Image credits: © Cadillac. GM Corp.

2001 Cadillac Catera

Catera Continues to Play in Competitive Entry-Luxury Market

Catera and Catera Sport continue to attract conquest car buyers to Cadillac in the hotly contested entry luxury market.

Top Conquest Car for CadillacSince its introduction four years ago, the German-bred Catera has remained one of the top conquest vehicles within General Motors. In fact, Catera has consistently achieved conquest rates of approximately 40 percent since its appearance in 1996, and wears the crown as top conquest for the Cadillac division.

Catera received noteworthy reviews for 2000 wîth its freshened interior and exterior appearance and new and improved Sport package, which earned the vehicle an overall satisfaction rate of 3.43, out of a possible four (source: ICE, Q1, 2000MY). Catera ranked higher than its domestic competitor, the Lincoln LS-6.

For 2001, Catera offers new services from OnStar, which is standard on all Cadillac models and includes one-year of free premium service. Mounted near the rearview mirror assembly, the integrated three-button communications system offers a 24-hour-a-day, 365 days-a-year comprehensive safety, security and convenience service at the touch of a button.

OnStar adds personal calling and Virtual Advisor to its core service, giving consumers access to personalized Internet data such as news headlines, sports scores, stock quotes and e-mail in a hands-free fashion. In keeping wîth Cadillac's philosophy of 'eyes on the road, hands on the wheel,' drivers simply use voice commands to download their desired information.

'Motorists spend about 500 million hours a week in their vehicles,' said Jay Spenchian, Catera brand manager. 'These new features and services can help make those hours more productive and entertaining. With wireless and satellite technology that allows the convergence of functionality in the vehicle, Cadillac and OnStar are extending their technology leadership and GM's core business.'

Catera Sport Makes Modifications

Catera also made some mid-cycle enhancements in 2000 to its Sport package in response to customer and dealer feedback. The ten-way manual adjustable driver and passenger seats on Catera Sport have been replaced wîth the standard Catera eight-way power seat. Three-position memory was also added to the driver seat.

'Our mid-cycle driver seat change is an example of listening and understanding our dealers and Catera owners – simply put, they wanted power seats,' said Spenchian.

Renowned for its handling, performance and suspension, the '01 Catera gets vented rear disc brakes, resulting in better braking performance.

The Sport package for '01 remains the same, offering 17-inch aluminum wheels, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, matte-silver chrome grille and brushed-silver aluminum interior trim, ZJ1 suspension, heated seats, rear deck spoiler, theft deterrent system and universal garage door opener.

Catera for 2001 continues its decidedly European style, wîth crisp exterior lines and curves that are more tailored to flatter the body.

The Catera receives a new headlamp and Solar Reflect - a protection that reduces the interior temperature at the IP level on a hot day by 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius.)

Catera also gets vented rear brake discs, which makes the rear brakes last longer and hold up under stressful braking conditions.

Cadillac offers a pallete of eight exterior colors: Ebony, Ivory, Sage, Sand, Cranberry, Platinum, Sapphire and Rainforest.

The Sport is again available in three colors – Ebony, Ivory and Platinum.

Stone leather replaces Charcoal leather for the Sport interior.

Catera interiors are available in Neutral, Charcoal and Stone.

Bose® Entertainment System

This premium system features eight acoustically located speakers wîth two sub-woofers in the rear package shelf for rich, full-sounding music reproduction. The system provides a National Weather Service channel for immediate weather updates. In addition, radio data system (RDS) technology permits scanning for a particular style of music, listening to traffic and stock reports as well as receiving information such as radio station call letters and format, song titles and artists' names.

Catera is equipped wîth a standard AM stereo/FM stereo cassette audio system and eight speakers.


Standard convenience lighting features include illuminated entry, time-delay interior lighting, illuminated vanity mirrors and glove box, adjustable map lights and rear reading lights.


Every 2001 Catera is powered by a 3.0-liter, dual-overhead camshaft V6 engine. The engine produces 200 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 192 lb.-ft. of torque at 3400 rpm to the rear-wheel-propelled drivetrain.

The iron-block, aluminum-head engine is equipped wîth an efficient and reliable high-energy ignition system. A multi-ram induction system delivers a smooth, consistent flow of air to the intake valves, while sodium powder-filled exhaust valves dissipate heat from the combustion chamber. The combination of more efficient airflow and denser air-fuel mixtures means power on demand across the rpm band. A dual, stainless steel exhaust system also contributes to engine breathing efficiency.

A two-piece propeller shaft connects the powertrain to the rear differential. This balanced design is engineered for improved smoothness.

The induction system and valvetrain assembly enable the Catera powertrain to provide a balance of low-speed efficiency, spirited performance, fuel efficiency and a low-emissions vehicle (LEV) classification.


An electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission wîth overdrive is designed to deliver smooth off-the-line acceleration, quiet cruising and on-demand passing power. The driver can select between three modes of shift operation: normal, sport and winter. The normal setting is for everyday driving. The sport setting makes for more aggressive shifts and adds more engine braking. The winter mode offers third-gear starts in slippery conditions.

All 2001 Cateras are equipped wîth a stand-alone oil-to-air transmission oil cooler for improved engine cooling and air conditioning efficiency.



The four-wheel independent suspension includes front and rear coil springs wîth MacPherson struts and advanced hydraulic control arm bushings. The multi-link trailing arm design of the rear suspension is tuned for secure, predictable handling. The rear suspension also features automatic load leveling for improved stability and full suspension travel under varying load conditions.

The damper valving of Catera's fixed-calibration, gas-pressurized struts has been revised to deliver more body and wheel control without sacrificing ride quality.


In keeping wîth its German sport-sedan pedigree, all Cateras are equipped wîth dual-circuit, four-wheel disc brakes and a Bosch-designed ABS/ASR 5.3 anti-lock and traction control system. The traction control system keeps the engine from overpowering the tires on wet and slippery road surfaces and provides brake control for the two rear wheels. Then, when necessary, the system transfers drive torque to the wheel wîth the most traction.


Catera's speed-sensitive §teering gear calibration is designed to handle low-speed driving and parking maneuvers as well as spirited driving and highway cruising.

Wheels and Tires

The 2001 Catera wears five-spoke, 16-inch aluminum wheels mated to Goodyear Eagle RS P225/55R16 H-rated tires. Catera Sport is equipped wîth five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels and P235/45R17 H-rated Goodyear Mud and Snow rubber.

Safety and Security


The Catera is equipped wîth an outstanding array of safety and security features designed to help the driver keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
OnStar's unique three-button system is standard on the '01 Catera and includes one year of premium service free.

Cadillac drivers will also be able to stay connected in two new ways – through OnStar's new Personal Calling capability and the OnStar Virtual Advisor.

New Services from OnStar

In 1997, Cadillac became the first vehicle in the world to offer the myriad safety and security benefits of OnStar, the clearly recognized leader in telematics. In 2000, Cadillac made OnStar standard in each of its models. For 2001, OnStar will offer two additional services: Personal Calling, which allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated personal calls from their vehicles without an additional cellular contract; and OnStar Virtual Advisor, which will deliver to the vehicle personalized Internet-based information such as news headlines, sports scores, stock quotes and weather conditions. Both services will be available through OnStar's three-button system, which is mounted near the rearview mirror assembly and offers completely hands-free operation.

OnStar is a 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year comprehensive mobile communications system that brings together sophisticated global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology, Cadillac's advanced on-board electronics, the cellular telephone network and the OnStar Center adviser network.

OnStar's combination of safety, security and convenience services includes route support, remote door unlock, theft detection notification, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency services, OnStar MED-NET, AccidentAssist, and remote diagnostics. From a database of more than five million listings, OnStar advisers can also provide a wide range of convenience services, such as providing the driver the location of the nearest automatic teller machine (ATM), making hotel and restaurant reservations, or ordering flowers. Should any air bag deploy, the OnStar system automatically notifies the OnStar Center so emergency services can be dispatched to the scene if necessary.

Front and Side Air Bags

The 2001 Catera is equipped wîth driver and passenger front air bags and side-impact air bags for front seat passengers. The side-impact air bags deploy from the outer edge of the front seat bolster. The driver front air bag is located in the §teering wheel center hub. The passenger front air bag deploys from the instrument panel. In the event of an air bag deployment, the interior lights will illuminate and the doors are automatically unlocked after 15 seconds.

All five occupants wear three-point safety belts – the four outboard seat positions feature a five-position height adjustment for maximum fit and comfort. Catera's front seats feature safety belt pretensioners and web locks. In the event of a collision, they are activated by the air bag sensor system to tighten both lap and shoulder belts and keep occupants firmly in position.

Cateras Feature Child Seat Tethers

All 2001 Cateras feature upper rear child seat tethers for improved child safety. In fact, all three rear seats are equipped wîth the child seat tethers. In addition, all passenger safety seats are equipped wîth a cinching function and web lock to secure safety seats in place.

All four outboard seating positions include an extended-height head restraint that is taller than conventional pillow-type designs for head and neck protection.

Other Features

Catera's body structure and safety cage are specifically engineered to absorb and distribute impact energy in a collision. In the event of a severe collision, the front and rear sections deform in a controlled manner to absorb the impact and dissipate force. Dual steel bar reinforcements are located inside each occupant door.

Standard security features include remote keyless entry, programmable door locks, coded key theft-deterrent system and perimeter lighting. The latter is designed to create a more secure environment around the vehicle by keeping the low-beam headlights and parking lights lit for 20 seconds after it is unlocked wîth the remote keyless entry fob. If desired, an authorized Catera dealer can disable the perimeter lighting feature.

