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Autotrader Find: Unusually Nice 2000 Cadillac Catera

If you’re like the vast majority of human beings on this planet, you’ve forgotten the Cadillac Catera. Allow me to refresh your memory: It came out in 1997, and it was Cadillac’s first attempt at “going younger” and attracting new buyers who didn’t fit the traditional Cadillac mold. The second attempt, the Escalade, came out two years after the Catera, but the Catera nonetheless existed.

Sold from 1997 to 2001, the Catera at least paved the way for the CTS, which debuted with its trademark angular styling for the 2003 model year. The Catera was rear-wheel drive, but it wasn’t especially exciting to drive — though that didn’t stop Cadillac from branding it “The Caddy that Zigs.” Compared to the other Cadillac models at the time, however, it really did zig: Cadillac’s other products were the much larger Seville, Deville and Fleetwood.

Ultimately, the Catera didn’t find many sales, as it wasn’t exciting enough to really compete with vehicles like the BMW 3 Series, nor was it luxurious enough to entice existing Cadillac buyers. Instead, it had an odd in-between status that Cadillac rectified by later debuting the sportier CTS. Still, the Catera was a competent car, and it was nowhere near as bad of an “entry-level” Cadillac as the Cimarron, which was effectively a luxury-ified version of the Chevy Cavalier that had debuted in the 1980s.

Nonetheless, if you want to relive the glory days of the Catera, this particular example will allow you to do just that. Offered by DDC Motors in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, it’s in pristine condition with just 77,000 miles — and I mean pristine condition, as the interior truly looks brand new. It can be yours for a mere $4,995, which seems like a bargain for what surely must be one of the nicest remaining examples of “the Caddy that zigs.”

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  1. My mom’s 1998 Catera went up in flames in 2000 due to the fact GM put a German made car on US soil with no directions on how to fix them. The dealer would literally just pour coolant in the thing and hope it would eventually cool the engine (it didn’t work).

    A crazy nice interior though. Was the first car I ever remember with heated rear seats and the leather was really good. 
  2. Wow–I’d pretty much forgotten about the Catera. This is one of those cars you really just don’t see any more. Where did they all go?

  3. In Europe, where it was sold as an Opel, or Vauxhall for the UK market, it was a good car. 
    But when GM tried to dress it up and price it as a luxury car and call it a Cadillac, it just wasn’t good enough.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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