1999-2001 Catera Sport
Cadillac Catera was nothing other than plushier rebadged Opel Omega. It was received positively at first, but got criticized for poor performance and reliability later on. Catera only survived for five model years between 1997 and 2001. During that time, around 95,000 were sold. Hadn’t there been for Catera Sport, 4-door sedan would have been regarded one of the most uninspiring Cadillacs ever.
Even Catera Sport didn’t do much for badge engineered Omega’s reputation. It only offered stiffer ZJ1 suspension, machined aluminum 16-inch wheels, rear spoiler, and very limited choice of colors. 3.0L L81 V6 delivered the same 200 horsepower as in conventional model. Even worse, 4-speed auto was the only available transmission. Catera’s facelift from 2000 only brought 17-inch wheels, new interior color scheme and new lights to bear. Power output remained the same. And stick was still nowhere to be seen.
The Caddy that zigs, thus left the stage after 2001 model year. CTS which replaced it, offered everything Catera lacked. More power and 6-speed manual were there. And so was more distinctive styling which still distances Cadillacs from anything else available in the market. Maybe it’s unfair to be too much critical towards Catera. After all, it was a copy paste Opel/Vauxhall Omega. As such, it never really stood much chance against the entry-level German cars it sat out to compete against.