25 Worst, Weirdest, and Most Wonderful Car Names of All Time
English is a tricky tongue. Idiomatic, and filled with words stolen from cultures around the world, it has somehow become the standard language for marketing automobiles regardless of what country a car company might call home.
Over the years this has led to some frankly amazing vehicle names. In fact, even brands where the Queen's English is spoken on a daily basis haven't been immune to naming schemes that, well, are puzzling at best.
We've gathered together some of the worst, weirdest, and most wonderful car names from around the globe for your amusement. We'd also like to point out that, as unusual as some of these might be, they're still better than the meaningless collection of alphanumerics that are increasingly plastered across the trunks of modern vehicles.
1. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
Isuzu built a lot of SUVs, not just for itself but also a variety of other automakers eager to get in on the rugged 4x4 craze that erupted in the 1990s. Maybe they had run out of ideas when it came time to name the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard, or 'MU Wizard' for short, which was the 4-door version of what Americans received as the Isuzu Rodeo. Perhaps they weren't sure how owners would put them to use? Or maybe they had been cursed by an ancient power older than time itself? We'll never know.
2. Mazda Scrum
Yes, we know that the word 'scrum' is a rugby term that's been applied to a wide number of sports. No, that still doesn't make any sense when applied to a van. Or a pickup. Built by Suzuki and sold as the Carry, when Mazda rebadged it they really went in a different direction.
3. Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce
Not only is the Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce notable for being perhaps the only car in history to be dubbed after a green vegetable, it was also a one of the pioneers of automotive asymmetry. Like the current Hyundai Veloster, it introduced the idea of two passenger doors on one side and one on the other. As for its bizarre name, what else would you expect from a car that was not only developed in partnership with, but also sold directly by one of Japan's major grocery store chains?
4. Ford Probe
Here's how we feel about the Ford Probe: if you think this name sounds dirty, that probably says more about you than it does about the car.
5. Daihatsu Naked
The Daihatsu Naked is the automotive equivalent of shock rock. There's nothing particularly interesting about this little kei car box, but the name makes you look. Also available as the Naked Turbo, the Naked Summary, the Naked Gear, the Naked Memorial Edition II, and the even more provocative Naked @1 (which came not just with the chronological promise of scheduled nudity, but also zebra-print seats and exterior graphics).
6. Ferrari LaFerrari
Ferrari introduces only a handful of all-new models each decade, and yet couldn't be bothered to come up with a name that wasn't just Ferrari two times with 'the' in the middle. Look for future Ferrari models to just be combination of emoji or unpronounceable symbols. Or maybe just a bank vault on fire.
7. Mazda Laputa
If you speak Spanish, you already know why this name is a bad idea. If you don't speak Spanish, there's a strong chance you worked in Mazda's marketing department, circa 1999.
8. Ford Pinto
In Brazil, if you want to crudely make fun of a man's endowment, you use the word 'pinto.' If you're Ford, you overcompensate by rebranding you car as the 'Corcel' in that particular market. 'Corcel' means horse. Pretty smooth, Ford. Pretty smooth.
9. Peugeot Bipper Tepee Outdoor
It's really hard to make any sense of this one. It's a van. That's it, that's all. A van with word salad sprayed all over it, just like Peugeot's other van options, the Partner Tepee and the Expert Tepee. We're not making any of those names up.
10. Toyota Deliboy
At least Toyota gets it. If you're going to give your van a weird name, at least foster the illusion that's stocked full of delicious meats, pickles, and rye bread.
11. Nissan Friend-ME
There's nothing lonelier than wearing a t-shirt that says 'let's be friends.' Unless it's a Nissan concept car, sitting all by itself on the dais at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2013, begging you to accept its Facebook friend request.
12. Chevrolet Celebrity
The Chevrolet Celebrity would never pass a polygraph test. It is neither driven by celebrities, not a celebrity itself. It is a car filled with lies, and also enormous maintenance requirements that will make you a 'celebrity' at your local garage.
13. Honda That's
Naming your car such that it represents an incomplete sentence is a stroke of post-modern marketing genius that we don't know where to celebrate the Honda That's or-
14. Honda Life Dunk
Back-to-back Honda representation, again from the kei car segment. The Life Dunk is a special turbocharged version of the Honda Life. Because of course it its.
We fervently hope that Honda dealers always made sure to park the That's and Life side-by-side.
15. Subaru Legacy Touring Bruce
In 1993, Subaru made a special version of the Legacy station wagon (the Touring in Japan), and named it after Bruce Willis, who sang for them in commercials for the car. He did it again in 2005, but they didn't give him a second model. Slow your roll, Bruce. Slow your roll.
16. Jaguar F-Pace
Not much to say here other than Jaguar should have known better than to try and link the F-Type sports car to the F-Pace SUV by sharing a single letter that renders the rest of the truck's name nonsensical.
17. Bentley Bentayga
Bentley claims that the Bentayga is named after a mountain peak that no one has ever heard of. The rest of the world just sees 'Ferrari LaFerrari' written differently.
18. Volkswagen Tiguan
Speaking of awkward SUV names, did you hear the origin story about the crossover with a name that combines 'leguan' (the German word for 'iguana') and 'tiger?' This is what happens when you let a magazine (Auto Bild) run a contest to name your new vehicle. At the very least it wasn't called 'Carry McCarface.'
19. Vauxhall Adam Rocks
We're sure he does, Vauxhall, but does he really need his own line of cars to prove it? Sounds a little thirsty.
20. Honda LaGreat
Again with the self-promotion. How does that old rule go? 'If you're really great, you won't need to tell everyone how great you are.' In America, we just call this the Honda Odyssey.
21. Honda Joy Machine
Now that's more like it, Honda. The 4th entry on this list from the world's most bizarre automotive naming brain trust has us thinking maybe the Joy Machine should be bought from an ad at the back of a magazine and then delivered in a discrete brown paper package.
22. Buick LaCrosse
In the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, 'LaCrosse' sounds a lot like the slang for self-pleasure. So much so that the first-generation of this sedan was marketed in Canada as the 'Allure.' When the second generation rolled around, everyone grew up and got over themselves, and the LaCrosse was sold without shame or identify crisis.
23. Tang Hua Detroit Fish
Remember those magical summers when you'd fry up some Detroit Fish on the BBQ while listening to the baseball game on the radio? Tang Hua remembers.
24. Geely Beauty Leopard
We don't know what a Beauty Leopard is, but it sounds like it would be an absolute privilege to be devoured by one. Driving this Geely coupe sounds like a consolation prize, at best.
25. Mazda Proceed Marvie Wild Breeze
We began this list with the most random SUV name in history, and we're ending it with a close runner-up. The Mazda Proceed Marvie Wild Breeze is based on the B-Series pickup, which was sold as the Proceed in other markets. Where the Marvie or the Wild Breeze come in is anyone's guess, but does it really matter? Just let it blow through your hair, bro.