By on September 13, 2017

Image: Nissan Pao, via Wikipedia

It happened quite by accident last week, as good ideas often do. After last Wednesday’s Rare Rides post concerning the Nissan Stanza Wagon, reader comments got a little sidetracked. Dal20402 lamented there had never been a worse name for a car than Axxess (the Stanza Wagon’s successor).

Before I could unplug TTAC from the Canadian outlet on the wall, other commenters were jumping in with their terrible name suggestions. Seemed like a fun game, so today we open the floor to everyone’s suggestions.

Give us your submissions for the worst-ever automotive model names.

I came up with three off the top of my head last week, so I’ll cover those here and let others submit their names again for consideration.

Image: Nissan Pao, via Wikipedia

Our first bad name example is the Pao, by Nissan. Sold only in the Japanese domestic market between 1989 and 1991, this interesting and retro-styled city hatchback didn’t get a name to match its design. It’s a cool car, but awful in name.

Image: Citroen Jumpy, via Wikipedia
This van is called the Citroën Jumpy. The same (slightly restyled) van was also sold as a Peugeot, a Toyota, and a Fiat. Get with it, get Jumpy! The second-generation Jumpy was replaced with an all-new model after the 2016 year, after a production partnership between PSA and Fiat ended.

Image: Peugeot Expert Tepee, via Peugeot

So what exactly is an “Expert Tepee?” That’s not entirely clear, but the Peugeot Expert Tepee is (or was) the same basic van as the Citroën above. Certain cargo specifications of Tepee look remarkably like the Ram ProMaster, aka the Fiat Ducato. This is no longer true for the current generation, as Citroën, Peugeot, and Toyota models are on a new body. The trio and their variants are manufactured together in France and Uruguay.

Production vehicles past and present fall within the bounds of our subject today. Vehicles that never got past the concept stage don’t count. Let’s hear your worst.

[Images: Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0), PSA Group]

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156 Comments on “QOTD: The Worst Model Names of Them All?...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Edsel!

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Nissan Cedric

  • avatar
    arach

    BMW 330i.

    I could get past the numbers when they meant something, but the 330i was the first car I knew of that meant jack squat.

    Its the same motor as the 325- the 3 series 2.5L motor. So the 330 is supposed to be a 325.. with the 2.5L motor… and then “5 extra so it feels like something more special”? I don’t get it.

    Now I know many other BMWs have followed that same made up stupid number thing, but the 330i was the first one that it hit me with.

    I already dislike numbers vs something with substance (a real name.. ) but having numbers with no substance is even worse.

    If you happen to be a BMW lover, at least you can find the Isuzu “Mysterious Utility Wizard” a really whacked name. That literally was the name.

    And lastly, how about the Ford Probe? I mean really, how could you not make fun of someone that owns a probe just because of the name?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      BMW started that with the E32 Turbo 745i in 1979. It was a 3.2-liter turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      I sometimes wonder if a 13yr old boy in charge of naming Fords and he just finds things that sound funny when preceded by “anal”.

      probe, ranger, escape, expedition, excursion, flex, freestyle, focus, festival, fiesta…

      then I wonder if that job is available.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        Psychoboy:
        I imagine some old 70 year old executive being like, “My grandson said we should call it the Probe. He’s a kid so knows what cool kid things are, so lets go with it”

        meanwhile the grandson is sitting there with his friends laughing his head off.

        So maybe instead of apply for the job yourself, you just need to call up some out of touch executive? haha.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @psychoboy –
        I saw an internet meme about Ford names. The meme was to use anal as a prefix:

        Anal + probe, ranger, escape, expedition, excursion, flex, freestyle, focus, festival, fiesta

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        Did you also notice that (almost) all Ford cars start with “F”: Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Flex – the exceptions being Taurus (which in an earlier version was the Five Hundred) and Mustang.
        And all SUVs start with “E”: Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition and the discontinued Excursion.
        A little bit of OCD naming if you ask me

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          that was deliberate. at one point (early-mid 2000s?) it was decreed that all Ford nameplates would start with “F,” all Mercury nameplates would start with “M,” and that’s also when the “MK*” for Lincolns took hold.

