Used 1999 Cadillac Catera

1999 Cadillac Catera
List price range
1999 Cadillac Catera


  • German engineering, ride and handling, comfy seats, great sound system.


  • Unproven reliability, poor reputation of badge-engineered Cadillacs.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The entry-level luxury sedan market accounts for nearly half of all luxury car sales in the US, growing rapidly from 25% just a few years ago. Characteristically, Chrysler, Lincoln and Cadillac have been lethargically slow to react to shifting luxury car buyer tastes, while Lexus, Infiniti, Audi and BMW have been actively wooing these customers with fun-to-drive, lavishly appointed sedans and outstanding customer service. While companies from across either pond brought the ES300, 328i, and A4 to market, the Big Three produced the Eldorado, Continental and New Yorker during the same time period.

Cadillac was the first domestic luxury automaker to attack the entry-level market head-on with the introduction of the 1997 Catera. After its first full year on the market, Catera rolled up sales of 25,411 units, making it the most successful launch of an entry/luxury model in U.S. history. (The previous best was set by Acura, which sold 24,700 copies of its TL model in 1996.)

Based on the European-market Opel Omega MV6, the Catera features a 200-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Built in Russelsheim, Germany, the Catera is touted by Cadillac as a blend of the best of German and American engineering. It features antilock brakes engineered for the German Autobahn, dual front airbags, traction control and an engine-disabling theft deterrent system.

With prices starting around $30,000, the Catera qualifies as a bona-fide bargain in this segment. Options are restricted to a power sunroof, power rear sunshade, heated front and rear seats, a Bose audio system, and chrome-plated aluminum wheels. Standard equipment includes power windows with express-down features for all four windows, remote keyless entry, heated windshield washer nozzles, and an automatic dual-zone climate control system. Two models are available; a standard model and one appointed with leather.

The Catera also benefits from a roomy interior (it is classified a mid-size car by the EPA) with an outstanding dash layout featuring large, analog gauges and easy-to-use controls. Wood trimming is kept to a tasteful minimum, helping the Catera exude a level of interior luxury uncommon for the class.

But what about performance? With 0-60 mph arriving in about eight and a half seconds, the Catera holds its own. But we suspect there will be sales lost to the BMW 328i, Infiniti I30, Nissan Maxima and Audi A4 due to the Caddy's lack of a manual transmission. Cadillac also opted to limit the Catera's top speed to 125 mph so it could fit all-season rubber to the standard aluminum wheels. The result is a smoother, softer ride on America's often harsh pavement, and better wet-weather grip, but at the expense of dry-weather handling.

Still, the Catera is a fine effort from Cadillac, priced competitively and offering all the luxury and most of the performance a buyer could want from this segment. All it really needs is more low-end punch and an optional five-speed stick to stir up enthusiast interest.

1999 Highlights

Catera's "black chrome'' grille will be darkened this year, while new electronics and emissions systems make the '99 Catera the first Cadillac to meet the federal Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards. There's also a redesigned fuel cap and tether with an instrument cluster light to indicate a loose fuel cap. Up to four remote entry key fobs can now be programmed for separate memory settings, all with enhanced automatic door lock/unlock functions. Cadillac is rumored to be working on a special Sport Edition planned for later in the model year.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Cadillac Catera.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Even in 2013 this car is fun!
This car is a beauty. For the price range, it was hands down a better deal than any other car researched. This car does not accelerate as fast as the newer models today but once you get above 50mph, it can hold its own with any car. Rides steady at the 70 mph mark and at 80 on the freeways with no problem. Great car for cross-country trips. Gas Mileage is good-decent. Nothing spectacular but better than most SUV's. If you get a good deal on this car, its definitely worth it!
Loved it....
The Cat has reoccurring problems like all cars do. Mass Air Flow, Brake Sensors, etc but the '99 corrected MANY of the problems in comparison to the 97 and 98's. I purchased mine at 21K and had it over 120K miles and never did anything more than routine maintenance. It does go through tires though!
Don't get it
Dont ever get this car. I put to much money into it. It's not reliable car at all. It overheats the oil leaks the ac doesn't work. I want to get this car out of my sight.
My Cadi-Tera
I loved it ever since I bought it. I bought it at 96,000 miles. It started having problems after 2 months. The coolant light had been on, then it went off, then it started to leak, then the oil started to leak. It over heats. My radio doesnt work, it comes on and off when it wants. My check engine light has been on. Something about one of the o2 sensors. Its really fast, I love when the V6 kicks in. Especially in Sport mode. It has good handling, love the air condition. I love the sound when the radio does come on,(I dnt have the one with the Bose stereo, nor the cd player.) I love the Catera, but it needs improvement. I shoulve done more research b4 I bought it. I hope to trade it soon.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
200 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1999 Cadillac Catera features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1999 Cadillac Catera
Used 1999 Cadillac Catera Overview

The Used 1999 Cadillac Catera is offered in the following submodels: Catera Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Cadillac Catera?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1999 Cadillac Cateras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 Cadillac Catera for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1999 Cadillac Catera.

Can't find a used 1999 Cadillac Cateras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac Catera for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,616.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,824.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac Catera for sale - 12 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $12,921.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,140.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Cadillac Catera?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Cadillac lease specials
Check out Cadillac Catera lease specials