After my wife totalled my Chrysler 300, she bought a 2001 Catera from our mechanic. The sold it to us for $600 + $2,400 in repairs. It seemed OK at first. I suppose I shoudn't have let her buy such an old car. The water pump went, then the fuel pump, then the key lock. As stated by others, the sunroof has a mind of its own. I am spending, on average, about $600 / month to keep this thing on the road. It still needs from front end work. They don't make the part for the electronic anti-theft key anymore; mechanic had to order the part from MO. I have put my wife to task to do something about this thing. We have to get rid of it. Getting rid of it was one of the six happiest days of my life. They don't call it a Cadillac Caterrible for nothing. I dumped it.
This is by far the worst vehicle I have ever owned; and I've owned many. The engine blew at 77,000 miles and needed a total rebuild. Then the rear went, as did the radiator, and the battery. The radio goes on and off at will, the oil light does the same. The rear windows, if you make the mistake of lowering them, will come back up when they feel like it - sometimes it takes days. As of today, I have been riding around with a garbage bag covering my window and it's been down for 3 days! The rear lights, including the blinkers, also work when they want to. The electronics in this vehicle are a joke. What a piece of junk.
This has been a great car and a real bargain. Mine was purchased as a low mileage certified car and is still flawless after over 100k miles driven over some very rough Detroit freeways. I have every option including sunroof, factory chrome wheels, rear sunshade, and Bose system...and every thing works. The dealer has replaced small items like the headlights under warranty and has done a good job of normal maintenance without ever overcharging or suggesting unnecessary service [I've owned a BMW 6 Series that always needed expensive service]. The ride is firm enough without being harsh...good even over Detroit's rough roads, and the steering is still tight. MPG = 28 highway at 75 MPH+
It is a good car. People never change timing belts, check oil and antifreeze and then complain about engine failure. Some other problems, which were solved are very common for other cars: ignition coils die all the time on Fords and Nissans, valve cover gaskets need to be replaced on Toyotas. All reliability problems were solved by GM by 2000. 2000 and 2001 are reliable cars.
The Cadillac Catera is an export version of the Opel Omega MV6. All U.S. Cateras were built in Germany in Russelsheim near Frankfurt/Main. Opel, the German auto manufacturer is owned by GM. It's shame that Opels aren't sold here, in the U.S. since GM owns the company. Well, at least I have the chance to drive my OPEL OMEGA (Catera).