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What Is Behind the Name of Your Car?

Kamil Kaluski August 27, 2014 All Things Hoon 33 Comments

mojo motos behind car name

The folks at Mojo Motors came up with another interesting infographic which deals with car model names. Specifically, they grouped many car model names in groups of: Location, Adventure, Nature, Cultural, Transportation, Power, Futuristic, Versatility, Speed, Musical, Human Names, and Technology.

Did they get them right? Is the Honda Prelude a musical or futuristic name? What about the Chevy Trailblazer, speed or adventure? Check out the full info image after the jump.


  • 2cver

    Ironic that my musical Pontiac Vibe has a broken radio.

    • Wildcat_445

      An ex-girlfriend of mine wanted the Pontiac Vibe just for the name. And she wanted in pink. And it wasn't for musical reasons… :o/ Surprised she didn't want it battery-operated.

  • samuelpowersjackson

    I'm told that there are people in Santa Fe who drive the Hyundai Santa Fe, but I don't know of anyone in TriBeCa who drives the Subaru Tribeca…

    • ptschett

      I live in North Dakota, grew up in South Dakota, and own a Dodge Dakota. (My dad lives in South Dakota and has 2 Dakota's.)

      • dead_elvis

        I bet there are a few Tundras up on the tundra, too.

        That would be better listed in location or nature, vs adventure.

    • PotbellyJoe ©

      Most people in TriBeCa simply don't drive. I used to walk through every morning.

      There was a guy who street-parked his Maserati. Didn't have a clean panel on the entire car. That was his throwaway car.

  • buzzboy7

    I have a BMW 318ti. Yay numeric car names with some 1970s alphabetic flair.
    Although I drove a Beetle and a Comet. A bug and a Roman God.

    The mercury had the coolest gas cap though
    <img src="http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/P51C/Screenshot2011-06-12at104705PM.png"&gt;

  • Scoutdude

    I think Ranger would be more appropriate in either versatility, ie good for a range of uses, or adventure such as a park or army Ranger.

  • stigshift

    I was really hoping to use this guide as a magical decoder for all of the bullshit three letter non-names that are all the rage today. But alas, no…

    • Wildcat_445

      Exactly. I dislike the shift to letter designations. It's one thing if you follow one or two car companies and know them (like I know all of Acura's designations over the years), but I still prefer names. Interesting, though, that with some car companies, even the letter designations echo their old names…or at least I think they do. Cadillac's CTS was the Catera, STS was the old Seville, DTS was the Sedan *D*eVille, and I think the two-door coupe carried an "E" in its designation like the Eldorado.

      • stigshift

        You're thinking of the Etcetera- I mean ETC, which was the Eldorado Touring Coupe.

        • Wildcat_445

          Aha! That was it.

          I miss the old Fleetwoods. My uncle had a '68 in black with the vinyl top. It was older at the time, but was a cool 2nd car.

  • Drzhivago138

    I don't know about some of these. Methinks TrailBlazer and Blazer would both be better categorized under "Adventure".

    • nanoop

      It's a bit arbitrary, true. A Ford Focus would be either in the optics or learning techniques section?

  • I wonder what my Falcon was named after…

    Also, learned a little while ago that "hyabusa" means falcon in Japanese. Gonna start calling mine a 'busa just to confuse everyone.

    • IronBallsMcG

      In particular a type of falcon that reaches speeds of almost 200 mph in a dive and hunts blackbirds, an atypical Japanese shot at Honda and their CBR1100XX (Super Blackbird)
      This makes "Hayabusa" one of my favorite vehicle names.

  • Marto

    Hang on! "Camry" actually means something? I thought it was just a dull, reliable word that anyone could pronouce and was hard to mistype.

    <img src="http://sunautoworld.com/images1/toyota-camry-lx-6.jpg&quot; width="600">

    I actually owned one of these for a year: bought as an 18 year old used car with 140,000km on the odometer. Worked without fault. Sold it for pretty much what I bought it for.

    • dukeisduke

      What does "Camry" mean? I didn't see it in the article.

      • Marto

        Transliteration of the Japanese word for crown, apparently: "kanmuri".

        • Wildcat_445

          Didn't Toyota also have a Corona model, back in the 70s? (And no, it wasn't named after beer.)

    • stigshift

      Camry is Japanese for "beige".

  • ptschett

    -It amuses me that Century and Millenia are in different sectors. Same for Thunderbird and Firebird (unless they're connecting the thunderbird legend with Teratornithidae.)
    -Camaro was supposed to be "a small vicious animal that eats mustangs" so it's in the right place I guess.
    -Magnum would be funnier in "Adventure" or "Culture". (Also, Escort.)

    • Alff


      • Wildcat_445

        Hmmm…that might go with Vibe…in a category not mentioned… ;o)

  • Alff

    Our most recent vehicle acquisition is a Ford Mainline. IV drug use FTW.

    • I've got a Galaxie Skyliner. Geocentric cosmology FTW.

  • Dr. D

    I think they got Hyundai Tiburon wrong. The car was not named after the location (Tiburon, CA), rather it was named after "tiburón," the Spanish word for shark (which is also how the town got its name.) It belongs in the "Nature" category with the other animals.

    • dukeisduke

      Yes, shark (I remember reading that when the car launched.).

  • dukeisduke

    So WTH is a "Yaris"? And what's a Mazda Milleniav?

    • Devin

      According to Toyota themselves the logic was as follows:

      "Yaris stems from a goddess in Greek mythology, named Charis, who was a symbol of beauty and elegance. We used the German expression of agreement, "ya", because we think this new name best symbolizes the car's broad appeal in styling and is representative of Toyota's next generation of global cars."

  • Feds_II

    What!?!? No Delica Spacegear Royal Exceed!?!? How am I supposed to categorize myself!

  • spotty

    i'm stuck with a Holden Rodeo…i just call it the clown car

    i've also owned a Hillman Hunter, at the time of disposal of said vehicle i'd still not found anything it was capable of hunting, let alone actually catching