Should the key be inadvertently left in the ignition, a lockout feature prevents the doorrom locking via the power lock switch or remote keyless entry fob.

The four standard express power windows and the optional sunroof are equipped wîth a pinch-guard feature. When the system senses resistance to closure (like fingers), glass travel is immediately reversed.

Precipitation can quickly translate into reduced visibility for any driver. For added safety and convenience, the Catera's headlights are automatically activated when the windshield wipers are on at least 20 seconds. The standard Twilight Sentinel system automatically turns on the exterior lights to full intensity in low-light conditions.

Ownership and Warranty

All 2001 Cadillacs are backed by a four-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first) bumper-to-bumper limited warranty wîth courtesy transportation for all warranty repairs and no deductible. The warranty also includes defects in the material and workmanship of tires. Additional coverage includes a six-year/100,000-mile (whichever comes first) rust-through protection.

Cadillac 24-hour roadside assistance is available to Cadillac owners toll-free by dialing 1-800-882-1112. Cadillac-trained service technicians are dispatched to handle minor repairs and assist wîth flat tires, lockouts, jump starts, fuel deliveries and other roadside emergencies. If the repair cannot be completed on the spot, the technician can arrange to have the vehicle transported to a dealership and customers driven to their home or other local destination. Roadside assistance is provided at no charge for any warranty repair and at a nominal charge if the vehicle is not under warranty.

Source - Cadillac

Sales History

2000 5,842 (through May 2000)
1999 15,068 (based on 9-month sales due to engineering change)
1998 24,635
1997 25,411

Vehicle History

Launched in the fall of 1996 as a 1997 model, Cadillac Catera is part of a global GM vehicle family that includes the Opel and Vauxhall Omega MV6. Catera was developed as part of a cooperative effort between the Opel Technical Development Center in Germany and Cadillac's world headquarters in Michigan. It is built at the Adam Opel assembly plant in Ruesselsheim using components from GM's German, French, British and North American suppliers. Catera Sport joined the lineup in May of 1999 to appeal to the sport-oriented set — buyers wîth a keen interest in expressive styling as well as the desire for a higher level of handling and control.

Source - Cadillac
The Catera was introduced by Cadillac for the 1997 model year, and was really thought of as not much more than a rebadged 1993 Opel Omega MV6. A compact vehicle, the Catera featured a new front fascia (in comparison the Opel Omega MV6), new mirrors and new headlights. Airbags were also included, starting with the 2000 model year. The Catera is famous for being the only Cadillac that Cindy Crawford was the official spokeswomen for, she also was featured on the commercial for the vehicle. Also very notable, the Catera was the only Cadillac built outside of the U.S. at that time.

Providing 200 horsepower, the Catera was powered by a 3.0liter V6 engine that was mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Unlike other Cadillacs, the Catera was unique because it was a rear wheel drive vehicle. Many considered the Catera to be less of a vehicle than most Caddies, the Catera was known as the 'Caddy that Zigs', and it was marketed at a much younger market than normal Cadillac's. The Catera was much smaller, and even featured less power, and as a result, was much more affordable than the Seville or the Deville. The Catera was a great attempt by Cadillac to market more the entry level buyers, so as they grew older, they would be more used to luxurious vehicles and would simply continue to upgrade to a more luxurious Cadillac. The Catera was considered to be a serious competitor to the Infiniti I30, the Lexus EX 300, the BMW 328i and the Mercedes Benz C-Class.

Also in an attempt to market to the younger crowd, the Catera featured numerous options that made it very popular. Tractional control, anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags and daytime running lights were some of these features. Other available options were a dust and pollen filter, power windows, 16 inch alloy wheels, a tilt steering wheel, a fold down rear seat, electro-chromatic mirror, programmable locks and power seats. Even more features included a theft deterrent system, automatic climate control and radio controls that were located on the steering wheel. Optional luxe options included a powered sunroof, front and rear seat heaters, chrome wheels, leather upholstery and a Bose audio system.

The Catera was one of the first Cadillac's in 2000 to meet the new low emission standards. It also was equipped with side airbags. For this same year the whole styling of the Catera was refreshed in a positive hope to boost sales. The interior received new headlights, a chrome grille, a new rear spoiler and 17 inch chrome wheels. The following year the only change were the solid brakes being replaced with vented ones.

Unfortunately sales were not as prosperous as Cadillac had hoped. Cadillac purchasers wanted more car for their money, and the Catera was considered to be too small, and not as luxurious as people expected from the Cadillac brand. The American made Catera couldn't compete with other entry level vehicle cars available on the market at that time. In 2003 the Catera was replaced with the CTS.

By Jessica Donaldson
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