Cadillac Reviews Discussion, 2000 Cadillac Catera in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; A Precursor to the CTS - the Catera is based on a (German) Opel/Vauxhall Omega MV6 using the engine, transmission ...
I like the Catera. At such a cheap price it offers high-class features such as an optional 8 speaker Bose audio system with 6-CD changer. True European handling and ride characteristics. A wonderful engine with a variable length intake, that shines above 4000rpm. Bosch ASR 5.3 all speed traction control and ABS. Powerful 4 wheel disc brakes. Side airbags, driver and passenger. Speed Sensitive Steering. Auto-Leveling rear suspension. A large trunk. Good sized leather interior using quallity materials. The Catera can be a loveable car, yet it has an attitude all its own. It handles the same as any other European sports touring car, very smooth power, smooth looks, great interior and is solid as a rock. Basically, it'll take on the Autobahn any day of the week.
Speaking of German automobiles... unfortunately it is somewhat on par with the recent quality/reliability issues coming out of Deutschland today:
- Oil cooler (utilizes engines coolant). Seal can break and coolant can get into the oil or oil into the coolant. Both not good. Often seen on older Cateras after it was redesigned.
- Camshaft/Waterpump Belt Tensioner failures. Can damage engine valves/pistons. (Recalled and Redesigned for 1999-01)
- Tire feathering - Front lower control arm bushings.
If you buy a 1999-2001 more than likely some of these wont happen, like on the tensioner failure but rarely still happens. Word of caution though: Do not buy a 97-98. Only problems ive had: heater coolant valve replacement, camshaft sensor , and o2 sensor.
Despite all of this, if you recall what was said before... the Catera makes itself out to be a great contender if you cant afford a used CTS or want a BMW or Mercedes but for half the price.
You should post this question in the actual Catera forum on this site. Lots of folks willing to help there. As well, check out the "sticky's" at the top of the Catera forum. They discuss purchasing a used Catera, what to look for, etc.
Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
Re: 2000 Cadillac Catera
I am the proud owner of a 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport. I bought my 2001 Catera Sport before finding this site. If I had I might not have bought it after reading some of the horror stories, though if I hadn't bought it I would have missed out on a great sport sedan. A budget BMW. No Cadillac before the Catera ever handled like this. No floating on a cloud feel to this car. The ride is closer to Corvette than Cadillac. I absolutely love this car. It's had a few issues that I've had to address like weeping cam covers and a leaking heater valve but I expected to repair things with a used car. I just didn't know the Catera had such potentially catastrophic weaknesses. So far the oil cooler is OK but my cam belt tensioner is due for replacement. I wish there was a way to convert the cam belt to a chain but regardless, I accept this and her other quirks as part of owning the best handling car I've ever owned.
Crisp handling is more important to me than top speed bragging rights. As big as this country is there are no autobahns on which to explore the upper reaches of the speedometer. Besides, Cadillac limited her to around 125 MPH anyway.But this baby turns like a go-kart. Opel tuned the handling for the Alpine mountain roads, Sometimes I turn off the Traction Control and use the throttle to induce some oversteer. After so many years in FWD cars I'd almost forgotten how much fun RWD could be. When the OEM suspension softens I'll add Eibach lowering springs, Koni sport struts & shocks, and suspension tower braces front and rear. I've already added dimpled & slotted brake discs with performance pads and installed bigger 2004 GTO front calipers. Nothing wrong with the Cat Sport's handling or brakes but I don't know many enthusiasts that can leave well enough alone.
Like I said I love the car, but would love her even more had Cadillac performed an engine swap. I generally like the 3.0L engine. I've owned motorcycles for almost thirty years (I currently ride a Kawasaki Concours) so I'm used to high reving engines, and boy does this engine like to spin. Sounds like a racecar. I do wish the engine didn't seem so delicate though. The 3.0's reliability, or lack of it, is the problem.The 3.2L from the CTS will fit but it's not a big improvement in power so why bother swapping. While I'm not really looking for CTS-V type power, a V8 would've been nice. Even The BMW turbo diesel 6 Opel used in Europe would have been nice. Power plus reliability. I could show Beemers my ass with either one under the hood.
You can keep your BMWs, Benzs, and Audis. I prefer Opel's styling, especially over the origami look that Cadillac has embraced. I seriously dislike the sharply creased and folded sheetmetal. All those straight edges turn me off. It makes them look tall and boxy (no disrespect meant to you CTS/STS/XLR owners). The Catera's softer, smoother sheetmetal is more pleasing to my eye. I've added a few personal touches to my Cat like another set of 17 inch alloy wheels to carry my snow tires. She has an black aftermarket mesh grille with a Cadillac crest & wreath to make her pop. I also have an Irmscher front spoiler and Steinmetz side skirts waiting for paint. Those body pieces are hard to come by as the Catera was never a big seller. There's little aftermarket support for her here so I had to order everything from Germany. I don't want to go over the top, just some subtle updates to freshen her up a little.
Please don't let my rose colored enthusiasm sway you. If you're looking for a dependable daily driver, the kind you can ignore maintenance schedules and subject to abuse, the Catera isn't for you. If you want a driver's car that, like a thoroughbred horse, requires attention .............. welcome aboard.