        • 0 avatar
          I_like_stuff

          Toyota:

          Cars (starts with c like car) Camry, Corrola

          Trucks start with T, like truck Tundra, Tacoma

          Small SUVs have the number 4 in it 4Runner, Rav4

          Large SUV/Minivan start with S Sequoia, Sienna

          Ford does it: it’s stupid, anal, OCD
          Toyota does it: it’s brilliant

        • 0 avatar
          EricJ

          This is partially because the Es were the spiritual successors of the Econolines, partially because the Explorer was comically successful.

          The Fs in car names were very deliberate.

          I think it’s alright. It’s no worse than the random naming used by everyone else.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’m fully behind the concept of names over numbers. Nearly every brand has taken their numbering system to the ridiculous. Maybe those numbers have meaning for some brands, but quite often they don’t. I’d much rather have a real name that can actually separate one model from another, appended with numbers and/or letters if you want to also display engine configuration and/or trim level.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      There used (?) to be a trim level on MBs called “Elegance”, and they put the badges all over the car.

      I mean if you have to say it…

  • avatar
    skor

    One Northeast winter, when everyone’s car was encrusted in road salt muck, I came out to the parking lot to find that someone had etched the word ‘Anal’ in the dirt ahead of the Probe emblem on the back of my little Ford hatchback.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    Gee, where do I begin…

    Cruze. Sounds too much like Cooze.

    Enclave. Reminds me of the ethnic enclaves from the 90s Balkan wars.

    Tiguan. ???

    Ram. Who wants to ride a goat?

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I have always felt that Lacross, Malibu were pretty bad names.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    LaCrosse in Quebec.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Mazda Bongo.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    GAC’s “Trumpchi” line.

    for obvious reasons.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Expert teepee has some class, unlike its showroom mate the bipper teepee.

    I still laugh at the TRD versions of toyotas – can’t help but thinking of them as Toyota Turds.

  • avatar
    mankyman

    I’ve got one.

    There was once a Turkish car called the Shaheen. It was a RWD, originally a Fiat 131 I think.
    Shaheen means Falcon in Turkish.
    We used to call it a Mud Falcon because it was so underpowered and handled terribly. And it had zero amenities like AC or power anything.

    A mud falcon is what rock climbers call the bags if sh!t they throw doen the mountain on a long climb.

  • avatar
    TR4

    A.S.S., a french car circa 1920:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASS_(car)

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I know about this car for one reason only- its transmission design was revolutionary. We tried to patent a new design that we thought was going to change the world, and then our lawyer found a 1920 car called the A.S.S. that used a similar transmission design. totally depressing from our standpoint, because with modern engine technology that transmission could change the world, but it is what it is. Since its not patent-able, there’s no money in building them :(

      • 0 avatar
        Mr.Radar

        Don’t most hybrid electric cars use planetary gear transmissions? They seem to have changed the world (and made plenty of money) in that application.

      • 0 avatar
        TR4

        So what was so revolutionary about the A.S.S. transmission? Wiki describes it as “two speed epicyclic” which would also describe the Ford Model T transmission of the same period.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          It wasn’t revolutionary at the time.

          They used a torque managed spring shift mechanism.

          There are a number of patents on 2 speed transmissions which have renewed interest on electric powered vehicles.

          Torque managed gearing on a 2speed electric is where the revolutionary impact can come into speed. The value for the dollar goes a long way.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Something like that 2-speed transmission could also increase the range of a modern electric by 50% or more by holding motor speed down.

      • 0 avatar
        Stanley Steamer

        I thought utility patents were good for 20 years.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          it is, but you can’t re-patent something that already exists as prior art.

          I mean yes there is some grey area in practice

          • 0 avatar

            No, you can’t repatent something that exists as prior art.

