2019 Buick Cascada vs. 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Cascada has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Cascada has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Cascada and the A3 Cabriolet have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and front parking sensors.

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Cascada 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Cabriolet. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Cabriolet ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cascada for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Cabriolet.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cascada’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Cascada’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (200 vs. 184) than the A3 Cabriolet 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Cascada has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Cabriolet 40 TSFI’s standard fuel tank (14.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Cascada’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Cabriolet:

 

Cascada

A3 Cabriolet

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Cascada has larger tires than the A3 Cabriolet (245/40R20 vs. 225/45R17). The Cascada’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A3 Cabriolet (245/40R20 vs. 235/35R19).

The Cascada’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A3 Cabriolet’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cascada has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A3 Cabriolet. The A3 Cabriolet’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cascada’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the A3 Cabriolet (106.1 inches vs. 102.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Cascada is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the A3 Cabriolet.

Passenger Space

The Cascada has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Cabriolet (82 vs. 79).

The Cascada has .4 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

The Cascada has a much larger trunk with its top down than the A3 Cabriolet with its top down (9.8 vs. 7.1 cubic feet). The Cascada has a much larger trunk with its top up than the A3 Cabriolet with its top up (13.4 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Cascada’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

The Cascada has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Cascada has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Cascada has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cascada has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Cascada also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

On extremely cold winter days, the Cascada’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Cascada owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Cascada will cost $115 less than the A3 Cabriolet over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cascada is less expensive to operate than the A3 Cabriolet because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Cascada than the A3 Cabriolet, including $208 less for a starter, $39 less for fuel injection, $13 less for a fuel pump and $156 less for front struts.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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