What is the worst car name of all time?
Mitsubishi Charisma – because it’s an inaccurate description
Maldonado! no wait wrong question…
Look it up
Probe or Fabia, coz it sounds like ladies bits.
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard. Weirdly, this is also the best car name ever.
(Now imagine it being said by Rowan Atkinson…. Probe. Bob. Probe)
The Chinese have a few good ones: Geely Rural Nanny, Tang Hau Book of songs, Geely Beauty Leopard…
I’d imagine they probably work better in the native tongue, but still…
* Toyota Urban Cruiser – I always thought this sounded like a term for someone who kerb crawls
* AMC Gremlin – usually prefixed with “electrical”
* G-Wiz – Horrible car, horrible name that sounds like some stereotypical geek in an American sitcom
* Growler – The German E-Type homage, I recall Clarkson saying it sounded like a euphemism for a lady’s fairy cave
* Ford Probe – I think it’s suppose to allude to space age stuff, but the truth is everyone is thinking about alien autopsys
Daewoo Nubira, which sounds like a washing powder or a tropical disease.
clue: Steed in the UK
Leave the Reliant Kitten out of this.
Ferrari La Ferrari.
Geely PU Rural Nanny
Daewoo Nubira, sounds more like a Star Wars character !
Mitsubishi Toppo BJ must rank very highly.
Mumford Musketeer sounds like a euphemism, and to this day calling someone a Mumford, in parts of South London, can get you a swift Dry-Slap across the chops!
Google it, tragic doesn’t even come close!
Also Isuzu Bighorn and most other Japan only cars for that matter.
Any Mercedes or BMW where the badge number exaggerates the engine size
There used to be a Vauxhall Nova Spin. I think there is a Corsa Flame as well.
These are not very reassuring names.
I can think of 2 recent ones… Vauxhall Adam and Citroen Cactus (add your own prick jokes here)
Toyota MR2 — say it with a french accent and you’ll realise why they had to rename it the MRS in France
It has to be the Nissan Starion. This was named in a telephone conversation between the Japanese manufacturers and their US agents….it was only after the badges were all made and the publicity printed that the Japanese said “NO!! NO!!…Not Starion….STARION!!! STARION!!..Like HORSE..!!”
Ka, as in Ford. No-one knows how to say it. Some go for “Kay Ay”, some “car”, some “kah”. I think the correct pronunciation is like the noise a dog makes when it’s coughing, personally, but I may be wrong too…
Austin Maxi. Sounds like a sanitary towel.
Suzuki Swift. Generally not, in my experience.
Vauxhall Adam. Why?
Ferrari La Ferrari
Hummer (makes me chuckle every time)
That cant be beaten.
Rolls Royce Silver Mist was renamed Shadow ‘cos Mist in German is manure/dung.
The Vauxhall Nova was the Corsa in France, where No Va means “No go”.
Wasn’t Honda’s HR-V orginally called the Joy Machine?
VW’s Sharan was pretty duff as well.
Mazda Bongo FURY (RAAAAARGH!)
Dodge Dart Swinger (which nearly had a fastback version called the Beaver)
I thought my Volkswagen Transporter T5GP Highline Kombi 4Motion was pretty shit, but there have been plenty more. Most american cars have shit names, like the Chevy Citation or Cadillac Cinnamon or whatever it was called. The Ascona was a good name for a car, as it means womans fanny, or something close by. The Japanese were always good for a giggle, like Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard, or the Daihatsu Scat, but I believe the Chinese will entertain us for many years to come, with some like the Tang Hua Book Of Songs (no, not making it up) or the Dongfeng Crazy Soldier but one I love is the Tang Hau Detroit Fish
Never going to get old, those Chinese car names…
Kia Provo (to be renamed in the UK, unsurprisingly)
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard (yes, really)
Renault Duster – it neither resembles nor can be utilised as a cleaning accessory. Also the advert is clearly a breach of the advertising standards agency rules, showing the tonka toy on steroids performing unfeasible manoeuvres ending with the words ‘and on that bombshell’. Not even original.
I had a Mitsubishi Starion…(Japanese accent)
Made me laugh everyday!
FIAT Uno Start (please).
Honda Fitta in Sweden.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI CR 170 Elegance DSG laurin & klement Luxury Pack Outdoor 4×4.
Or any other car where the full name goes beyond 25 characters in length
To go with the Nova and Rolls Royce Mist which don’t translate well, I give you the Mitsubishi Pajero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Pajero)
But Sulpher Man, that’s Lady Gaga’s favorite car, she wrote an entire song about it.
I’ll go with the something rude in Spanish trifecta of the Mitsubishi Pajero (wanker), Mazda Laputa (The prostitute) and Nissan Moco (snot). It’s as though a Spanish person is going through Japan seeing how many companies he can convince to name their cars something rude.