            What you do with prior art is show how your invention is an improvement on it, not just throw your hands up and say, oh well, someone else invented it first.

            Are you using a new control method? Are the control systems programmable?

            As an inventor, I think patents are important but from a business standpoint, unless your business model is based on licensing your IP, there’s money to be made by getting to the market first with a marketable technology, patent or not.

            I’m sure there is money being made right now by companies mining expired patents for stuff they can sell. The generic pharma industry manages to do that.

      • 0 avatar
        operagost

        “Since its not patent-able, there’s no money in building them :(”

        Well, that attitude is ASSinine.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          Not when you are a supplier to a bunch of massive corporations with billions in ASSets and you rely on investors who won’t take a risk unless they expect substantial returns off proprietary technologies.

          But in general I share your ASSessment.

  • avatar

    I’ve owned (and still own) a few of them:
    -Suzuki Esteem; what an inspirational name setting lofty goals
    -Daihatsu Charade: Its a goofy car to begin with, the name doesn’t help matters
    -Ford Aspire: See Suzuki Esteem

    And some others I haven’t owned:
    Ford Probe: my favourite was a Ford ad at the time that stated “Give this guy a Probe!”
    Daihatsu Naked
    Holden Jackaroo

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      The aspirational names are always on the crappiest cars too, just to remind the owner that they should be driving something better.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      I agree. I always thought the Ford Aspire was a silly name for a car. It “aspires” to be a car but doesn’t quite make it.

      A suggestion for the next QOTD: Silly/Bad/Terrible slogans for cars.
      “Mazda. Built to be driven.” Umm…isn’t that why they usually build a car?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      One of the car magazines sarcastically referred to the Ford Aspire as the “Perspire,” in reference to its powertrain that was optimized for, uh, low purchase price rather than straight line performance.

      The Suzuki Esteem… what a cringeworthy name for an automobile. With all the decent used cars available all around North America that don’t tell everyone, “Look at me, I can barely afford a car!!” how did the Esteem sell at all? Well, it sold to the same market niche as the communist penalty boxes did in the 1980s.

      Almost forgot, and speaking of communist bloc exports, the ironically named Škoda “Rapid;” the mid-1980s model. Rapids are a long line for the marque and the name Rapid is a good car name, but the mid eighties model was not a great car for the name.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      There’s a (really big) Chinese bicylce manufacturer whose name is “Freedom” (cos you need it ?).

      Ford Prefect – for bald men.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Chevy Nova.
    Translated into Spanish it means “doesn’t go”.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Chevy Nova.
      Translated into Spanish it means “doesn’t go”.”

      But in standard scientific languages means “exploding star” and in Latin means “new star.”

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @gasser: Actually, it doesn’t translate to “no go” It means the same thing in Spanish and English. The whole Nova not selling well in Latin countries because of its name is a myth.

      http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705388000/Chevy-Nova-tale-other-global-marketing-myths-debunked.html

    • 0 avatar
      paxman356

      mcs is correct. Nova is an astronomical term in both languages. There was little or no confusion about the name, it never changed throughout it’s run, and it sold well.

      There is a company in Mexico called Nova today. If Mexicans were confused and thought it meant “doesn’t go” it would be bad for that company. They work with Pemex on Petrochemicals.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Renault Kangoo
    Foton Super Sup (a blatant Chinese knock-off of Nissan’s pickup)
    Kia K900 (hardly evokes “premium”)

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Well, I think it was only a concept car, but didn’t Daihatsu try out something called the Daihatsu D-Bag?

    JDM experts, please verify!

    (Not the worst car name ever, but I do recall fondly the Leopard J Ferie….)

  • avatar
    ttacfan

    To continue “lost in translation” list of Nova and LaCrosse, I nominate Chevy Trax. In russian-speaking markets it has to be sold as Tracker, because of negative association with a) sound that a car would make in a crash and b) eufemism for having sex.

  • avatar
    la834

    Where do I start?

