Sometimes the names car companies use are just dumb.

No, I don’t mean the name of the corporation. Those are all fairly benign. (Although I have heard Hyundai pronounced the same as Honda many times.) And no, I’m not talking about people giving pet names to their car. That is OK. In fact, sometimes it is even funny. Like in the movie, ‘Romancing The Stone‘, where the stereotypical Hispanic Bad Guy (who in a stunning and unforeseen reversal turned out to be a good guy) called his pickup truck, “Pepe, My Little Mule”. That was funny. Good clean humor. “Pepe!” I love it.

Rather, what I’m talking about is where the car company gives a stoopid name to one of (or all of) their products. Given the amount of money spent to design, build, market, sell, AND NAME these vehicles, I find it absolutely amazing how many duds are out there.

And, for the most part, the duds come from the lower end car manufacturers. The cheapo cars generally have cheapo names.

Luxury car makers have all pretty much adopted the alpha-numeric nomenclature for their vehicles. And, truth be told, there are critics of that practice too. The person that grew up thinking a Deville or Town Car was ‘the bomb’ is not a fan of the ‘alphabet soup’ names. But, I’m OK with it. I don’t mind calling a Beemer a ‘5 series’…or a Lexus the ‘IS350’…or identifying a Cadillac as a ‘CTS-V’. Foreign-born luxury cars have always been named that way…and the domestic luxury makers are now doing it too. It has a certain cache. It sounds tech-ish or futuristic. It’s hip. There aren’t any dud names from the luxury brands.

And, maybe the cheapo brands adopted the stoopid names because their high dollar consumer market research identified a paradigm shift vis-a-vis a marketing renaissance for the potential engagement and connection by their core and/or potential conquest customers…or the name sounded vaguely foreign…or it was all that was left.


The Suzuki aerio, grand vitara, & forenza are all stoopid names for cars. What is an aerio? Is it supposed to imply flight? Maybe the driver has a feeling of wind flowing through his/her hair. Maybe it implies good gas mileage? Maybe it’s the sound of road noise coming through the floorboards? And, the forenza? Is it tough? Is it forceful? Is it on fire?  Is it Italian?

The Hyundai elantra and azera are dumb names too? Will I feel elated if I drive the elantra? Will the azera carry five people in comfort? Maybe they wanted to use a ‘z’ in the name and couldn’t come up with anything better? Maybe research indicated that names with a vowel at the beginning and end imply fiscal responsibility?

The Nissan armada is another. The ONLY thing that comes to mind when I hear the word armada is the sinking of the Spanish armada about 500 years ago. Who says armada? Who uses that word for anything? Why would it be a good name for a huge gas-guzzler? Will it sink if driven into a river?

Kia has their amanti and spectra. Once again, what the hell are these names supposed to imply? An amanti has the same opulence as Armani? The spectra doesn’t require bifocals? And, for that matter, isn’t a KIA (killed in action) a bad thing?

What is a leganza? Is it some type of antelope on the African Serengeti? Maybe it is one of those obscure marsupials of the Australian outback? Maybe daewoo discovered a new creature roaming the Galapagos islands…

The highlander and explorer and pathfinder and rover and landcruiser and pilot are all silly names too. “We’re going on an expedition. Good thing we have a vehicle with CAPABILITIES.” Seriously, what exactly differentiates these vehicles? They all have a generic name which implies doing something. Then what?

And, lastly, the vehicles with names of mountain ranges or national parks or geographic features are just annoying. Is it more rugged? Is it more adventurous? Does driving one get a person an honorary membership in the forest service?

What was wrong with just naming a vehicle the ‘model T’…or the ‘model A’?

Can’t every car name be alphanumeric?

Sure, the mustang means something.  Sure, the accord has a consensus definition.

But, for every car with a name that has meaning, there are ten with names that are glorified marketing gobbly-gook.  “Buy this and you’ll have instant virility.”  “Buy that and you will enter a fantasy world.”

I want a car called the “Transcendant”.

I want a car called the “Guaranteed To Get You Laid”…