There were some pretty self-confident guesses on the ’36 Ford, but none were even close. How about this? (sorry about the small picture size)
Why its Walter Whites fav ride, the Pontiac Aztek.
But he sold it for $50 and bought a new Chrysler 300….lol
Thats because there is no Walt now, only Heisenberg.
Shut up, shut up, shut up! I’m still waiting for season 5 to come to Netflix streaming.
Yes Pontiac Aztek and given the prevalent convention wisdom, a nasty article will soon follow tomorrow.
It would be hard to write an article about the Aztek that isn’t nasty. About the only nice thing you can say about it is that it’s utilitarian for varying measures of utility.
In spite of that, I like it and I always have. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of 1970s-era AMC cars, so my esthetic taste obviously leaves much to be desired.
the truly weird thing is Aztek’s corporate twin, the Buick Rendezvous, wasn’t nearly as hideous as the Pontiac was
I agree the styling of the Aztek was a bridge too far, and that is probably what did the vehicle in. With that said, I do not think the actual car itself was particularly bad mechanically or the intended premise. I do not think that it was a nail in Pontiac’s coffin, this wasn’t the same as the Pacer was to AMC who was hanging on by bare threads. GM needed to sell 30,000 Aztek to break even and sold a bit less than that, the Rendezvous sold fairly well so GM probably at least broke even. With that said, the idea was solid and if the styling would have caught on it would have been a market maker. So in a way, it gave its life to open the door for cross overs. lol.
The appeal of the Aztek specifically was to a somewhat younger active outdoorsy type. The Rendezvous was aimed at a more suburban soccer mom type demographic. Some people liked the Aztek despite the styling because it actually performed well and had some features like the tent etc that was interesting. Supposidly most owners were very satisfied with the vehicle.
With that said it became something of a laughing stock because of the unusual styling and well frankly I think people did not know how to respond to it. Some cars just become cool some stuff just becomes consigned to the dustbin of early adapters and other social outcasts who find a way to connect with the product.
Oh yeah, they did more than brake even, they probably even made a decent return, it used the common GM minivan U-platform with slight modification, the old 3400 OHV V6, AWD systems were from the minivans too and they were made in Mexico.
The Rendezvous was a solid hit, sold at a fairly high price compared ot the Aztek giving it a bigger margin considering they were charging more for the same basic GM Hamburger underneath, it was sort of a Lexus RX for midwesterners, the first domestic luxury car based crossover from what I recall, and led to the Buick Enclave that makes really good money for Buick today.
Whoa! Save it for tomorrow 🙂
My aunt has a Rendezvous Ultra (I never could quite get the modeling nomenclature on these CX, CXL, etc?).
My only issue with them (other than the styling) was that the vehicles used rather large pieces of body cladding on the lower doors and around the window frames then I have seen tend to break or fall off which makes a car look bad. It looks a little cobbled together but the Rendezvous is not bad especially in the white diamond, black contrast that my aunt has with aluminum wheels.
I sort of look at the Aztek like the Betamax it was a good concept but well just failed to catch on, but Betamax was the first real modern tape product which led to the VHS and the door opened for real home movies and time shifting. Sort of like “look at what the devil spawned..”
Could this be the first time the clue gets as many comments as the main article.
Arrrgh, I mis-spelled break, cars on the brain.
Really, that Rendevous just looks bad. In order to make it acceptable, you really have to squint. Hard. At night. In the fog.
In fact, if you read Lutz’s book, the Buick follwed the Old GM plan to a T: Engineered to a focus group until all the features and design excellence were gone, then add a few brand cues to give it “style” and call it good.
You ever see one fom the rear with the entire suspension exposed? Not good….
I’m thinking that’s an Aztek
Aztek, the early years
2001 or 2002 Pontiac Aztec.
The only years for this color (citrus green) if memory serves.
Yup, Aztek. Amazing how distinctive a simple taillight can be.
Then again, you also captured here what it possibly the vehicle’s only inoffensive styling trait.
When viewed on a lift the chassis looks ok, if you can ignore the car over it.
THE NAIL IN PONTIACS COFFIN
More like the grenade in it’s coffin.
Great somebody else already took my guess. This Aztek is a 2000-01 (color is 2000-01 only), and this is probably a GM Deadly Sin (knowing it created a lasting genre of car, it could be a GM Greatest Hit also).
Too late again — Aztek! First (and best-selling model year) was 2001.
I always see these at pick-a-part. Most of them don’t look like they’ve had many parts picked, LOL.
Came in too late… but yes, Aztek for sure.
I always thought that green was the best colour on these (such things being relative) – it made it look a little paramilitary, as if it were at least ugly for the sake of function, not form (which of course it wasn’t).
Not only did Pontiac festoon the majority of all their mid 80’s – 90’s vehicles with “ribbed” plastic body cladding, they apparently thought it was such an awesome styling cue that they used it on the Aztek’s taillights as well……
Way too late, but yes it is an Aztek. In the green metallic I wanted, my wife wanted the Steel Blue instead. Guess who won?
FWIW, I will have something to say about the Aztek come tomorrow. Having owned two of them, I think I can speak from experience.
I know I have a rep as a domestic fanboi and a GM one at that, but the car *was* underrated. It was a great size for the amount of stuff you could cram in it, one could park it anywhere in the city, it would fit and the fuel mileage was not awful like some other SUVs or crossovers that have come since.
I’ll be very interested to see the CC on it…
I like to hear stories from people who owned questionable vehicles but like them.
As for the CC, I wouldn’t hold your breath. I quote Louis XV (if he indeed said it) “Apres moi le deluge” “after me the deluge…”
Its going to be a long morning.
I don’t know what would be considered questionable about this car/truck/thing. When it was still contemporary, it had one of the highest owner satisfaction ratings of any vehicle.
I have to say, when my wife told me she wanted one, I had to question her sense of aesthetics. I was not impressed, particularly as this was coming from Pontiac Division, who’d had some of the best looking cars that GM has ever released on the public.
Once I got in the car and drove it and eventually owned a couple of them, I was impressed. Granted, the appearance of the car back in 2000 was quite unusual, but as time has passed, more and more cars look like the Aztek than not. To paraphrase Bob Lutz, “angry appliances”. More apt than I care to admit.
We lived with two of them for five years. Going into the adventure, I never would have imagined that I would be sorry to see them go back to GM (lease terms dictated that). But by the same token, the necessity of finding another car introduced me to my current love, the GM Epsilon chassis.
To this day, I still entertain the idea of finding a low mileage Aztek. But the reality is, I’d rather move on to a newer chassis, like the Theta (Equinox or Torrent) or Theta II (2011+ Equinox). There were many improvements to the Thetas that the U-body never received. It’s probably best to move on…
Well, many have said that my cars tend to be “questionable”, mainly my Mystique and now my Alero. All I know is that they just worked for me and they made (and still do in the case of the Olds) me happy.
You know, I SOLD these things, and the people that bought them, really, really liked them, everyone else hated them like poison.
Let me be different:
Are you all sure this isn’t a Bangle BMW???
Ouch! The Aztec isn’t Bangle bad!
Wow, 32 comments on one clue! This must be a record high.
And the Clue car isn’t even the Aztek!
‘(sorry about the small picture size)’
Methinks someone’s being clever and there’s going to be another car in the foreground.
Puts on glasses for a closer look… Are you sure? Really?
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.