    – Chevrolet Citation – a car’s name shouldn’t remind you of being pulled over for traffic violations
    – AMC Gremlin – nor should it a frustrating, hard-to-diagnose problem
    – Oldsmobile Toronado XS – did nobody at Olds notice that XS is pronounced “excess”?
    – Cadillac ETC – it’s the Etcetera…
    – Studebaker Dictator – not terrible in 1927 when it was new, but by 1937 meant either Stalin, Mussolini, or Hitler
    – Mitsubishi i-MiEV – I still don’t know how the hell to pronounce this
    – Chevrolet Avalanche – connotes power, but also disaster
    – anything spelled weird for no obvious reason, like Aztek or Pro_cee’d

    Oh, and my girlfriend thought Pontiac Vibe was hilarious

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      The Etcetera was one of the first things that came to my mind too. That and stablemate Cadillac DTS – who on earth thought it was a bright idea to name a car after a term for alcohol withdrawal?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Why “Dictator” immediately means Stalin, Hitler? Didn’t pretty much every country had a dictator, like a king or queen? What about just thinking that this is a car that would rule the road?

      Avalanche – powerful event, powerful car – take it to the mountains.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        In the context of the 1920s, “dictator” meant an absolutist strongman, usually of military and/or fascist variety, and definitely not any sort of monarchy.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        Yes, Dictator meant the same thing in 1927 when the car was introduced, and it already was a problem for cars exported to Europe where the name was changed to Director. But in the US you weren’t likely to hear mentions of “dictators” on the radio or newspapers anywhere nearly as often in 1927 as in 1937 when Europe (and soon the rest of the world) was heading into war.

        Similar issue with a currently produced JDM crossover called the Toyota Isis. Perfectly good name when the car was new in 2004, terrible name in 2017.

        • 0 avatar
          Guitar man

          “Yes, Dictator meant the same thing in 1927 when the car was introduced”

          Jaguar used to be called SS cars before 1939…

          I believe there was a version of the Ford FPV Falcon called the Ford Dictator.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      How should Aztek be spelled then? Ass-tech? Would you settle for an Isuzu “Ascender”?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Studebaker also produced a model called the Scotsman. It was no surprise the entry level model in lower trim below the Champion. It was offered in 2 door and 4 door sedan models as well as a 2 door and 4 door wagon.

      I don’t think they had a ad campaign “No true Scotsman ….”

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Austin Allegro dubbed the “All-Aggro”.

      They also changed the name in Italy as it can also mean “drunk” (as in merry) in Italy…

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Talking about hard to pronounce how about the Suzuki Celerio ? I’ve never worked that out. They sell most of these in Asia…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Lucerne – Town in Switzerland (where Bob Lutz was born), Safeway house brand of dairy products, AND a Buick that should have been named Park Avenue or Electra.

  • avatar
    mcs

    The 1993 Pontiac LeMans. A disgrace to a 24hr race and an insult to the models with that name that preceded it.

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    Nothing can beat the Ford Probe. Just imagine the naming meeting…

    “Bob we talked it over and we can’t class it the Speculum, it’s just too on the nose. Let’s just go with Probe.”

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      There was a high school classmate of mine Anne (quite fetching in that “farmers daughter” kind of way) and her sister was just a bit older than we were. Her father bought her and her sister a Ford Probe to drive to high school.

      The boys would all snicker when Anne would say: “My sister and I share a Probe.”

    • 0 avatar
      paxman356

      “We can’t name it the Speculum, it’s too close to Chevy’s captured import!”

      And thus the Chevy Spectrum saved us from catastrophe.

    • 0 avatar
      CitizenK

      Accident Report: Celebrity rear-ended by Probe.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    Kia Stonic.

  • avatar
    FOG

    AMC Javelin nad Matador.

  • avatar
    spamvw

    The name that almost was.

    1971 Dodge Dart Demon, was slated to be…

    Dodge Beaver

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    Subaru SVX, because people would read the logo under the side window with poorly defined “V” as SUX.

