In our last blog post, we commented on Skoda’s announcement that their new compact SUV will be called the Karoq. Cool name, we said, and one that fits in nicely with their Kodiaq model. However, it got us thinking about the business of naming cars, and some of the terrible misfires the industry has had over the years.
And with that in mind, we present our pick of the silliest model names ever to grace the market.
You have to have a bit of sympathy with Japanese manufacturer Daihatsu — after all, something that sounds great in one language is occasionally going to sound ridiculous in another. But you’d think that someone within the company would have pointed out that a charade is “an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.” Let’s face it, it’s not a great choice.
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
Just fantastic. What is a mysterious utility wizard? Does he magically connect your water supply? Is he Corgi registered? We want to meet him. With a name like that, the actual vehicle could only ever be a let-down. And in fact, the moniker is the only thing that’s mysterious about this uninspiring SUV.
Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce
We couldn’t quite believe it, but it really did exist. It was a 1989 variant of the long-running Minica model. And no, there’s no truth that the basic concept was expanded to form the 1996 Toyota Picnic.
At last, proof positive that not all silly car names are cases of lost-in-translation. Ford’s sporty liftback looked the part, but never garnered much support in the UK. Perhaps having a name that conjures up eye-watering medical procedures didn’t help.
Mazda Bongo Friendee
This eight-seater MPV had a number of options that make it popular for converting into a camper van. Perfect for trips with lots of bongo friendees (stopping at bongo-friendly campsites). Lovely.
Mazda Carol Me Lady
Another great showing from Mazda. For those of us raised on Thunderbirds, it’s impossible to hear ‘Me Lady’ without thinking of adenoidal cockney butler Parker. But that aside, Carol Me Lady is still a weird three-name cracker.
Geely PU Rural Nanny
In 2001, Chinese manufacturers Geely launched two variants of a compact car, based on the Daihatsu Charade (see above). There was a delivery version, the Urban Nanny, and the coupe version was the Rural Nanny. It’s simultaneously very silly and unbearably nostalgic. After all, everyone needs a rural nanny.
Mazda Titan Dump
Those lads at Mazda, what are they like? Here they are again, with a third attempt. Obviously, we are far too refined to make any crass joke. We’ll merely point out that if this model exceeds your current requirements, you might consider the Isuzu Light Dump instead.
Back to being sensible
We love silly car names, but we’re serious about offering great service — whether it’s for MOT, repairs or servicing. And though we’re VW Group specialists, we work with any model. So when you need work on your Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard or other obscurely named vehicle, please get in touch.