21st Sep 2002, 11:36
My comments go the other way around: Being a happy owner of a Omega in Europe, I considered buying the car when moving here. But I wonder if Cadillac destroyed a good car by doing all the wrong changes from an interior perspective? My Omega was a far better value than a BMW or Mercedes for the size and comfort. More reliable and cheaper to maintain too. I agree on the statement on regular maintenance: I think many Americans do not properly maintain a modern sophisticated car.
29th Nov 2002, 10:29
I'm amazed at the poor reputation that these cars have developed based on owner's comments, but I think I know why. Apparently 60% of the Catera's buyers were formerly Cadillac owners; 40% are new to the brand. I can't imagine someone who is accustomed to a Sedan DeVille liking my Catera Sport one bit. The combination of damping, spring rates, and low profile tires provide a very firm ride. The sport seats are supportive and (gasp) manually adjustable unlike the puffy units in the DeVille. The car's dimensions are much smaller than other Cadillacs, and it has a sophisticated V6 rather than a (albeit outstanding) V8. The interior is very tasteful, yet obviously not at all like other Cadillacs or American cars for that matter. I was also aware that it was built overseas in Germany; I hear that's where Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes come from. Is this a bad thing?
The overall quality of my vehicle with 40k miles under the chassis is absolutely excellent. Highpoints include dealer network and service options, climate control effectiveness, audio system, ride quality, long distance capability, outstanding headlights, sound insulation, and trunk room. I admit to wishing mine had a 5 spd manual option with more power and torque along with slightly more appealing body work, but then I'd have to pay more for a BMW.
As for maintenance, I'm not aware of anything that is particularly onerous. The four year warranty covers absolutely everything; I've even had routine items like air filters replaced ahead of schedule without question. By the way, Americans that I know take excellent care of their cars.
No, it's not a Cadillac. No, It's not a BMW. It is a car that offers a decent blend of elements from each at a fraction of the cost. I purchased mine in near mint used condition with 30k miles on the clock. These little gems are completely overlooked at the moment and represent a true bargain. A bargain that is, if you're not interested in owning a "Cadillac".
23rd Dec 2002, 02:25
I have read with interest a great deal of Catera comments. It appears that the 97 was a dog. Maybe it was...
I am looking for a 98 or 99 to purchase, and have test driven a 98 with 27,000 miles on it, and it was stunning. Apparently the dying battery issue has been resolved, the light in the glove box stayed on all the time. Oops.
Hard on tires? Well, it DOES weigh almost 4,000 Lbs.
Anybody out there who is sick of their Catera/Opel/Whatever can feel free to send it to me. I'll pay the postage.
8th Aug 2003, 08:39
We, too, mostly loved our (1997) Catera when it only had 40,000 miles on it. Now, however, at 80,000 miles and with excellent maintenance kept on it (how could we not? it was always in the shop for something else!) we greatly desire to take this car to the dealer we bought it from and set it on fire!!! Don't buy a Catera of any sort; all years are bad. P.S. German-made with problems IS bad ---- parts are expensive and difficult to get. When Cadillac replaced (rebuilt) our defective engine at 68,000 miles (and then replaced the head gasket, oil cooler, etc. at 80,000 miles), the first of these two repairs' cost ($10,000+) exceeded the value of the car, but they still insisted on a repair rather than other options. I guess they (the Cadillac dealer) really didn't want the Catera in their hands either!
12th Feb 2004, 13:48
I lived in the UK in the early 1990s and had a company car, Vauxhall Carlton. It was strange to see GM bring this over almost 10 years after the Opel/Vauxhall run in Europe and UK. Kinda of sad that GM would try this old style Eurocar on their loyal Cadillac buyers. Ford does the same to a degree with Taurus.
My Carlton ran fine in the UK. But, driving is so different. Europe and UK have lower gearing, higher speed roads, safer and better trained drivers so performance is important. US has speed limits, poor quality road surfaces from snow, ice, salt, corrupt contractors, etc. So I can drive a Carlton at 100 mph in UK, but the Catera is limited by US conditions to 80 mph for safety.
3rd Mar 2004, 23:30
As a Cadillac technician I would not recommend a Catera to my worst of enemies. A front brake job is at least $400.00. They wear tires to the cords even with the updated specifications. Pay close attention to your water pump and timing belt pulleys. (there is a recall). If you hear any grinding noise go immediately to a Cadillac dealership. If the timing belt breaks while the car is running, poor you. Valves will be bent on both heads. IT is a nice handling car though. Problem is it is German and set up for German type driving which cannot be done around most of the U.S. Most issues have been worked out on the C.T.S. even though I would not recommend it either. Went to class on the new XLR that's the caddy you want!
21st Feb 2006, 12:18
Come on people, wake up. I cannot believe all of the rubbish. First, I hear people complaining about the price of upkeep on Cateras. This is not a Chevy. If you could not even afford a Chevy Chevette, then why buy a Catera (or any Cadillac for that matter)? I have owned Landrovers, BMWs, Audis, etc. Trust me when I say that the Catera is cheaper to maintain than these makes. Secondly, anyone who pays $400. for a brake job on a Catera is getting ripped off. I did my brakes on mine and it was so simple, I could not even believe it! Keep in mind that I am far from being mechanically inclined and I hate working on cars (why is it that when one quits smoking, they start up again after trying to work on American cars?). Thirdly, someone mentioned that they had to put new wires and or boots on the plugs. The Catera has no spark wires or boots! So if you pay for wires and boots, you just got ripped off again (the Catera is not only sexy, it is wireless!). In my opinion, dealers are crooks. They overcharge honest folks so much that it should be illegal. Most of the dealer mechanics around here (Central Michigan area) don't know bananas about European cars. I had to vent. Have a nice day.
30th Apr 2006, 21:42
Just a quick note on our 98 CATERA. WE LOVE IT!!
Besides getting serviced, oil changes and the such. We have no problems with the mack daddy caddy 90,000 and still going strong. If you are looking to buy one test drive it on a freeway. Like one of the other posts said it was designed for European roads. Ours seems most happy over 75mph+.