QOTD: The Best Model Names of Them All?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd the best model names of them all

Last month we featured a Question of the Day about the worst model names ever glued onto the back of a vehicle. Everyone had fun trashing corny, little-known nameplates from here and abroad, as well as the various and oft-nonsensical letters applied to the back of many North American offerings today.

Today we flip this question and talk about the best model names. What’s your selection for the best vehicle names out there?

I’d like to think the best names evoke an emotional response, or at the very least a strong mental image. Hearing the name, one need not consult their phone for a Google Image search — they already know the vehicle in question from memory. Their brain automatically selects their preferred version, in the color of their choosing, and with wheels they like most. (I can’t be alone in doing this, several times a day.) Let’s try one: Testarossa.

What color was the one that instantly came to mind? I’m not sure why it’s always white for me, but there it is. Just like if someone says “Suburban,” I see the following resplendent and shiny vision of two-tone.

Names like these stood (and stand) the test of time, making them good candidates for best of the best. Whether via sheer longevity or a stand-out vehicle unique in its time, a great car and name combination sticks in the mind like glue. This rings true even if the name uses the maligned formula of jumbling letters and numbers. One more time — Ninety-Eight.

Which names mean the most to you, and qualify as great examples of drawing emotion or vivid imagery with just a single mention? A quick scan of a model name on a written page can transport us to a different time and place, or a world of unique design, metallic paint, and sweeping fenders. Give us your best.

[Images: General Motors, Hemmings, BangShift, eBay]

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3 of 142 comments
  • Frylock350 Frylock350 on Oct 12, 2017

    The best name has to be Denali. It's perfect and attached to the perfect vehicle(s). IMO the most clever name ever used on a vehicle is the Volkswagen Touareg. The Tuareg berbers are a formerly nomadic people that lived in the Sahara. What a fitting name for an SUV.

    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 12, 2017

      But then Volkswagen wants people to pronounce it "Tour-egg" instead of "Twah-regg", and even made a lame attempt at humor in the launch commercial, with people trying to pronounce the name (one guy even correctly pronounces "Twah-regg").

  • Twinsonic65 Twinsonic65 on Oct 30, 2017

    Chrysler - Newport, New Yorker, Town & Country, Fifth Avenue. Imperial Crown, LeBaron. Dodge Polara, Monaco, Royal Monaco, and Brougham. Plymouth - Fury I,II,III, Gran Coupe, Sport Fury, GT, Gran Fury. Pontiac Bonneville /Grandville. Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Brougham. Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman.

  • David S. For a single quarter, only ninth best-selling (estimated?) of 2022. Maybe ICE vehicles would sell at a similar rate if the government paid people to buy them too?!
  • Dukeisduke I don't like how they've changed their nameplates and font from the Star Trek-ish LEXUS, to L E X U S, kinda like VW's lettering on the back of the T A O S, or those stick-on letters you can buy at the parts store that people use to their own names on the back of their cars.
  • Dukeisduke So, the screen goes blank for two-tenths of a second, every once in a while - what could go wrong?
  • Dukeisduke "Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?"(Roy in The IT Crowd)
  • Dukeisduke Just Say No To Bugs!