Pulling away from a standstill, the new 1.6-litre turbocharged unit doesn’t initially impress with its acceleration, which isn’t surprising given the weight that it is being asked to pull.
Contributing to that are the cross-underbody strengthening elements and high-strength, reinforced A-pillars that give the Cascada commendable levels of torsional stiffness.
Once you’re on the move, however, the engine is flexible, free-revving and enjoyable to use. It’s extremely smooth, which makes it very well suited to a car where luxury and comfort are higher on the list of priorities than out-and-out performance.
The new powerplant doesn’t emit a particularly exciting note, although that’s only a disadvantage if you expect your top-down motoring to be accompanied by a stirring aural symphony.
The Cascada, which is fitted with Vauxhall’s sophisticated HiPerStrut front suspension, is fairly well composed on most types of road. It is devoid of wallowing during cornering, although the weight can be evident under heavy braking.
Don’t expect a purposeful sporting drive – even with the extra power provided by the 1.6-litre turbo, the focus is still firmly on providing a relaxed gait. The ride on our car’s optional 19in wheels could be occasionally jarring at slow speeds but was otherwise very comfortable.
The Cascada doesn’t feel compromised in the way that some drop-top cars do, with no sign of chassis vibration, enhancing its cruising credentials.
The dual-layered fabric roof can be automatically lowered in 17.0sec, raised again in 19.0sec, both at speeds of up to 30mph. The roof’s mechanism is quiet during its operation and the whole lot is stowed flush with the bodywork behind the rear seats.
When the roof is stowed, buffeting and wind noise are mild but not intrusive at speeds up to 60mph, even without the supplied wind deflector in place.
With the roof up, the Cascada's cabin is adequately insulated from both the elements and noise. Second row headroom’s a little limited when the hood is in place, but both leg and headroom are good enough for large teenagers and smallish adults.
On the whole, the cabin pulls off the stylish feel you’d expect from a car designed for swanning about with the roof down.
It has comfortable leather seats that offer plenty of adjustment and stitched leather on the steering wheel and dashboard. However, the centre console, which is plucked straight from the Astra, looks a little incongruous.
It is comparatively spacious, just about accommodating four adults without demanding uncomfortable contortions from those trying to access the rear seats, and offering up to 380 litres of luggage space into the bargain.
Exploiting the boot space can be a challenge due to the awkward shape of the opening, which is quite narrow due to the space taken up by the folding roof and associated mechanism.
The roof also impinges on rearward visibility, because when it is in place the rear ‘window’ is uselessly narrow, which can be awkward in a car of 4696mm in length.