The Hillman 9hp. So called because it gave 9hp. And it replaced the Hillman 25hp. Save a years wages and get a 9hp…
@Charlie Croker, The MR-2 was actually renamed MR, not MR-S, in both France and Belgium. Switzerland, however, always enjoyed the “Hé merdeux”.
and @whoever-wrote-it, the Honda Fitta is just an urban legend. I even saw it printed in a belgian TV magazine, with “finnish” substituted for “swedish”, it’s that bad. The car was – and still is – called Fit in Japan, not Fitta, and the european export version was called Jazz, as a nod to Honda’s tall hatchback from the early 80s. There was no plan to call it Fit in just ONE scandinavian country. It’s just a load of bollocks, but those urban legends just keep on and on…
My pet peeve ? Car names with unnecessary apostrophes, underscores, or wrong spelling. Worst offender : the Kia Pro_Cee’d, obviously.
Toyota Previa because it reminds me of the female condition placenta previa! Why, why did they not research the name?
Jinma QJM5022TYN6 Wedding Car, although I suspect there are some old British kit cars with pretty naff names as well.
And then from the great car manufacturing nation of Tunisia there is the Wallyscar IZIS which nearly works on two levels.
Mitsubishi Pajero-Pajero is spanish for wanker
Mazda Laputa-Puta is Spanish for prostitute (the slogan was: “The Laputa is designed to give maximum utility in minimum space whilst delivering a smooth, comfortable ride”)
The Toyota MR2 failed to sell well in France as it would be pronounced “em-mer-deux”, perilously close to “merde” meaning “shit”
The Rolls Royce Silver Mist range had to be renamed for the German market because “mist” means “dung” in German
The Ford Pinto couldn’t be sold in Brazil as “Pinto” is slang for a small
Honda launched the Fitta in Scandanavia, except “Fitta” is slang for vagina in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish
Nissan launched the Moco before realising that “Moco” is Spanish for “mucus”
Ford’s comet was called the Caliente in Mexico, which means “hot” as in temperature, but it is also slang for “horny”
Ford again, with the Fiera, which means “ugly old woman” in much of Latin America
i know of someone who has a Bongo Friendee and a Peugeot Bipper Teepee. Double awful.
In fact anything named after something you get in Costa
Otherwise, the Horsey Horseless
In Australia we have HSV, or Holden Special Vehicles. This abbreviation also works equally well as Herpes Simplex Virus.
We gave HSV to the UK not too long ago. Enjoy!
Well if we are getting into acronyms and if Formula 1 cars are included how can we leave out Hispania Racing Team, HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy if you prefer. I can only assume Bernie accepted their application in the mistaken impression he was signing up for some medical supplies.
Heh, Holden also has an HRT in Holden Racing Team.
Surprised no one has mentioned Nissan Fairlady Z…
That’s because it’s AWESOME John.
Honda Vajazzle, I mean Vezel.
Austin Maestro. If you look up Maestro on the interwebs it defines the word as “a distinguished figure in any sphere”. The Austin Maestro was nothing of the sort, it was shite. I understand that the wretched things decendants are still being made in china somewhere. In other news, fat Mark used to have a Montego and got upset when we broke his rear badge off, turned the M upside down and removed the ‘e’, that was 1998 and he had just got his license back after a Roy Lanchester moment…ahem…
I’m still mourning the fact that Ford refuse to name their cars after British bongo mags any more. Apart from the Fiesta, obviously. Although someone should really publish a mag featuring ‘the older lady’, and call it the Kuga just to turn the tables.
Skoda Rapide – it wasn’t.
Any AND ALL stupid “lifestyle” car names. Like the Kuga, which I refuse to pronounce as Kooga. It’s spelt Kuga so I will pronounce it as Kuhga.
I’m amazed that no-one remembers the Vauxhall Sintra (or thinking about it maybe i’m not surprised at all)
Lots of good ones already mentioned, let me just add the Volkswagen Up! to the list for pretty much the same reason Exiv96 gave.
Yes, the Up!. Not the Up, the Up!, which means any passage about the Up! where the author takes care to observe Volkswagen’s preferred nomenclature for the Up! makes it look like the text was written by an hyperactive idiot.
Citroen Cactus. Clearly this is misleading as a Cactus has the pricks on the outside.
Worst name for a car? Daihatsu Charade.
Think about it. For years, we all just accepted it on face value, as a plain-Jane name for an anonymous small car.
But really, charade? The dictionary definition of charade is (and I quote):
“Charade – a blatant pretence or deception, especially something so full of pretence as to be a travesty.”
I hope the guy that came up with the car’s name won his bet.
The Citroen BX TRD, which was a fine car but within the dealer I was working at the time, was simply known as the BX Turd
Also the Xantia, know by all around the garage at the time as the Ex-Auntie
Nissan Micra Collette, Why?
Also at about the same time the Nissan Sunny, One thing it never made you feel was sunny, this miserable drab piece of crap
The equally poorly named Nissan Bluebird. Loved by taxi drivers and errrr, well that’s about it
Also from Nissan was the Urvan, which was a long wheel base van and I can only assume was meant to be a plan of words of Urban, giving it a rugged, manly theme. Which was fine, but it’s slightly shorter wheelbase cousin was that Vanette, which sounded like the backing singers of a very camp 60’s diva.
It’s Diana Ross and the Vanettes!
