January 25, 2007

Worst Car Names Ever

Car Connection compiled a list of the worst car names ever. Is your car on it?

Ford Probe

In a single stroke, Ford managed to alienate half the potential buyers of this otherwise not-bad sporty two-plus-two coupe. The unfortunate connotations bothered many women in the same way that hearing that banjo theme from Deliverance tends to put most men on edge. Not one of Ford's better ideas.

Daihatsu Charade

It's not really a car, it's just pretending! This was one of those econo-boxes that was not merely humiliating to drive, it embarrassed its owner each time its name was uttered. "I drive a Charade." Good-bye, prom date! (See also: Ford Aspire.)

Pontiac Aztek

The name's not even spelled correctly, for openers. And it didn't help matters that the vehicle itself resembled a dumpster on wheels. The Aztec civilization stood no chance against the ugliness (and illiteracy) of this General Motors sheetmetal horror show.

Isuzu Big Horn

Sometimes, size really does matter! The associations conjured up here are surely not what Isuzu intended. That's what happens when things get lost in translation.

Mazda Protégé

Someday, it hopes to be a real car, we suppose? Tagging your car a junior partner is forever pegging yourself a Robin, not a Batman. And who wants to be Robin?

Toyota Yaris

A Toyota what? Maybe it doesn't matter as long as the first name is there, but Yaris sounds like the noise you'd hear issuing from the gullet of an exotic animal. Or maybe it is a small animal? (Sorry, dude, my Yaris left a mess on your rug.)

Mitsubishi Mirage

Hmm, famous mirages. The Flying Dutchman? Cher's musical talent? A "mirage" is something that's not really there, a figment of your imagination -- when in distress, especially. Not the hot ticket for a car name, eh?

Geo Prizm

It doesn't separate light waves, just you from your cash. At least this thinly disguised, rebadged Toyota Corolla sold by Chevrolet was an okay car under its goofy nameplate.

Nissan Altima

A made-up word that attempts to evoke positive associations -- in this case, height/achievement, we think. (See also: Subaru Justy, Toyota Camry, Olds Alero, Chevy Lumina, etc.)

Pontiac Banshee

This name never reached production, because luckily for Pontiac, someone consulted a dictionary before the concept escaped GM's design studios. A Banshee's shriek heralds imminent death, among things - someone page the liability lawyers!

Dodge Swinger

You'll also find ads for these on the back pages of adult magazines. Okay, it was the '70s, but still - why not just call it the STD?

AMC Gremlin

Do you really want to own a car named after annoying small problems that are next-to-impossible to fix? Courtesy of the same folks who brought you the Pacer.

Mercury Mystique

Way too close to "mistake" for comfort. (A Mercury executive made just that slip-up at one of the press introductions for this car.) The third or fourth attempt by Ford to build a "world car" that not even the U.S. was much interested in.

Volkswagen Touareg

Impossible to pronounce or spell correctly without lessons, this name takes the cake for being the most gratuitously recondite car name of the past 30 years - not to mention its unfortunate link to a slave-trading North African tribe.

Chevy Camaro

This one apparently has double-entendre meanings in other cultures, such as "shrimp" -- or worse. (See also Chevy Nova; it "doesn't go" en espanol.)

Posted by Quality Weenie at January 25, 2007 09:07 AM | TrackBack


Yeah, that Aztek was one UGLY car. And the Banshee? That would have been too much fun if it ever made it to production!

Posted by: Ogre at January 25, 2007 09:20 AM

Funny you should post this today. Just this very morning I wondered if all those car companies did was throw a bunch of letters together and mix 'em up til they came up with something that SOUNDED like a real word....

Posted by: Tammi at January 25, 2007 10:10 AM

For years I've been saying that Ford properly named the Aspire because it aspired to be a real car. It's funnier now that I've seen it used elsewhere.

Posted by: Contagion at January 25, 2007 06:43 PM

I drove an Aztek for 3 years.

Great vehicle.

Rode smooth and got pretty good gas mileage.

Though it did remind me of the EM-350 Urban Assault Vehicle from Stripes.

Posted by: Lamont Cranston at January 27, 2007 04:34 PM

Definitely bad car names. Then again, look at what people name their children and dogs. ;-)

Posted by: vw bug at January 27, 2007 08:20 PM