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Car Names

In a Dodge Diplomat, a soccer mom feels positively patrician

by Borgna Brunner
Red 1958 Corvette Convertible

1958 Corvette Convertible

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Do you like the image of yourself driving a Chevrolet Suburban or a Dodge Viper, a Jeep Cherokee or a Lexus GS 430?

While all marketers work hard to come up with names that attract consumers, the automobile industry goes into overdrive when attempting to capture the fantasies of car buyers. A car name can make a driver feel rich, powerful, sophisticated, sporty, adventurous, rugged, or downright dangerous—who wouldn't feel like king of the road in a Mercury Marauder or a Chevrolet Avalanche? Below are some of the more inventive car names and the images they attempt to convey:

Rugged Adventure:

Nissan Frontier, GMC Safari, Toyota Tundra, Ford Expedition

The Wild, Wild West:

Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Dakota, GMC Yukon

No Directions Necessary:

Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Focus

Space Age:

Infiniti FX45, Cadillac SRX, Audi S4, Jaguar X-Type

Cosmic:

Pontiac Solstice. Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Aries, Saturn Sky

Aristocratic:

Buick Regal, Lincoln Continental, Dodge St. Regis, Buick Park Avenue

Aristocratic and French:

Lincoln Versailles, Pontiac Parisienne, Buick LeSabre, Chrysler LeBaron

Animal Magnetism:

Ford Mustang, Mercury Cougar, Corvette Stingray, Plymouth Barracuda

Birds of Prey:

Ford Thunderbird, Pontiac Firebird, Ford Falcon

Hipster:

Pontiac Vibe, Ford Freestyle, Dodge Neon, Toyota Matrix

Cute as a Button:

Renault Le Car, Mini Cooper, VW Bug, Nissan Cube

Too Cute for Words:

Reliant Kitten, Chevrolet Luv

Wall Street Power Broker:

Pontiac Executive, Oldsmobile Achieva

Don't Mess With Me:

Chrystler Crossfire, Aston Martin Vanquish, Lamborgini Diablo, Plymouth Fury

Vroom! Vroom!

Triumph Spitfire, Pontiac Gran Prix

Good Citizen:

Honda Civic, Acura Integra, Plymouth Reliant

Poetry in Motion:

Hyundai Sonata, Datsun Bluebird, Honda Prelude, Nissan Silhouette

Secret Agent:

Dodge Stealth, Mitsubishi Mirage, Dodge Shadow, RollsRoyce Phantom

Strange Japanese Conceptions of cool American Car Names:1

Honda Life Dunk, Isuzu's Mysterious Utility, Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear

1. All are real Japanese car names—honest!

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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