  • avatar
    scott25

    I’ll use my same answers as the other day, Honda That’s and Nissan Dayz. A very recent candidate is the Audi Elaine. Nissan Gloria since I know multiple women who use that name to refer to “their time of the month”. Mitsubishi Lettuce is almost so bad it’s good.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    RX-7 GSL SE

  • avatar
    jack4x

    This is not in the same spirit as most of the others, but I really hate the name Chevy SS. They could easily have called it Caprice SS or Commodore SS. Even Impala SS while still selling the FWD regular Impala would’ve been less confusing. Chevy’s own dealers usually don’t know what I’m talking about when I say SS and assume I mean a Camaro. “SS what?”

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    Humber Snipe

    Runners Up:
    Borgward Goliath
    Oldsmobile Achieva
    Ford Ka
    Plymouth Gran Fury

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Well all the ones I thought of have been mentioned but Charade should be mentioned again.

    How about a hideous awful name for an entire class of vehicles – “crossover”

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Don’t you think that “Mazda Mazdaspeed6” is a stupid name?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I did a quick Google:

    Renault LeCar

    Isuzu GIGA 20 Light Dump

    Mazda Titan Dump

    Mitsubishi Lettuce

    Honda Life Dunk

    Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In my personal opinion, just about any name is better than a numbering system.

    And when oh when will the log-in for this site be improved?

  • avatar
    tsoden

    Cadillac Cinnamon…. er…I mean Cimarron.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Not sure if the Kia Pro cee’d GT is an acceptable play on words, or just dumb.

    The internet tells me that Honda once made a thing called the “That’s”.

    Maserati Quattroporte – it means ‘four doors’. So essentially its just called ‘sedan’. *YAWN*

    Mitsubishi Lettuce

    Nissan Homy Super Long

    And my personal favorite/worst name: Daihatsu Scat

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Has anyone mentioned “Cayenne”?

    Yaris deserves some (non) love.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Daewoo Maepsy! Daewoo Maepsy!

    Wait, that’s the best car name.

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    In general I would never want to own a car that is Limited. Limited reliability? Limited performance? Limited Comfort?

  • avatar

    I once got a Renault Panda Teepee as a rental. This was the same truck that “white van man” drives in spain, but this was set up as a three row family cruiser. The rental agent heard I was going into ski-land so I got this instead of the Golf/BMW1-er I’d have preferred. It was, grey, manual, and diesel. It had (has) the most incomprehensible radio I’ve ever seen, which should be simple, right ? but french electronics clearly aren’t a “thing”.

    I think that while families do operate out of the family truckster, that Teepee would come up as politically incorrect.

    The drive was OK…for a delivery truck. Luckily spanish roads aren’t autobahn, even the big ones, and you don’t get much over 60 mph for long.

    Worst names….

    Cadillac ETC. I know it means Eldo Touring coupe, but making a car which aims at the successful with something to flaunt, “etcetera” does NOT cut it. At least it was an attempt at a name…

    LaCrosse, already covered. D’Oh ! Are there no french speakers at GM or are they all too polite.- maybe- passive aggressive ?

    Brougham anything. WTF does that mean ? My folks had a few XXX broughams in the 70’s. Velour.
    Landau Roof. I know what it is, but where did it come from.

    Special Edition-does that mean high end custom or cheap-@zz ?

    Anything that presupposes that I care enough to know CTS from CT6 or 328i vs 328xi.

    I like the MX5….the motocross 5.
    M-B is getting silly with the AMG stuff…

    Ferrari…The Ferrari (only in Captain Slow’s Voice)

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Did you know that male Pandas stand on their head to be able to pee higher up on the tree trunk?

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Brougham and Landau are not that hard to figure out, they are homages to the carriages that the body styles of automobiles originated from.

