Retro Cars Wiki

Cadillac's new entry-level model was based largely on the Opel Omega, a General Motors car built and sold in Europe. The Catera was offered in one well-equipped version, with limited options. It competed in the heavily contested entry-luxury sedan segment against such models as the BMW 3-Series, Lexus ES 300 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Catera first launched as a 1997 model in the fall of 1996, although it was rumored to appear in Cadillac showrooms sooner than scheduled.

Year-to-year changes[]


True to its German roots, the Catera had rear-wheel drive, a fully independent front strut/rear multilink suspension and a stiff body structure. The car was designed for comfortable, secure, high-speed touring as well as around-town driving. It used a specially tuned version of the Omega's compact 200-hp V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

As an entry-luxury sport sedan, the Catera came off the assembly line with many engineering, comfort and convenience features as standard equipment. Included among the mechanical items were 4-wheel disc antilock brakes, traction control, automatic height and load-leveling control and power-assisted speed-sensitive steering. The comfort features included automatic climate control, power windows with express up/down, power seat adjustment, central door locking and cassette stereo system.

The few available options included a premium Bose stereo system, a power sunroof and heated front seats. Sometime after the car's introduction, side airbags for the front-seat occupants also became available.


This was the last model year for the Catera. Production ended in late 2001.

List prices[]

Model year(s) List price Destination charge Effective date
1997 $29,995 $640 September 2, 1996


  • 1996: 1,676 (all 1997 models)
  • 1997: 25,411
  • 1998: 25,333
  • 1999: 15,068
  • 2000: 17,290
  • 2001: 9,764