I bought this car two years ago with 66,700 miles on it. The Catera had plenty of power and was very fun to drive. Now at 90,000 miles, it has low compression and is definitely tired. I replaced the a/c compressor last summer, and the a/c is not working now again. I also have had to replace several front suspension parts. The biggest problem has been that the airbox (interior air) is located directly under the windshield and floods in rain when its drain plug clogs. The result: the passenger side interior floods with water! Overall though, the car has not broken down anywhere and has been pretty good. When it's right, it's very pleasurable to drive. It is so quiet, too!
I like this car's styling. I can't believe how well the body design still holds up even nine years later. Also, I like the cool gauge layout and rear seat heat (a/c).
I believe the flood problem was cleared up for the 1998 model. Any other issues were probably cleared up with the CTS!