      Brougham: a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage.Three features specific to the Brougham were: 1.the sharply squared end of the roof at the back, 2.the body line curving forward at the base of the enclosure, and 3.low entry to the enclosure, using only one outside step below the door

      Landau: a type of four-wheeled, convertible carriage. It was a city carriage of luxury type.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Brougham : means it has upholstery with buttons sort of things like a Chesterfield sofa, like they used (?) in Brougham carriages.

      Landau : vinyl softop two door. Rust magnet ! Landau carriages had a fabric roof.

  • avatar
    RamblerAmerican

    I remember some model years (2004) of the Nissan XTERRA SUV (SE trim) were labeled on the rear tailgate as SEXTERRA. Maybe this was intended to help with marketing the vehicle to young men?

  • avatar
    mcs

    This isn’t a name, but a logo. A woman I know was shopping for cars and saw an Inifiniti. She said there’s no way she’d ever drive one. I asked why. That was when I learned that there was an urban alternative meaning for the logo:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Infiniti%20Titties

  • avatar
    econobiker

    Plymouths Duster series?:
    Feather Duster (well known for providing aluminum lightweight parts for the drag racing scene)
    Gold Duster
    Silver Duster
    Space Duster
    Duster Twister

    All of which typically turned into Rust Dusters after 5-7 years on roads with winter salt…

  • avatar
    turf3

    Mazda Tribute:

    Millions for defense, but not one cent for Tribute.

  • avatar
    la834

    Not a model, but the worst marque name ever: Wartburg. Fine in German, less so in English.

    Best marque name: an Italian sports car briefly made from 1912-14 called the FLIRT. It was an acronym for “Fortis Levis Iucunda Rapida Transeat”, which translates to “light, strong, pleasant, speedy, it goes”. Unlike “Wartburg”, “Flirt” actually gained something in translation.
    http://www.woiweb.com/wiki/index.php?title=FLIRT

  • avatar

    Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan

    http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=1156

  • avatar
    alff

    Pontiac Parisienne, an ironic name for a car unlikely to be purchased anywhere but North America

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Cadillac’s alphabet soup names.

    Lincoln at least tried to be consistent with their chicanery.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Dodge Ram: should make up its mind.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    The LeCar gets my vote for the worst name ever.

    My personal favorite dumb car name is the Honda That’s.

  • avatar
    CowDriver

    Humber Super Snipe

  • avatar
    DownEaster

    Ford Aspire -Tough cars but most people aspired to something better. Also the cars with trim lines such as the Custom, Deluxe, Brougham added onto the name. Might be interesting to do an article on the name used by a car maker on different car lines at the same time. The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Cutlass Ciera, and Cutlass Calais of the 1980s comes to mind on that one.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Of the cars that don’t get laughed at for having stupid names, I always thought “Town and Country” was pretty bad. Might be a generational thing but I don’t get that name at all. It’s like calling a car “motte and bailey”.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Depending on where you’re from, names that are unremarkable to one person may sound absurd to another.

    The Buick Somerset might pass unnoticed in the US, but if you’re from the UK your mind may conjure up an image of west country yokels drinking cider.

    Here are a few other names worthy of ridicule.

    Plymouth at least tried to disguise the absurdity of their Duster names. Romanian car maker Dacia (now owned by Renault) tried to break into the western European car market in the 1980s with the plain Dacia Duster.

    Nissan has a long history of stupid names, including:

    Sunny
    Homy
    Quashqai
    Big Thumb
    and, pity the person who loses theirs, Cherry

    Toyota deserve a mention for the:

    Passeo
    Spade

  • avatar
    smapdi

    Malibu Maxx. “Max” is bad enough when you are talking about a family car, but why the extra X?? I wish I could have sat in that meeting to hear the logic and the yes men all agree…

    • 0 avatar
      smapdi

      To add to my post, I’d also bring up the new Rav4 “Adventure” trim. I have a Rav4 Adventure? Adventure is the most generic and lazy trim name for an SUV/CUV… its like having a Hot Wheels, but its not from Mattel, so its called the “Metal Toy Car”. And adding the dark stripe to the hood just makes it look like Toyota is trying WAY too hard to make a “cool” Rav4… but I am going off the rails a little there.

