QOTD: Is It Time to 'Save the Car Names'?

qotd is it time to 8216 save the car names

It’s not a secret most of us at TTAC are not, to put it charitably, overly enamored with the current crop of alphabet soup adorning the trunk lids of most new cars today. The market has endured alphanumeric model names for years, but at least, say, in the ‘80s and 90s there was a very good chance the numbers stood for engine displacement. Not anymore.

This is why I am glad Kia has chosen to simply make up words for its new product. The Stonic is allegedly a portmanteau of ‘speedy’ and ‘tonic’. All right, then. At least it’s not the 6000SUX or something.

Automotive history is littered with many great and bizarre names. Here’s a few:

I’ll open the bidding with this, the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard. It, of course, was known here in the States by the much more mundane name of Rodeo.

Let’s use this Mazda Bongo Friendee (with Auto Free Top!) as a chaser to the Isuzu’s weirdness.

Sometimes, a vehicle’s name gains legendary status simply because it captures its personality to a tee, such as this handsome Chevy Blazer.

What’s your all-time favorite vehicle name? It could be because it sounds ridiculous (Honda Life Dunk) or because it simply works with the car (the mighty Ford Mustang). Sure, we all talk about Save the Manuals … but maybe it’s time for TTAC to lead the crusade to Save the Car Names.

[Images: Kia Motors, Wikimedia ( CC BY-SA 3.0),

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  • 2ACL What tickles me is that the Bronco looks the business with virtually none of the black plastic cladding many less capable crossovers use.
  • IBx1 For all this time with the hellcat engine, everything they made was pathetic automatic scum save for the Challenger. A manual Durango, Grand Cherokee, Charger, 300C, et al would have been the real last gasp for driving enthusiasts. As it is, the party is long over.
  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.