Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

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Thread: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC Driver Tom's Avatar
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    Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Tom Appel
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    Consumer Guide Automotive
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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Great idea, horrible package. I remember when the TV show Survivor first aired, and the runner-up was given this ******* compliments of GM. I thought how bad the winner must have felt being awarded this POS, and wonder what ever happened to the car.

    I do give GM props for their design ideas implemented in the Aztek however. The way the back could convert into a tent was pretty cool, and so was the audio controls in the rear.

    Overall, the Aztek was just a horrible looking acheivement in SUV's and a sizeable paragraph in GM's chapter 11.
    Get used to more.

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Still ugly!

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    totally agree with the article ..... fundamentally the Aztek was a great vehicle.

    The Aztek was to Cross overs what Sheppards pie is to dinner. Really good, but looks like azz

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    I forget how old I was, exactly, when the Aztek came out. Around 13. My dad was (and is) on kidney dialysis, and this one young professional guy kept coming into the dialysis to make sure the paperwork on different people was right. This was the early 2000's, and I guess the hospital corporation didn't trust technology quite enough to fully automate yet, so he was basically driving around to make sure things got faxed properly, and to hand-deliver BIG amounts of paperwork. He was really savvy, and had a Palm Pilot and was an early Blackberry user...

    Anyway, he drove an Aztek. I thought it was the COOLEST car, and so did he. When I got the annual MotorTrend buyers guide in the mail, the first car I looked up for pictures was the Aztek.

    Looking back, I *still* like the Aztek. The stance was perfect, the feature set was perfect. The only problem, in my mind, was that the front clip was a little too aggressive. But it was, in my mind, the wagon of the 21st century. That thing with the tent? AWESOME.

    Honestly, I'd probably buy a modernized Aztek today.
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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    The Stinger, had they been able to build it just like the concept with an affordable price, would've been a far better vehicle for Pontiac. FAR!

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    The Aztek was classic GM: a great idea doomed by cost-cutting. Product planners foresaw the coming CUV boom. They recognized that a company could build a CUV off an existing minivan or car platform, making the costs lower and profitability higher. But, they had a cool concept whose styling was intentionally 'functional' and aggressive. And, they had a minivan platform that was developed in part in Europe and was, because of that, narrower than the competition.

    So, instead of co-developing a new platform for minivans and SUVs with more appropriate proportions (or finding a way to widen the existing platform on the cheap), GM used the existing van platform, creating two rather tall, narrow and ungainly-looking vehicles (the Aztek and the Buick Rendezvous -- thanks for the correction Hitman1970). Instead of looking tough (or at least functional) they looked pinched. Really, the rest of the package wasn't that bad. Not class leading (the minivans they were based on weren't really class leading either), but not bad. I think they were doomed by look-at-me styling that was look-at-me for all the wrong reasons. A couple inches more of track would have likely made a world of difference. The concept wasn't pretty either (it wasn't suppose to be) but it had a much better stance:

    Last edited by Tone; 06-14-2012 at 11:08 PM.

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    It got a bum rap.

    All you ever heard - and still hear - was about how ugly it was. That's absolutely true (although I kind of like the front end), it was ugly.

    So on the surface, not a bum rap. It was ugly.

    But, it's a bum rap in that we don't read in every automotive publication how ugly the Element is, how ugly the Cube is, how ugly the Juke is. Pontiac was damned and ridiculed for the appearance of the Aztek. The reputation of the brand never recovered. But no equal treatment for other ugly vehicles when they're from Japan. Most publications didn't even both to mention that the Aztek was an incredibly versatile, reliable vehicle that had the highest customer satisfaction scores in its class. They just focused on the looks.

    We hear about what a great versatile vehicle the Element is, with nary a comment on the looks. Because it's a Honda. They just talk about its undeniable versatility and other good points. No ridicule. If the Aztek deserved it, so does the Element.

    And while maybe some people think that the stylistic mess (particularly the ones with the gray/black plastic panels) that is the Element is nice , I can't imagine anyone thinking that the Cube isn't completely abhorrent. Never a peep from the media about that.
    Last edited by ksr; 06-14-2012 at 03:41 PM.
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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Rainier = TrailBlazer

    Rendezvous = Aztek
    Last edited by Hitman1970; 06-14-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?




    Love this guy. What a tool!
    Get used to more.

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    The Aztek had some really good ideas, but it had a horrible design in which they were contained.

    The proportions on the Aztek were wrong from the start. It was way too tall for its length and width. The pillars all go different angles with different thicknesses. The plastic sculpting is so clumsy that the part lines for each fascia stand out way too much.

    I mean...it seriously looks like GM took a Pontiac Rageous show car, a Montana minivan, an '80 Pheonix 5-door, and a '91 CRX, dropped in a bit of leftover Avalanche body cladding, and hit "Purée".

    As a vehicle, it wasn't any worse than the Rendezvous. There were trade-offs between the two in versatility. But the interior trim was crap, the pushrod 3400 V6 was massively underwhelming, and the styling, pricing, and color choices...WOOF.

    Oh, and the tent thing had been tried before...



    ...in 1973. And AMC sold more Hornet hatchbacks in 5 model years than Pontiac sold Azteks.
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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeetheUSA View Post



    Love this guy. What a tool!
    Is that guy drunk?

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman1970 View Post
    Rendezvous = Aztek
    Late year Rendezvous' are still highly sought after vehicles for dealers to resell in this area.
    It took 30 years to realize I DO like Corinthian leather...

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    I'm betting that someone could take that ugly Aztek and beat your average Element mpg even today...

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    Re: Did the Aztek get a bum rap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Badrinath View Post
    Late year Rendezvous' are still highly sought after vehicles for dealers to resell in this area.
    I am not bashing just stating chassis and type likeness. Although I just had to have the cops tow away a 2005 Rendezvous in our subdivision that a neighbor who had moved away abandoned for over four months with no plates on the vehicle. He blew the transmission and let it rot.
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