1997 Cadillac Catera Consumer Review: Reliable, but can have costly

1997 Cadillac Catera - Consumer Review

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
Reliable, but can have costly repairs
By map64 on


1997 Cadillac Catera 4dr Sedan


Bought in '02 with 36K miles for $7K ($32K new in '97. 136K miles/9+ years later, can't complain. Spent $800 on leaking oil cooler, timing belt/tensioner warranty replacement, $300 on timing belt replacement at 106K miles, $70 twice to replace heater control valve and $100 on oxygen sensor. Got climate control module for $25 to replace defect. Serviced spark plugs, trans fluid and brake pads. The timing belt is due to be changed in the next 10K or so. The only annoying thing to me is the electrical gremlins like the TC/ABS lights and the radio shutting off if the volume is too loud. If you do the work yourself, this can be a fun car to own because it has never left me on the side of the road

Best Features

Comfortable seats, good gas mileage (422 highway miles before low fuel light comes on), beautiful instrument panel features and layout (especially at night), a/c performance , huge truck, good road handling and solid at triple digit speeds.

Worst Features

Fix the electrical gremlins, heater control valve (leaks every 50K-60K miles), climate control defective on certain VIN #s, lacking about 50 hp/50 ft lbs of torque, lower overall vehicle weight, longer seat travel for taller driver's and 17 inch wheels.
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