Good Idea, Bad Execution, the Pontiac Aztek

A midsize crossover launched in 2001, the Pontiac Aztek was a car short-lived in production and called an instant flop, but still reliable with many enthusiasts who love their Aztek.

Pontiac Aztek with Tent

It was advertised as “quite possibly the most versatile vehicle on the planet” and aimed at young, adventurous types. The car offered a wide variety of options for an on-the-go, outdoorsy lifestyle including a tent/air mattress package that converted the car to a camper, a center console that doubled as a removable cooler, and a tailgate with cup holders. You could get racks that would hold everything from snowboards to canoes.

The first generation offered two options either front wheel drive or Versatrak – an all wheel drive system that handles well on moderately rough terrain. It was a true crossover with plenty of cargo space, but better gas mileage and less risk of rollover than a standard SUV.

However, it’s futuristic style helped earn it the title of thirty-fourth worst invention of all time by Time magazine, though the writers of time did admit there’s a decent car underneath the horrendous exterior.

The second major downfall of the Aztek was price. The vehicle was aimed at a young audience, but launched at a price much higher than most in their targeted demographic could afford. It likely sold better used than it did new. But it was certainly a unique car that’s you’ll still see on the road from time to time.