We sold a lot more Urvans
BMW make this huge bloated c-segment car called the “Mini”…
The concept only “Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal”
Also the most annoying because on the rare occasions you see one on the road you laugh out loud then have to stop laughing because it doesn’t say what you thought it said.
Renault VelSatis. With the stupid capitalised S in the middle.
And another vote for Toyota Urban Boozer… i mean Cruiser.
The Adam makes perfect sense as the Opel Adam, since it’s based on the founder’s name, but for sale in the UK all Opels must be renamed Vauxhall.
How about the VW black up! I don’t think it came to the UK, even though it might have appealed to fans of the Black and White Minstrel Show.
De Tomaso Mongoose.
aka Mangusta. An animal that kills Cobras but doesn’t track or corner quite as well.
Just too contrived.
Renault 5 “Le Car” – imaginative
Plymouth Duster Mr. Norm
Mazda Bongo Friendee
Ford Mustang Cobra is a little odd when you think about it, too.
Ka, Kuga, Mokka and every other purportedly ‘hip’ name created by the sort of dim, borderline illiterate, Shoreditch twat who thinks that sugar diabetes is a Welsh boxer.
Just out of ones I’ve driven:
Chrysler Sebring: Made of cheese. Badly.
Chrysler 200: A Sebring by any other name, ten years on. And worse.
Volvo 343 Variomatic: Hateful in every respect.
Maestro: Engine stayed running when key removed. Embarrassing.
Ford Transit hired from Jafvans of South Harrow: Bought thirty-third-hand when it became too shabby for the pikeys.
VW LT hired from some outfit in Harlesden: Worst. Gearbox. Ever.
Fiat Strada automatic: Belonged to my sister. The highlight of her car history is a Toyota Corolla.
Fiat 127 Rustica.
And you say manufacturers don’t research names…
Insignia. That was a deodorant when I was growing up.
Daihatsu Pony – self-evidently Pony and Trap.
The Yue Loong Feeling is either Chinese or Taiwanese, and sounds like the after effects of a duff takeaway.
The Buick Lacrosse has the same double meaning as the Mitsubishi Pajero, with a particularly feminine slant.
Toyota sell a pickup truck called the Invincible – a recent incident involving a US freight train puts the lie to that one.
Last but not least, the Singer Chamois sounds like something to wash a proper car with.
Model T. It wasn’t a model and didn’t look like a T. Silly silly Henry Ford.
I think Ford called it the “Model T” because his first choice “911” had already been taken….
It’s got to be the Ssangyong Korando hasn’t it? Reportedly an abbreviation of Korea Can Do.
Uglier than holy hell too.
Smart & Pulse
Smart & Pure
Smart & Passion
Like Citroen made a BX Turd, apparently a lot of Kia cars are CRDi.
And by the way, Andy J, my Nissan 100NX was fantastic to drive, but really just a Sunny in disguise. I still miss it 🙁
The Tata Indica – Indica is a strain of marijuana, vast consumption of which is required to get in the right frame of mind to justify purchasing said vehicle.
Gentlemen. I recommend to you the 1955 Gaylord.
A friend of mine once had a 1958 Imperial Crown Southampton Hardtop Coupe, not stupid – just stupidly long. Desoto thought “Firedome” was a good name for a car too.
But no, nothing tops the translated Far Eastern vehicle monikers. Mysterious Utility Wizard indeed.
The choice of knuckle dragging retards all over the UK
The Subaru Sexually Transmitted Infection.
Appropriate seeing as most of them are driven by revolting c**cks and minging c**ts
@Chris – according to howmanyleft there are still 286 registered Sintras out there.
Suzuki Every Joypop Turbo
Mazda Titan Dump
Isuzu Giga 20 Light Dump
Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce
The diesel engined basic model Vauxhall was the Corsa D-Merit.
Eniugh said, unless you want an Astra (geta)Life
the Ford “Probe” isn’t a Probe something they stick in your A$$ ?
the Buick Century “tosser” edition
Toyota Estima. The Estima is a type of potato – oh, maybe it’s not so silly after all.
By the way, Moley, the Starion was a Mitsubishi, not a Nissan – but the comment still applies.
I just had to Google ‘Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard’.
Vauxhall adam.considering it,s customer base surely eve
would be more fitting.
special mention for my childhood fave the the pug 405 GRDT, who’s stylised badging which made it a 405 GROT
The Mitsubishi Pajero. Marketed in Spain, to Spaniards. Pajero is Spanish means “wanker”.
Renault Twizy. Motorized choc bar…?
Most disappointing for those who followed F1 in the days when it was interesting – Ligier IXO. Words fail me to describe the abyssal deception this “heavy quadricycle” inspires.
Some crackers here!
Nissan Homy Super Long
Mazda Carol Me Lady
and the Fiat Bernard (I might have made that one up)
Japan seems to have all the best ones sewn up – my first trip there started out in the Mazda Bongo Friendee
but my fave ended up being the incomparable…
(standard issue taxi – at least they used to be…)
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Gong glory for family firm favourite
Sniff Petrol is delighted to welcome a guest column from OLLY HIGUYS, better known as automotive influencer ON THE RIM
Commonplace classic covered by waffly words of wank