From bad to worse: The top 10 worst car names of all time

ford probe bad car name

A lot of work goes into manufacturing a car. The entire process can take months if not years to complete and getting an idea down on paper, into the factory, and out on the show floor is anything but easy. Of course while developing a car from the ground up is a lengthy and challenging endeavor — as these cars prove — it’s not always the hardest part. Sometimes something as simple as deciding what to name it becomes the most trying challenge. It was the great William Shakespeare who asked “what’s in a name?”, and we’re here to answer: Everything.

Here is our list of the top 10 cars (in no particular order) that failed to impress by virtue of their abysmal monikers alone. Check them out for yourself — and be sure to add any you feel deserve a dishonorable mention in the comments section below.

Studebaker Dictator

The Dictator began its automotive life as the Standard Six, and should have remained so had Studebaker not gone about the business of renaming its vehicles in the mid-1920s. Much to the company’s dismay this was also around the time a little trouble began brewing in Europe and some rather pesky fellows by the name of Hitler and Mussolini started giving dictator’s across the globe a bad name. Needless to say Studebaker wisely changed the name to the less freedom stealing, Director.

studebaker dictator bad car 1920s

Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

Oh Japan how we adore thee. And not because of the impressive automobiles, androgynous, spiky-haired protagonists, and delicious cuisine you’ve gifted us, but because of your uncanny ability to toy with the English language in ways native speakers could only dream of doing. Can you crack the enigma that is the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard? Neither can we. The only mystery here is why anyone at Isuzu allowed for the name in the first place, especially when the Rodeo and Amigo moniker worked so much better.

isuzu mysterious utility wizard bad car name

Pontiac Parisienne

Want to know what a Parisienne is? We did too. So we asked a friend by the name of Google and they told us it translates to a “French woman from Paris.” Imagine that. Now to be fair the Parisienne spent most of its days bustling about the Canadian roadways, where French is widely spoken and a name like Parisienne could be appreciated. But Pontiac, in its infinite wisdom, decided it would bring it south of the border where people apparently yearned to drive around a big, slovenly rear-wheel drive sedan. No thanks. We’d rather not be seen near this French woman from Paris.

pontiac parisienne bad car name 1895

Nissan Homy Super Long

On top of being mildly offensive, the Nissan Homy Super Long has the distinction of being childishly hilarious. While the mere utterance of “super long” is enough to evoke a mild schoolyard giggle, the hilarity is only exacerbated once you realize that the “m” looks strikingly close to “rn” and well, you see where we’re going with this.

nissan homy superlong minivan bad name

Ford Probe

All we can say is: Seriously, Ford? This is the best you could come up with? On top of its emotionless design the real travesty here, besides the tailpipe-puckering name, is that Ford actually considered the Probe to be the successor the legendary Mustang. Thankfully that never came to pass and Ford Probe met its maker in 1997.

ford probe bad name car

Ford Escort

Sure we could take the mature route and figure that the good folks at Ford named its compact car after a whole host of things, like a police escort, a safety escort, or even a WWII fighter aircraft. Instead, we can’t help but associate it with a less than savory service for lonely gentlemen. Either way, Ford – a terrible name that rightly takes its place on our list.

ford escort bad car name

Hummer

Don’t get why the Hummer is terrible name for a car? Ask President Clinton.

hummer h3 bad name suv

Mazda Scrum Wagon

“Why oh why?” is the question we ask ourselves when gazing upon the Mazda Scrum Wagon. We don’t really know where to begin. We know ‘scrum’ is a rugby term (thanks random British guy in our office) but we don’t care. That’s because scrum just sounds like a double entendre to us, which begs the question: Would you want to take a ride in our Scrum Wagon? We didn’t think so.mazda scrum wagon bad name

Datsun Fairlady

The Datsun Fairlady occupies a strange space in our automotive hearts. On the one hand we commend its sleek and classic design; on the other we condemn its show-tunes inspired moniker. And to answer your question, yes, the Datsun Fairlady was named after the hit Broadway musical “My Fair Lady.” Why? Well, we doubt even the folks at Nissan would be able to answer that.

datsun fairlady bad car name

Audi E-tron Concept

Most of the cars on our list are not only abominations because of their names, but just terrible looking cars all around. Not so with the Audi E-tron. Still, when developing a car that’s as cutting edge and wallet sapping as this electric supercar we can’t help but think a more extensive vetting process would have behooved the suits over at Audi. That’s because Étron roughly means “a lump of excrement,” according to our French translator, of which the car does not resemble its namesake in the slightest.

audi e-tron sports car bad name
Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.
Cars

Here’s why BMW mechanics now carry smartglasses in their tool chest

BMW technicians in the United States have started wearing smartglasses, and it's not because they're shooting alien ships between oil changes. They use augmented reality technology to access workshop manuals.
Cars

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.
Cars

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Cars

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.
Cars

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.
Cars

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.
Cars

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.
Cars

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Cars

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!