  • avatar
    Louis XVI

    My favorite, the Charade, is already well-covered above.

    However, nobody’s mentioned my second favorite, the Honda Prelude. Whenever I see one go by, I look for the real car that I expect to come after it.

  • avatar
    TTACCATT

    Mitsubishi Dingo

    D from the Mitsubishi logo diamonds, combined with Bingo!! because you feel so great you bought it.

    Or a wild baby eating dog.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Gotta be the Dodge Dart Swinger (my parents’ first car BTW) and the Ford Escort.

    In today’s parlance: Dodge Dart Tinder and Ford Ho.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    http://www.complex.com/sports/2012/07/the-25-most-ridiculous-car-names-of-all-time/daihatsu-naked

  • avatar
    Mike G

    Isuzu made cars sold under other GM badges for years until they launched in the US under their own brand in the 80s with the inexplicably weird P’up (short for pickup) and the “I-Mark” sedan.

    In terms of clashing with a car’s image, ‘Fairlady’ for a sports car has to be up there. Fortunately a US-based Japanese executive decided to use its internal code name instead, and the Datsun 240Z was born.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    The most bizzare names seem to come from Asian makes. Some are just goofy like
    Corolla, Camry, Elantra, Azera, etc. Some make you think. Honda called its car an Accord; also known as a compromise. Why? America isn’t blameless either, did Chevy forget to spell check the Cruze’s name? Germany can’t even seem to decide on names, they just use serial numbers as names. When they do think of a name they come up with fun nonsense like Tiguan.

    However the most irritating vehicle name I have ever encountered is Sportage. How? Why?

    My two favorite names are GMC’s Denali trim and the VW Touareg. They are 2 very well applied names even if the VW one requires you to know a bit of history to understand.

    EDIT: Googling the Touareg’s name to ensure I got the spelling right led me to discover the base MSRP is $50k for a midsize crossover? A Tahoe is cheaper. No wonder nobody buys them.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Chevy Captiva is pretty bad. The alphabet soup naming convention you see rolling to gets to be pretty silly and meaningless.

    Mitsubishi MiEV also qualifies.

  • avatar
    islander800

    All Cadillac current models with alpha-numeric names. I consider myself an auto enthusiast, but I can’t for the life of me keep their model range straight, and frankly, I don’t care.

    That, in a nutshell, illustrates to me that GM can’t market themselves out of a wet paper bag. If car fans can’t figure out what their selling, or care, how do they hope to conquer new sales? Ford used to have the same problem with Lincoln but smartened up with the new Continental – it has great history and legacy, it’s memorable and will likely clean Cadillac’s clock against their comparable – what alpha-numeric non-name model is comparable, again?

    If Mary Barra woke up and realized that GM really, really does need a Chief Marketing Officer (just take a scan of your current pathetic car ads, Mary, and tell me you don’t) maybe then Cadillac could cash in on the legacy and allure of names like – gee, I don’t know – Coupe de Ville? And don’t give me the crap that “millennials don’t know or care what a Coupe de Ville is”. I don’t buy it.

    So the prize goes to directionless, pointless Cadillac. Which is a shame, as Cadillac, and Chevy, engineers are doing great work today that gets let down completely by GM’s non-existent marketing.

    Another example? The great new Chevy Bolt. If it was introduced by Elon Musk, they’d be back-ordered for a year. As it is, most people don’t even know that it exists. The now-second-generation Chevy Volt is a ground breaking piece of engineering that does what no other hybrid or electric does, always propelled by electric motors with a gas-engine “generator” back-up that kicks in to supply juice to the electric motors when the batteries run low, giving the Volt a range equal to all-gas vehicles. As the Auto Extremist says, it’s an engineering tour de force unmatched by any other car maker. Where is the marketing? It should’ve had an ad campaign to match, but it seems they’re happy to sell it on – what – word of mouth? Is that any way to run a successfully competitive car company?


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