Some good names not taken yet.

Since carmakers make more money on SUVs, they make lots of different models. Many more SUVs than coupes or sedans these days. Unfortunately, the folks in charge of naming these things are completely overwhelmed. Used to be that an auto manufacturer would create a new model every three years or so, but they’re rushing these environment-destroying death-traps to market like new sandwiches at McDonald’s.

So what are they using as names for these McGriddle mobiles? Interestingly, I’ll mention the first thing they’re not doing any more: animals. Since the Ford Bronco, there hasn’t been another animal name. Weep for the critters.

Since the Ford Explorer, there have been many outdoorsy names. Navigator? Explorer? TrailBlazer? Pathfinder? These are good ones, probably the best, and seemingly appropriate. I’m not going to get into the issue that 99% of these “outdoorsy” SUV owners never get their tires dirty.

Special credit here for the Subaru Forester, which to me invokes an image of deforestation, which is a wink to say, “We know these vehicles are destroying the Earth, but don’t say it out loud.”

Lots of companies use letters for model names, and that’s an old tradition going back to the Model T. MKX? SRX? HHR? Sure, I guess that’s okay.

Places? Again, a classic naming strategy like the Malibu, Bel Air, and Camaro. So Santa Fe, Acadia, Denali, they evoke more outdoorsy images, that’s good.

Subaru also makes the Tribeca, which is a place, but it’s a neighborhood in Manhattan. That’s got to be some kind of mistake. What are they thinking there at Subaru?

We’ll give the Volkswagen Touareg a pass here, since it’s named for a nomadic tribe. Nobody can pronounce that word, however, and that’s a minus.

Kia Sportage – What the heck is a “sportage”? Is that like when Buffy says “slayage”?
Honda Element – Perhaps the worst name for a vehicle ever.
Dodge Nitro – Whoa, that one sounds safe! Reminds me of the inflammable Pinto.
Suzuki Grand Vitara – Suzuki again! What is a “vitara,” and how does it get “grand”?
Chevrolet Equinox – Like a broken clock, right only twice a year.
Pontiac Torrent – Because it takes a torrent of gas to fill it up?
Buick Rendezvous – Ooh, it’s French, and it’s lame.
Ford Freestyle – You can do whatever you want, as long as you get to a gas station once each hour.
Isuzu Ascender – Probably for climbing onto curbs and across medians illegally.
Buick Enclave – Enough room for a whole tribe inside?
Nissan Armada – Could be a step in the right direction, see below.
Ford Escape – Escape from what? Carbon offsets? Miles per gallon?
Ford Edge – “Edge” is not a name. Especially for that guy that can’t play guitar.
Saturn Relay – You need two or more of these to get where you’re going. And a baton.
Buick Terraza – The terrace. I don’t get it.

Here are my suggestions for SUV names. I think there’s a large, untapped resource here. I freely offer these to the auto industry.

Chevrolet Crusher
Buick Ballbuster
Saturn Executioner
Ford Slayer
Nissan Liquidator
Isuzu Annihilator
Suzuki Eradicator
Pontiac Mutilator
Dodge Destroyer
Honda Hellraiser
Kia Killer

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7 Responses to Some good names not taken yet.

  1. Jason says:

    I’ve always been a fan of “obliterate.” How about the Nissan Obliterator?

    — Driver of a Hyundai Elantra, whatever that is.

  2. Brad says:

    I like it when they pick names of cities in the SW US.

    Here is the thing about a crappy car name that upsets me. You know a group of people sat around talking about a name – probably multiple boring meetings with lots of names on a whiteboard with online dictionaries loaded up on a laptop.

    And the worst is someone who gets paid to much for what they do signed off on it saying, “Sounds good to me!”

  3. Trevor says:

    You shouldn’t be mad at the car companies over the SUVs. You said yourself they make them lots of money and corporations don’t get by screwing with things that make them lots of money. The people that own SUVs however and don’t need them, silly.

  4. Dave(id) says:

    Nice post…..

    The last 3 vehicles I’ve owned……all sucky names

    Honda Civic – Why yes, I did pay my taxes without complaint.

    Jeep Cherokee – Guess the Jeep Chickasaw doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Toyota Matrix – I hated the movies and almost didn’t buy the car for that reason alone.

  5. Mkae says:

    How come your list of stupid names doesn’t include “Prius”? :)

    –Driver of a Pontiac Grand AM GT, which I believe means “Grand American, GO TEAM!”

  6. Shocho says:

    Because my list of stupid names is a list of stupid SUV names, that’s why.

    Prius is a made up name, and I have no real opinion regarding those. Like Altima or Maxima, sure whatever.

    However, since you brought it up, the Prius is one of the fucking ugliest cars on the planet. White tail lights? Fender skirts? FENDER SKIRTS???

  7. Mkae says:

    Because “Prius” is derivative of “priss”? ;)

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