Cadillac Catera

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Cadillac Catera
97-99 Cadillac Catera .jpg
Manufacturer Opel (General Motors)
Also called Opel Omega
Vauxhall Omega
Production 1996–2001
Model years 1997–2001
Assembly Rüsselsheim, Germany
Body and chassis
Class Executive car (E)
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Platform GM V platform
Related Opel Omega
Engine 3.0 L L81 V6
Transmission 4-speed GM 4L30-E automatic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,730 mm)
Length 1997–99: 194.0 in (4,928 mm)
2000–01: 192.2 in (4,882 mm)
Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
Height 1997–99: 56.3 in (1,430 mm)
2000–01: 56.4 in (1,433 mm)
Curb weight 3,897 lb (1,768 kg)
Successor Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac Catera is a four-door, five passenger luxury sedan manufactured from MY 1997 to 2001 in Rüsselsheim, Germany by Opel, and marketed in the United States by Cadillac as a rebadged variant of the Opel Omega — with approximately 95,000 in total sales over five model years.


2000–2001 Cadillac Catera

The Catera officially went on sale in the United States in the fall of 1996 as a 1997 model with a base price of $29,995 ($45,804 in current dollars). Standard features included cloth interior, front bucket seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player and eight-speaker sound system, airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction contol, keyless entry, security system, alloy wheels, compact spare tire, and full instrumentation. Optional equipment included leather interior, heated seats, cassette player and CD player combination, Bose premium sound system, power sunroof, Homelink, OnStar, and chrome wheels.[citation needed]

A Sport model was offered beginning in 1999 with eight-way power adjustable seats, heated front seats, 17-inch wheels, driver's seat memory, audible theft-deterrent system, three-channel garage door opener, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and a rear spoiler. The Catera received a facelift in 2000 with revised nose, tail, wheels, interior trim, mirrors, optional HID headlamps, stiffer suspension settings, and side airbags.

The model's engine was a 200 hp (150 kW) 54° L81 V6 manufactured in England at GM's Ellesmere Port facility, using a FR layout. The GM 4L30-E automatic transmission was manufactured at GM's plant in Strasbourg, France.


Cadillac Catera

The Catera was marketed with the tagline "the Caddy that zigs," and launch advertisements featuring supermodel Cindy Crawford — who spoke to an animated duck-like character called "Ziggy". Cadillac described the character: "like Catera, Ziggy was hatched in Germany and has the sole mission of bringing fun to the luxury of Cadillac. He was one of six mythical, beakless, footless martins or 'Merlettes' in the Cadillac Crest before we gave him big feet, a giant beak, and turned him around. He's quite a departure from his five brothers who have been part of the Cadillac Crest since the days of the crusades when the crest was the proud symbol of Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac Family. "Ziggy" was featured through model year 1998.

In 1997, John Tinker, a producer of television medical drama Chicago Hope, was inspired by a pun in a Catera commercial saying "Who is Lisa Catera?" (in response to the Catera tagline "Lease a Catera") and introduced a new character named Dr. Lisa Catera, played by Stacy Edwards. Coincidentally, the main demographic of Chicago Hope viewers were the exact same demographic Cadillac hoped to attract with the Catera, and Cadillac/General Motors management responded extremely positively to the reference, becoming the main advertiser on the show and giving Edwards a complimentary three-year lease on a Catera. In one episode, Edwards' character states "When you can't zig, you zag," a reference to another Catera tagline.[1][2]


In 2009, Car and Driver staff criticized the high praise that the Catera initially received, citing poor reliability and performance.[3]

Related vehicles[edit]

The close relative to the Catera's platform continued in use until 2006 in the Pontiac GTO which was a US market version of the Holden Monaro coupe, both of which vehicles were manufactured by GM Holden in Australia. These two performance coupes were themselves derived from the sedan platform that originated in the Australian market as the VT-series Holden Commodore in 1997. The related European Opel Omega was discontinued in 2003.

Yearly American sales[edit]

Calendar Year Total sales
1996 1,676
1997 25,411
1998 25,333
1999[4] 15,068
2000[4] 17,290
2001[5] 9,764


  • John Phillips. "Cadillac Catera Sport". Car and Driver (May 2000): 120–125.