I’m a fan of convertible cars. My first Article for this publication spoke precisely about this. I believe that Malta provides us with the perfect weather to truly enjoy a convertible all year round. For those of you who think that our summer is too hot for drop top motoring, try taking a top-down drive at night to Cirkewwa and you’ll know what I’m referring to.
Luckily, the joys of a convertible are not restricted to two-seater sports cars, and the car I drove this week provides families with the opportunity to enjoy top-down motoring together.
The Opel Cascada is a spacious four seater convertible with space for four people and their luggage. There are two lines, the Cabrio and the higher specced Cosmo. The Cabrio starts at 33,800 Euro for a 140BHP Petrol Manual while the Cosmo starts at 37,300 for a 170BHP petrol manual. The diesel Cosmo starts at 38,000 Euro and the car I drove which is automatic and had two options specced (Alloy wheels and Leather seats) is priced at 46,550 Euro. The Standard spec on the Cosmo is quite impressive and includes premium speakers, USB and Aux-in, Bluetooth, electric mirrors, dual zone climate control air-conditioning, and 18 inch alloy wheels. The car I drove was further specced with 19 inch alloy wheels and Leather Trim Napa Brandy. The latter costs 3,900 Euro alone which sounds like a lot of money for a leather interior but this interior is way up there with the Evoques of this world. The fully electrically adjustable seats are firm, comfortable and supportive and the air-con actually blows cool air into your backside, which is a super-feature in our climate. The nappa leather has a gorgeous feel to it, and the colour is spot on. If you see this interior you’re going to spend 3,900 Euro on top of the buying price – there are no two ways about it.
The diesel which I drove never feels sluggish and the auto ‘box is quite refined. This car seems to be designed for relaxed driving/cruising and it is set up to offer a refined comfortable drive, which it achieves nicely. I think that it doesn’t even make sense to set this car up for b-road chases or on the edge handling. I see this as a fun family car with the added refinement of up-market specs and not as a wannabe sports car. Having said this, I had no problems overtaking other cars and the all important mid-range torque is present across the rev-range.
The boot is very spacious and the rear seats actually fold down. The colour display is intuitive and visible even with the roof down and the ease with which Bluetooth synced with my iphone is something more ‘premium’ brands really ought to learn from. The roof retracts in seventeen seconds and can be retracted at speeds of up to 30mph.
Overall this car offers a nice package to those who want a fun alternative as a daily runaround, which combines practicality with sportive looks and top-down enjoyment.