Hooniverse Asks-What's the Most Incongruous Car Name?

According to the Aztec Calendar, The world ended for Pontiac in 2010, not 1012.
According to the Aztec Calendar, the world ended for Pontiac in 2010, not 1012.

Yesterday, I mentioned how contradictory I found the Rio name on the rental Kia I had. The city for which it was named is known for its vibrant night life, cosmopolitan residents and sparkly beaches, as well as some of the world’s worst poverty. Instead, the Kia rolled a lot in corners, and shook like Cheney’s lawyer on a hunting trip.
Other cars, such as the Aztek (emblematic regardless of Pontiac’s lack of spellcheck) represents nothing of that Ancient central American culture that brought us the blockbuster hit of the fall.
Maybe that’s why so many manufacturers have gone to alpha-numerics for their model names. It’s hard to establish an emotive link between 335i or 300c and any animal, mineral or vegetable, making them potentially more safe a choice. But, that hasn’t stopped many an auto maker from slapping a name on their product that may leave the car buying community scratching their collective heads in consternation over just what that honorific is intended to evoke. So, with that in mind, what’s the most contradictory car name you can think of?
Image sources: [ talkpower,Wikipedia]

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  1. muthalovin Avatar

    After a lot of deliberation (Seriously, I just zoned out at my desk for 5 minutes, thinking about car names) I am going with Dodge Nitro. It is just another small SUV. But that name should be reserved for something that GOES! The Nitro does no go. Not at all. Especially with those awful 20" rims. No go.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Calibur and Patriot are also favorites of mine

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        Agreed. Pretty much anything low tiered from Chrysler has a bad name.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    Plymouth Acclaim and Dodge Spirit – it wasn't, and it had none, respectively

    1. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

      An exception should be made for the short-lived Spirit R/T.
      It was nearly a proper SHO-fighter.

      1. omg grip Avatar
        omg grip

        It also put out 1hp less and had a faster 1/4 mile of a Mustang GT of the same vintage, as I recall

  3. BGW, Capt (Ret.) Avatar

    It's gonna be hard to beat the LeMans pictured. That said, my old '87 Calais hardly evoked the French coastline…although it did typically fail to work properly when it got wet, so maybe the connection isn't that tenuous after all.
    And my '88 Regal damn sure wasn't. But anyway…

    1. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

      With enough velour, anything feels like royalty.

  4. LTDScott Avatar

    Ford Aspire. If you aspire to own one, you lose.

    1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

      Interesting. I was just about to say the Aspire was among the most aptly named cars. My reasoning is that it could aspire to be any other car on the road and it would be an improvement.

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        Precisely. The Festiva concerns me more, not being festive at all in stock form (aside from the optional vinyl graphics).

          1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

            Ooh, I'd forgotten that video… okay, I'll make that concession, they're festive on a steep downhill grade.

  5. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Some of the obvious examples – Grand Prix and Impala come to mind – were once able to live up to their names, so they're harder to fault.
    The new Honda Insight. The original Insight had insight. This does not. This is a cheaper, flimsier Prius knockoff.

  6. Tomsk Avatar

    Chevrolet Monza – Aside from the exceptionally rad Dekon IMSA GT jobs, it doesn't really evoke images of the Autodromo Nazionale
    Lincoln Versailles – Tarted up Granadas do not visions of French palaces make
    Chevrolet Sprint – Other than the Turbo, no, it can't
    Oldsmobile Intrigue – What's so mysterious about a W-body sedan?
    Pontiac Can Am – I don't know about you, but I think of Chaparrals, McLarens and Porsche Turbopanzers, not Colonnade A-bodies with tape-stripes
    Jaguar 420 – Not sure Amsterdam was its biggest market…

    1. BGW, Capt (Ret.) Avatar

      Speaking of Can Am, when I heard there was a vehicle being produced called Can Am Spyder, a 3-wheeled motorcycle was not exactly what I'd pictured in my head.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Can't Am.
      Good call on the Intrigue. The only intriguing bit was the cut-down Northstar, though I guess they were the least unattractive of that generation W-body.
      Oh, and Chevette. Yes, it's a smaller Chevrolet, but you know what they were thinking, and it was very sick and wrong.

  7. muthalovin Avatar

    The thing is, that there is no blanket contradictory car name. Its difficult to come up with a really good one without an exception. Sprint is one I really like. Also Escort.
    Dodge Shadow – I picture a small car, quick and black paint only. Sadly, its a four door post-malaise Chrysler. Then again, they did have a turbo…

    1. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

      I would argue that Honda, especially when they were really building up steam, has always been pretty good with naming of vehicles. Civic and Accord, for the vehicles they are, are some of the most appropriate-named vehicles I can think of. The Prelude and Odyssey also come to mind.
      The BEST car names yet though, in my opinion come from Italy. Enzo, Daytona, Guilleta, Contach, Miura, Topolino.

