QOTD: A Car Only YOU Could Love?
There’s no shortage of people choosing to signal their offbeat, nonconformist nature via their daily driver. As build configurations shrink and niche products dry up, this is becoming increasingly hard; still, it’s a thing, and if it means reaching into the past for a defunct nameplate, many are up for the challenge.
A buddy of mine did it with a certain low-volume Isuzu. Car Twitter is littered with childless Millennials who advocate the purchase of impractical, less-loved models as their preferred transportation choice. More power to them; just don’t react with confused horror when people with a mortgage and growing brood opt for a GMC Acadia or Toyota Highlander as their main driveway denizen.
With oddball vehicles now more numerous in our past then our present, which unlikely model do you harbor a secret desire for?
To be clear, we’re not talking about some sort of foreign, right-hand-drive exotic that just cleared the 25-year import period. We’re talking about a model that was sold here, bought here, and marketed here. It’s possibly, nay, likely, that this certain model also disappeared after a short run due to lack of consumer interest.
At the time of purchase, this automobile was just as avant-garde as it is today, telegraphing to the world that the person behind the wheel was an onion, a vessel of undiscovered truths and limitless mystery. You know, like a Nissan Cube driver.
While an upwelling of irony in the middle part of this decade brought new luster to the once derived Pontiac Aztek, I’m not someone who wants to sit in a plastic-fantastic GM cabin with a so-ugly-it’s-cool body. I’ve driven enough GM in my time. As for things like the Cube, I consider that particular model a rolling horror — and a potential tip-off that the driver’s Google search history might be seriously NSFW.
Never mind practicality or reliability. Looks alone deep-sixes that choice.
As for other oddities (like the Suzuki X-90, say, or maybe a Saturn Sky), livability has to factor into the buy. The vehicle still has to function as a more-or-less normal vehicle, serving most of my needs in a glorious, virus-free future.
Which brings me to a vehicle spurned by the U.S. buying public, but one that I’ve always liked the look of. Never driven one, to be clear, but it possesses enough appeal to float it to the forefront of my consciousness.
The Acura ZDX. Built in very small numbers from model years 2010 to 2013, the ZDX was a near-exact realization of the brand’s early sketches — and the heavy beast’s limited cargo volume reflected that. Just 7,191 were sold in the U.S.
While Acura’s long-gone shield grille always turned me off, the feature works better on the ZDX. The model doesn’t want for power, either, what with its 300-horse 3.7-liter V6, and all-wheel drive boosts its all-weather capability immensely. As I don’t care about the comfort of rear-seat passengers, nor do I carry much gear anywhere, the sloping roofline concerns me little. Let it do its thing as a styling flourish.
A crossover coupe before they were “cool,” the ZDX fits the bill for being rare, striking, and very, very dead. What’s your pick?
[Images: Nissan, Acura]
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