Buick Says Color Is Back, but Will You Buy a Cascada That’s Not Silver?

By the standards of niche market convertibles, the Buick Cascada is, or at least was, a certifiable hit.

Sales of the Cascada have tumbled by a fifth in 2017, year-over-year. More recently, Cascada sales fell by nearly 40 percent during the height of the summer. But since going on sale at the beginning of 2016, more than 11,000 Buick Cascadas have been sold in the United States. At times, the Buick has even outsold Mazda’s MX-5 Miata. And no, before you draw an entirely incorrect conclusion, hardly any Cascadas have gone into the daily rental mix. More than 99 percent of the Buick Cascadas sold in America were retail acquisitions.

But for its third model year, Buick feels it’s time to spice things up. The Cascada, historically available in very few shades, is getting new paint options for the 2018 model year. Why?

“Color is back,” Buick’s Catherine Black says. 

Or is it? Black is the lead designer of Buick’s Color and Trim Studio, and she points out that, “80 percent of the exterior colors purchased globally are neutrals — black, silver or grey.”

But Black also believes there is also an appetite for a real color palette. So for 2018, Buick is adding new top colors to the previous black-only family: a brown roof called Sweet Mocha and the wine-hued Malbec. As for paint options, there’s a new red called Rioja, another Dark Moon Blue, and a foresty green called Carrageen.

In 2017, the basic Cascada was marketed in just two colours: white and blue. One rung up, the Cascada Premium was available only in white, blue, silver, or brown. The top-trim Cascada Sport Touring was a red or blue affair, only. The new colors aren’t available across the board, but the top trim, for instance, is now available in five shades rather than two.It’s hardly earth-shattering news, but it’s not Buick-exclusive news, either. For example, color is making an appearance on the 2018 Acura MDX, one of many vehicles historically linked to the colorless. San Marino, a bright red hue, will be available on top-spec Advance models, a major turnaround for a vehicle that majored on greys and blacks.

At Buick, where the brand says 70 percent of Cascada buyers were previously non-GM customers (making the model more popular than droptop versions of the BMW 2 Series and Audi A3), new paint options aren’t enough to make the 1.6-liter turbo more powerful or the 4,000-pound curb weight less prodigious. But in an increasingly monochromatic car universe, we’ll be happy when any automaker says, “Color is back.” Even if it’s up to you, the customer, to actually choose the colorful options.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.


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