With Old Man Winter in full retreat it’s finally drop-top season once more.
But what’s the best car to get out there in and enjoy the sunny weather? Well, both GM and Audi offer promising options for convertible fanatics.
The Buick Cascada is a rebranded Opel that’s built in Poland of all places. This stylish two-plus-two is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s good for 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, though an overboost feature is available, which increases that figure to 221 for short periods of time. A Hydra-Matic six-speed is the only transmission available.
As for the Cascada’s headline feature, its folding fabric lid can be retracted in as little as 17 seconds at speeds as high as 31 miles an hour, making it a snap to drive with the wind in your hair and sun on your shoulders.
Shifting gears, Audi’s small convertible offering is the A3 Cabriolet. Several propulsion offerings are on the menu, but the top engine in this German drop-top is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s good for 220 horses and 258 lb-ft of twist. Just like the Opel … I mean, Buick, this car features a self-shifting six-speed transmission, though in typical Audi fashion, quattro all-wheel drive is standard with this powertrain.
Mirroring the Cascada, this Cabriolet’s electro-hydraulic top can be operated in as little as 18 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles an hour.
In many ways, these two cars are very evenly matched. The Audi has a performance edge but the Buick is more affordable. A Cascada can be yours for as little as $34,000. The A3 Cabriolet is a bit richer, kicking off north of 37 large.
So, which of these convertibles do YOU prefer? If you still can’t make up your mind, compare them directly right here, then PLEASE VOTE IN OUR POLL!
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