1997 Cadillac Catera Reviews from North America

1997 Cadillac Catera 3.0 V6

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.3 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance76000 miles
Previous carAMC Ambassador

Summary:

If you are buying one, READ THE REVIEWS FIRST!

Faults:

Oil cooler.

Head gaskets.

Radiator.

Auxiliary water pump.

Headlights broke.

Rear LED lights don't work.

AC doesn't work.

Gauges work when they want to.

General Comments:

Worst car I have ever owned. I should have listened when people said that these cars are a JOKE.

I have the car for sale, and can't even get $400 out of it. It is quite possibly one of the worse car ever made in history.

I CAN give it credit for being comfortable... oh and it IS RWD and does handle well. That's about it.

The cost to keep one running simply isn't worth it.

This is will be the last GM I will ever own. I will strictly own Volvos from now on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th August, 2011

9th Aug 2011, 14:49

Still selling it? Might be a good car to part out.

14th Aug 2011, 02:27

Part out? To who? No one drives a Catera anymore.

5th Nov 2013, 19:09

I currently own three Cateras, and it's people like me whom these cars matter to.

1997 Cadillac Catera 3.0 V6

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired54562 miles
Most recent distance86511 miles

Summary:

Never again

Faults:

What's gone wrong? What HASN'T gone wrong!

Let's see here.

"Coolant Bridge" seals went bad at 58,000 miles; replacement piece and seals were nearly $300.

Oil cooler assembly at 63,000 miles.

AC compressor.

Misfiring, found the spark plug holes FULL of water.

Wiper cowl leaks like no other onto the engine.

Valve cover gaskets had to be replaced due to SEVERE leakage.

Oil pressure gauge stopped working, needed sending unit.

CD changer stopped working.

Control arm bushings at 60k and AGAIN at 80k. Are you kidding me?

Gauge cluster "freaks" out every now and then.

ABS system is very flaky. Sometimes the light will be on, sometimes it's not.

BOTH auxiliary water pumps have been replaced. One's starting to make noise again.

Mass air flow sensor went bad. Yet another costly fix.

Ignition coil damaged from wiper cowl leakage.

Winter and sport buttons work when they want to.

Head gasket (s) blew at 86,511, and that's where it sits. I gave up. Too much money into the car already. I'm afraid if I fix it, it will just break again.

Needed second key made, found out that the key is $150 at the dealership.

Reliability wise, worst car I have ever owned. GM should have NEVER sold this car in the US.

General Comments:

Even though it was unreliable, it drove nice and handled very well.

Oh, and it never rusted.

I think the only thing that was nice about the car was the interior and exterior appearance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2011

1997 Cadillac Catera 2.6

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired42000 miles
Most recent distance74600 miles

Summary:

Extremely costly to operates and maintain

Faults:

Vehicle requires constant maintenance and repairs.

I have had to repair the motor @ 2800.00.

Recent transmission repairs cost 3600.00

Motor seals replacement

Under manufacturer warranty, had to replace timing chain and belt, radiator, spark plugs and head gaskets, as well as numerous other parts

I have now got to replace the front brakes, heater core, and the air conditioner does not work properly..

Beautiful car, but beware of costly repairs.

The reason why there are few on the road is because they are expensive to operate..

And yes, I still have my Catera, for now!!

General Comments:

Car handles exceptionally well.

Drives like a European sports car.

Handles and negotiates tight turns easily.

Has a comfortable and smooth ride.

Heavy car with a variety of luxury equipment and appointments.

My 97 Catera has a rag top.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2010

1997 Cadillac Catera

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired44000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

The absolute WORST car experience of my life

Faults:

This car was purchased with 44k miles. Although it was 11 years old when I purchased it, the low mileage was very attractive. It also was in mint condition as far as the interior and the exterior of the vehicle went. It looked brand new in and out. I should have known it was too good to be true!

This car was an electrical nightmare. In the year and a half I owned the vehicle, I spent more approximately $4 in repairs.

The heat from the engine came in through the vents, and was excruciating in the Florida summer months.

The interior lights never worked.

The sun roof opened on its own, and I was unable to close it, but had to wait for this ghost ridden car to close on its own.

The Bose CD changer worked when it felt like it as well.

The air condition control unit went out... I never fixed it. ($3K to fix)

The transmission was slipping.

The radiator was fixed but was costly.

Due to the many electrical issues with the car, my 2 yr old was locked in the car. I would get out of the car to walk around it to get her out, and the car would automatically lock itself. Luckily I learned to always take my key with me, and she was never in any real danger.

General Comments:

The one thing I did like about the car was the styling and the comfort. I was riding in a stylish car that was a nightmare. Hated making payments to the bank, because I knew I would need the money sooner rather than later for repairs.

I even took it to a Cadillac dealer, and they didn't even want to work on their own product... SAD!

I absolutely HATED this car! Not reliable, and was a true sore spot with me in all areas. I was happy to call the bank to come pick up this hunk of junk. I have a repo on my credit, but to me the issues of the repo are way less serious than wondering if it would start up to get me to work in the morning.

I will NEVER own another Caddy... Never ever ever own another Caddy... period, end of story.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2009

29th Nov 2009, 22:40

I hate to see someone steer clear of Caddys for good based on that one poorly-designed model. The Catera is not even a "real" Cadillac design, it's based on a European Opel model and they did not sell too many Catera's. They were targeting a niche market that basically didn't exist at that time or just wasn't interested. From what I understand the whole endeavor was a disaster for Cadillac, financially.. we call it the modern-day Cimarron LOL. I own an older Deville and my buddy has a 2007 DTS, and we are both happy with our cars. Mine has more than exceeded my expectations reliability-wise, and I hear no complaints from my DTS-owning friend either. Do a little more research before you buy.

4th Dec 2009, 16:44

Cadillacs are maintenance nightmares- please, don't anyone believe it's just "one bad model."

Average review marks: 5.1 / 10, based on 16 reviews