has been driving it.

What is it?

The new Vauxhall Astra Convertib... sorry, Cascada – a rather slinky-looking four-seat drop-top. Vauxhall has high hopes for the Cascada, so much so that they're aiming well beyond typical rivals like the Volkswagen's Eos and Golf Cabriolet. That's right, the Cascada has Audi's A5 in its sights, with Vauxhall proudly stating (though we're not sure why...) that it's actually 71mm longer than its premium rival.

What's under the bonnet?

The usual range of Vauxhall's engines – two turbocharged petrols, a 1.4 and 1.6, and the trusty 2.0-litre turbo diesel you'll find in perhaps every Insignia ever sold.

We were handed the keys to the entry-level 138bhp 1.4 and, while we liked it in the firm's Mokka mini-SUV, in the larger Cascada it feels a bit out of its depth. Around town there's little to complain about, but plant your foot at motorway speeds and you'll realise just how much the Cascada weighs.

With that said, it's torquey enough not to feel totally out of its depth, and for the average relaxed driver it'll be absolutely fine – we'd just be tempted by the larger 1.6 instead.