1997 Cadillac Catera from North America


The absolute WORST car experience of my life


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."

1997 Cadillac Catera Sport 3.0 24v DOHC V6 from North America


Pretty cool car, minor repairs though


Oil cooler at 75k.

Auxiliary water pump at 73k.

Control arm bushings are worn out.

General Comments:

Not a bad car at all. It's german so it has some quirks, but nothing life threatening or severely expensive.

Car handles GREAT, and is OK powerwise for the year it is.

The BOSE 8 speaker stereo is awesome, it totally rocks.

There isn't much in the bad department with the car, as I know how to fix cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st August, 2009

1997 Cadillac Catera from North America


This car should not exist, given a few more years of breakdowns and none will remain on the road


Pulley fell apart at 140000kms. The engine was crap.

Extended warranty was available, but GM didn't want to fix it... Thanks guys! Met them in court.

Leaky seals around the windshield.

Interior lights work when they want to, but don't most of the time.

Driver's seat had to be replaced.

Headlights burn out all the time.

Brake lights stopped working.

Actually all of the electrical system sucks, things work when they feel inclined to do so.

Rims leak air, no matter how many times they get reseated.

Body is bad for rusting out.

General Comments:

The car feels fairly sporty for a four door sedan.

It's also fairly comfy for a "big three" manufactured car. But it's no BMW or Benz.

The styling of the car is nice for who manufactured it.

This car could have been a lot more than the sum of it parts. It is unfortunate that the sum of the parts amounts to crap. I'm sure it would have been a nice car if you didn't want to push it off the cliff because of all the problems.

The best thing that can happen to this car is to have it totaled off by a semi.

I would tell anyone considering buying a used one to stay away for the reasons above.

If you are still thinking of buying one, then maybe this will steer you clear. Try finding aftermarket parts for it. Need a brakelight switch? Good luck! Go to the stealership and get one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2008