18 Nov 2012

Cars with silly names

We all have names.  Whether we are a Stephen, a Colin, a Karen or a Kylie our parents gave us a name and, unless we are a rugged film star who's birth name was Marion Morrison, our name sticks with us for life.  Names tell no more about us than the colour of our front door.

Cars, on the other hand, are created by human beings with a purpose.  It might be a city car, or a luxury saloon or an SUV designed for life off road.  In the case of cars the name should reflect, somehow, the purpose - or intended purpose of the machine.  Sometimes the name is perfect.  Land Rover Defender, Discovery or Range Rover.  Perfection.  TVR named their cars after Greek legends so we got the Cerbera, Sagaris and other such fantastically enigmatic monikers.

But sometimes car naming goes dreadfully wrong.  Whether it be lost in translation, a committee in grey suits trying to find the most inoffensive description for their new blandmobile or just some pillock in a roll-neck top who is paid a fortune to come up with something inventive, car names can sometimes be just silly.  Here's our top ten silly car names.

Kia Venga

Surely naming your new mini-MPV after an 80s techno band is a bad idea.  It obviously sounded like a good idea when presented to the Kia suits in Korea.  Whether anyone told them it wouldn't translate so well to English speaking customers we'll never know.

Toyota Urban Cruiser

The name is as appalling as how it looks.  Toyota Land Cruiser sounds good and suits the car.  Urban Cruiser sounds like a kerb-crawling fat man in a BMW 5-series.

Volkswagen Sharan

If you're going to name your people carrier after an ex-Israeli Prime Minister then at least Sharan sounds better than Netinyahu or Begin.  But one would have to question why in the first place.

Range Rover Evoque

Great car, stupid name.  Land Rover had a perfect history of car naming and then they ruin it by hiring Victoria Beckham and we get the Evoque.  Thanks Becks.

Chrysler Ypsilon

Try and say it.  Is it Ip-si-lon or Wipe-see-lon?  However you pronounce it it's a silly name, just like the car which is a Fiat 500 in drag.  Buy a 500 instead and have a proper name and a proper car.

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan have some fairly silly names with the Juke, Note and Pixo but Qashqai just takes the biscuit.  We can only presume a Nissan executive came up with it whilst playing Scrabble and was stuck where to put his letters so he put QASHQAI on the board and hurriedly named a car the same to justify his score.

Skoda Yeti

What was the shortlist?  Skoda Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Abominable Snowman, Mirka or Yeti.  They chose the one that sounded least daft.

BMW 335i

So it's a 3.5 litre engine with fuel injection.  Cool, like that.  Erm, no.  It's a 3 litre engine, twin turbo.  Eh?

Volkswagen up!

The exclamation mark and non capitalised 'u' are Volkswagen's, not ours.  VW must have thought their small, funky city car needed a small, funky name.  Instead their small, funky city car has a name about as funky as a drunken dad at a disco.

Mazda Bongo

At least it's funny.  Unlike the car which is a hideous looking campervan thing.

That's our top ten silly car names.  Can you think of any other silly car names?

Addendum.  We've been reminded of the following Nissans - all gloriously silly: Cedric, Gloria, Leopard and the special edition Micra Wave.