2020 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2019 Buick Cascada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

The C-Class Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cascada doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Cabriolet has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Cascada doesn't offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

The C-Class Cabriolet has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Cascada has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cascada doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cascada only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cascada doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the C-Class Cabriolet’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cascada doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cascada doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Cabriolet and the Cascada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

Engine

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 55 more horsepower (255 vs. 200) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 221) than the Cascada’s 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C-Class Cabriolet’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Cascada doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The C-Class Cabriolet has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cascada (17.4 vs. 14.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet higher (6 out of 10) than the Buick Cascada (5). This means the C-Class Cabriolet produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cascada every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cascada.

All wheel drive, available in the C-Class Cabriolet, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Buick Cascada is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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

C-Class Cabriolet

Cascada

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.5 inches

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cascada are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Cabriolet stops much shorter than the Cascada:

C-Class Cabriolet

Cascada

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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The AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s optional 245/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cascada’s 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the C-Class Cabriolet can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Cascada doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Cascada has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The C-Class Cabriolet has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the C-Class Cabriolet flat and controlled during cornering. The Cascada’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cascada doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Cascada (111.8 inches vs. 106.1 inches).

The C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.1% to 48.9%) than the Cascada’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.

The C 300 Cabriolet handles at .94 G’s, while the Cascada Premium pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the C 300 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Cascada’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the C-Class Cabriolet uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Cascada doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The C-Class Cabriolet has 1 inch more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and 5.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cascada.

Cargo Capacity

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With its convertible body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The Cascada’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the C-Class Cabriolet. The Cascada doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The C-Class Cabriolet uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Cascada uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the C-Class Cabriolet is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cascada. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the C-Class Cabriolet, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Cascada doesn’t offer a memory system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cascada doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cascada doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Buick does not offer a locking feature on the Cascada’s standard power windows.

Keyless-Go standard on the C-Class Cabriolet allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Buick Cascada doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Cascada’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the C-Class Cabriolet detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Cascada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the C-Class Cabriolet is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Cascada’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The C-Class Cabriolet has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cascada has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the C-Class Cabriolet keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Cascada doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the C-Class Cabriolet and the Cascada offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Cascada doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the C-Class Cabriolet’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Cascada doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Cascada doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes C-Class offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Cascada doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Cascada doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Buick Cascada isn’t available as a coupe or sedan.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Cascada isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Cascada isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Buick Cascada by almost 18 to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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