1997 Cadillac Catera

  • 1997 Cadillac Catera Base Sedan

    Base Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.0L V6
    • MSRP
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1997 Cadillac Catera Review

Entry-level luxury for a decent price.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Cadillac responds to the rise in entry-level luxury sedans with the 1997 Cadillac Catera. This midsize sedan sports enough style and features to make long trips comfortably. Despite the somewhat weak offerings of the three-liter V-6, the Catera comes at a great price, offering German engineering and a load of luxury features.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Cadillac Catera

What's New

The Cadillac Catera starts new for 1997.


The 1997 Cadillac Catera comes in 20 color options. Power heated mirrors and a rear window defroster make for safer driving conditions. Other standard exterior features include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, and tinted glass. Exterior options include spoke wheels and a power moonroof. Overall, the design looks sleek and luxurious.


The interior comes standard in cloth trim, but leather provides an option. The large analog dashboard allows for easy reading, and the controls look very simple. The 1997 Cadillac Catera features wood trim, but not as over-the-top as many entry-level luxury sedans. Other standard features for the Cadillac Catera include automatic climate control, power windows and locks, air-conditioning, and cruise control to make for a more comfortable ride. Interior options include power heated seats and a rear sunshade. The AM/FM/cassette audio system can be replaced with a Delco/Bose audio system and a CD changer. This midsize sedan offers plenty of legroom.

Performance & Handling

The Cadillac Catera maxes out at 125 mph, which allows for the all-season tires. Rear drive and traction control make wet and slippery roads less troublesome. Unfortunately, Cadillac does not offer the Catera with a manual transmission. The 200-hp, three-liter V-6 produces 192 lb-ft of torque, but it could use a little extra power when accelerating. Self-leveling suspension and traction control make handling a breeze. Overall, the 1997 Cadillac Catera offers a very smooth ride even on rough roads.


The 1997 Cadillac Catera comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction control, which helps with safety and handling. The Catera also comes standard with driver and passenger front side airbags. Daytime running lights and fog lights make the Catera more visible for other drivers on the road. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Catera's safety as ?Good? overall. In the IIHS tests, the structure of the car and the restraints receive an ?Acceptable? rating. Everything else receives a ?Good? rating. Despite the great scores from the IIHS, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the front side-impact safety with two out of five stars.

EPA Fuel Economy

Cadillac Catera: 18/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • German and American engineering
  • Stylish design
  • Easy on the bank
  • Rear drive

You Won't Like

  • Lacks power
  • No manual transmission
  • Small amount of options

Sum Up

Entry-level luxury for a decent price.

If You Like This Vehicle

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