2000 Cadillac Catera

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2000 Cadillac Catera
Available in 1 styles:  2000 Cadillac Catera 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$19–$6,491
Estimated MPG

18 city / 24 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 3 of 4

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In recent years, Cadillac has given its cars a decidedly conservative, European look.

Cases in point include the Seville and Catera. The latter, an entry-level luxury sedan, is more than just European in appearance. It is a variation on the Opel Omega, and is built in General Motors Corp.'s Opel factory in Germany.

More recently, the ailing automaker has decided that being a European car clone isn't going to be its salvation. Its new strategy is to fashion distinctive cars, cars that look like Cadillacs - and nothing else. More precisely, these designs will be variations on the Evoq roadster, a romantic,retro and highly original concept car that Cadillac unveiled last year.

The 2002 Catera will be the first Cadillac to be Evoqized. I saw a non-functional replica of this car recently in Detroit, and it is certainly a creative head-turner outside and inside.

That car won't be with us until 2001, however. In the meantime, we have a very European Catera that has been freshened for 2000, and continues to delight with its comfort, refinement and athleticism.

The athleticism of this civil sedan is spelled with a capital "A" in the case of the new Catera Sport model I tested.

Like the regular Catera, the Sport variant has been given a fairly extensive body reworking, including new front and rear fascia, a new hood, and fresh quarter panels. The idea was to engender a crisper, more tailored look,and the design succeeds in doing that.

The Sport model adds several cosmetic and mechanical touches to underscore its greater proclivity for fun and games.

These include a decklid spoiler, unique metallic finishes for the grille and interior, the substitution of 17-inch alloy wheels for the regular Catera's 16-inchers, wider, lower-profile tires, and sport suspension tuning, which sacrifices very little ride comfort for increased handling control.

Not that the rear-drive Catera needed much handling help. This is certainly the best-cornering car in Cadillac's garage, and better than most of its European and Japanese competitors.

The Sport model (which is technically the $30,860 base car with a $2,000Sport package) turns out to be a charming driver. The ride is a little firmer,but still supple. The cornering control is considerable, and confidence-breeding.

The Catera's acceleration and braking complete the performance package nicely. The smooth, 24-valve V-6 develops 200 horsepower, which is enough to propel this midsize sedan from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in a brisk 8.5 seconds.

The engine is buttoned to a silky, four-speed automatic transmission, which has special shift settings for winter motoring and aggressive driving.

Aided by a standard antilock braking system, the Catera's four-wheel discbrakes shut the car down in a hurry - and in a straight line. The stopping distance from 60 miles an hour is an excellent 132 feet.

The Catera's ability to perform is joined by a ge nerous amount of interior comfort, and a long list of standard hedonism.

The interior is roomy, and allows three adults to sit with comfort in the backseat. The front seats are big enough for big people, and quite supportive.

The cabin is quiet, and boasts a full complement of safety gadgets,including side air bags for the front-seat passengers, and a device that illuminates the interior and unlocks the doors 15 seconds after a bag isdeployed.

The standard safety menu also includes the latest-generation OnStar system,which uses global positioning technology to provide directions, roadsideservice and emergency help.

CADILLAC CATERA SPORT
Base model: Rear-drive, 3-liter engine, four-speed automatic transmission,speed-sensitive power steering, power disc brakes with antilock, 16-inch alloy wheels, P225/55R16 all-season radials, traction control, front and sideair bags for front passengers, power doors with keyless entry, OnStarcommunications system, ather seats, power driver's seat, heated powermirrors, dual-zone climate control, air filtration system, leather-wrappedsteering wheel with audio controls, stereo/cassette.

Test model: Sport package (heated sport front seats, special exterior andinterior trim, rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, P235/45R17 mud and snowtires, sport suspension, theft deterrent system, garage door opener, xenon headlights), sunroof, upgraded sound system with CD player, power rear sunshade.

Base price: $30,860

Test price: $35,763 (including shipping)

EPA city mileage: 18 m.p.g.

Test mileage: 20 m.p.g.

Warranty: Four years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper.


    Expert Reviews 3 of 4

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