  8. engineerd Avatar

    As I said on Graverobber's post from yesterday, I followed a Sebring through Sebring, FL last summer. The irony was palpable, although I'm sure I'm the only one that felt it. Especially as we passed the turn off for the track.
    Anyway, my contribution will focus on Ford since we've beaten GM and Chrysler (justifiably) to death.
    Lincoln Aviator: No. No tarted up, overpriced Explorer can or should fly. Though, I'm sure more than one soccer mom wound up getting their airborne while talking on the cell phone and doing their nails.
    Ford Mondeo: Developed to be a "world car", hence its name, the US versions didn't exacltly pan out. Now it should be called the Plurimus Mondeo.

  9. blueplate Avatar

    I think the bottom line is, if the car has a name (and not numbers), and you don't like the car, you'll make fun of the name, regardless of what car it is.
    Anything priced below let's say a Viper or a Veyron, and you can make fun of the name if you try sufficiently hard enough.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      What about the Kia Turd?
      That'd be a totally apt name for a crappy car.

  10. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    How rude would it be to point out that the new Challenger really… isn't?

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      How about the Rambler Rebel?

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        One of the first muscle cars? Sorry, man… that was a Rebel.

  11. CptSevere Avatar

    This is one concept that I've thought about before. There are many cars whose names make a promise that the car is unable to deliver upon, like the above mentioned Eurosport, or the Maverick, which wasn't (unless it was the Maverick Grabber, with a 302 and rad stickers). Other cars have numerical designations, or names that are descriptive and just plain cool, like Vista Cruiser. However, what I don't get is cars named with made up words. For example, other than being the name of a car, what is a:
    And on and on. Japanese manufacturers seem to do this more than anybody, and I have no idea where these made up words come from. Someone has to invent these non-words. Some of them have obvious Latin roots, like Aveo (Avis, I think bird) and Vitara (Vitus, life), but it's kind of strange how these cars have made up names that refer to nothing. Now, mention a Tercel and a stupid little beercan comes to mind, but if you said "Tercel" back in like, 1969, you'd get a blank stare. See what I'm getting at?

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/119/256668651_a2b83b44c4.jpg?v=0"&gt;
      This is a tiercel – a male falcon. "Tercel" is apparently the British spelling. The name is said to have come from the males within this family are roughly a third smaller than the females.
      Wikipedia tells me that the Celica has Latin roots as well – coelica (heavenly, celestial) – and that the Camry is phonetically based on the Japanese word kanmuri ("crown" – see? Crown? Corona?). Corolla, incidentally, apparently means "small crown".
      I assume that "Sentra" is based on "sentry", which has its own mostly-positive connotations.
      Yaris was presumably picked by a focus group of 19-year-old otaku.

      1. CptSevere Avatar

        Oh, OK. Thanks, you just taught me something. That's very cool. I was going to mention Cressida, but I think that's a Shakespearian character.
        Yeah, I like Falcons. Nothing wrong with that.
        This one thing I like about Hooniverse and (REDACTED). You always learn something new.

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          I like Falcons, too. ; )

      2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        Slight grammar fail there, Fuzz – "…said to come from the males… are"? Christ, and I'm stone sober, too.
        Everyone loves Falcons.

    2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      Vista Cruiser is an awesome name, hands down, no ifs, ands or buts about it…… it ranks right up there alongside Aerostar!

  12. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    On a mostly-unrelated note, another fun car-naming meme: astrological signs! Let's see…
    Dodge Aries
    Ford Taurus
    Isuzu Gemini
    Ford/Merkur Scorpio
    VW Sagitar
    Half-credit goes to the Lancia Scorpion and Subaru Leone.
    Am I missing anyone?

  13. ptschett Avatar

    I was going to nominate the Plymouth Reliant, but after doing some research it evidently was a reliable car.
    And now I find myself wondering how awfulawesome a USS Reliant themed, Plymouth Reliant would be in LeMons. The K stands for KHAAAAAAAAN!
    (maybe I need to lay off the bourbon)

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      The funny thing is, the word "reliant" means something that relies on others, not something that's reliable
      I can't wait for the 2013 Fiat/Chrysler Dependent.
      (and no, you won't be able to write it off on your taxes).

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        …because it's paid for by your taxes?

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell


        2. muthalovin Avatar

          That is exactly why I DON'T pay taxes. Hmmpphhh.

  14. Elke Mullner Avatar

    I have come accross many distinct articles/Posts saying very good and poor things about this actor…but if we put all the personal life style choices behind…you can not deny the quality and skill of the acting..its just excellent