Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Flybrian

Speaking of the Aztek...

19 posts in this topic

I have one. Well. Sort of. Its my demo-of-choice from the lot, a burgandy 2002 FWD Aztek with 109k on the clock. And boy do I love it.

Posted Image

I honest-to-goodness think Pontiac made an error in judgement by settling for a cheeply-rebadged Equniox over going its own direction with a refined, improved Aztek. I say this because as lambasted as it was, the original Aztek had something to Torrent lacks - personality. And before someone makes a crack about personality being something the ugly girls have, I'll remind you the ugliness is truly only skin deep on this thing.

One of the hallmarks of the Aztek is that its so ugly, its cool. There is no angle of this beast that is in any way visually attractive - not the front, the sides, or the flanks. Its really grotesque with horrendous patchwork styling cues. Why is the Arrowhead above the grille? Why is part of the grille above the headlamps? Why are part of the headlamps above the headlamps? Among the other assorted errors of design are the doofy small wheels and a spoiler that bisects the rear glass so perfectly that you can't see $h!. But like a Picasso, it somehow comes together in a way that makes it utterly lovable. You can't help but like it because its so asthetically challenged, like the freckled girl with braces or the dog with three legs.

But inside is where it gets good. Copious amounts of storage bins, shelves, and cubbies, folding rear seats, and a surprisingly car-like feel. After driving a 2002 Caravan, its hard to believe that this Aztek, too, rides a minivan chassis. The deep windshield and cowl makes you feel like you're riding in a large, tall sedan. Also, the center console cooler holds enough beer to make the outside look damn good.

And after years of lambasting so brutal that Pontiac disassociated itself with the vehicle completely, its cool. Yes, it really is. People love this Aztek and not just because its cheap. I've taken about a half dozen rather appealing late-model cars home over the past few weeks, and this unloved Pontiac has gotten positive feedback second only to a '93 Nissan 300ZX. Its shocking to me, even as someone who has always loved the ass-ugly Pontiac. I think some of it owes itself to the current crop of crossovers and SUVs. Element. xB. Pathfinder. Armada. XTerra. MDX. RDX. GX. FJ Cruiser. X3. All of these vehicles are equally hard-edged and equally (if not moreso) ugly. Thing is, Aztek was the original ugly.

Its really a shame appreciation for the Aztek is so belated because its really a damn good vehicle. It smacks of old-school Detroit think in the best of ways. While Elements and vehicles of its ilk claim to be 'hip', they're simply ill-equipped, choosing ridiculously useless features like two rear jumpseats, center gauge clusters, rooftop surfboard holes(??), the Aztek comes loaded with big-car touches like rear air suspension, slide-n-tilt sunroof, foglamps, and alloy wheels in addition to basic power functions that should be standard.

Best of all, though, it reminds me a little bit of what Pontiac should be. Yes, its a front-wheel drive minivan product, but think about it a bit more - its really out there and was one of the first of the affordable midsize crossovers. Respectable performance, and affordable pricetag, plentiful and useful features, and nuckin' futs styling; the Aztek could've easily been refined on the Theta platform to be faster and better-handling without giving up its character and later ride a RWD Alpha chassis as a world-class budget sport crossover with insane exterior design and functional interior.

That's my view anyway. I could be wrong. I could be high as a kite on Aztek Kool-Aid. Maybe Reg is using my account. But to me one fact remains - in 5, 10, 20 years, people will still recall the Aztek and no one will give a crap about the Torrent.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Torrent is more attractive. :AH-HA_wink:

Seriously though... in my opinion, if it had a little more money in its budget, the Aztek could have been much better. It just really needed some tweaks, some refinement inside and out. And, to be a Pontiac, a more powerful engine option.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I am sure reg will thank you for this one, Mr. Fly, as will all of the brave souls who've purchased one of these babies. I defended the Aztek in your "Banana Edition" thread before reading this.

As students of history, we know that to be an Aztek means you have to sacrifice something at some point. :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by ocnblu
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Aztek is such an ugly vehicle but from their drivers, I have heard nothing but good stories. I have helped maybe 4 Aztek drivers get minor parts for their vehicles in a year. With the GM pickups and vans I see them about 20 times a day. One guy came in with an Aztek club shirt too. Apparently, the whole Aztek club was on a roadtrip and decided to use our parking lot to stop and rest. There were about 25 Azteks and it was kind of funny.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat pointless to this thread, but it's cool - the Pontiac Aztek TONKA edition:

Posted Image

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I wasn't a big fan of the concept, I don't know why they show us this:

Posted Image

and then give us this:

Posted Image

We leased an '03 Buick Rendezvous and I liked it much better than the Aztek, and they were the same underneath.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I was going for a U-Body Aztek it would be a one without the full cladding... It looked good on the Trans Sport/Montana.... But even so on the Aztek, it's too much.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts on this is that it just goes to show how it can be justified for being ugly as sin and having lots of interior practicality despite being cheap as rubbermaid plastic inside. If this were any other branded vehicle outside of GM the bashing would never end.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fly, as an owner, i can say much of what you wrote was true and insightful and a lot of the reason why we got one.

There are 2 others i work with who own one.

I do also agree with your assertion that it was the original ugly crossover. When it was introduced, people were not tolerant of styling this bad. But since, so many bad crossovers you listed, that it seems to be a little more acceptable now to be ugly. In fact, i am sure lots of folks are expecting crossovers to look ugly now. It doesn't excuse it, but it does show that sometimes people see the virtue first.

you might want to send a kudos to the buick rendezvoux. it is also liked by its owners and really truly was popular. hell, ask buickman.

thanks for the writeup......although i am sure you still like the murano better....LOL

if anything what it showed it was GM really was thinking on the edge of crossovers......they just didn't package it the best from the get go. what they learned from their mistakes here, they applied to the lambdas. i wish they also had a 2 row lambda.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I don't think Aztek was the original UGLY Ute. If you look at the horrendous tank called 'Lamborghini LM002', which came out before Aztek, you will see what I mean. LM002 was.... well.... Threatningly ugly which isn't even funny, yet it costed out of this world expensive to be in the common popularity, but, to me, I also prefer Aztek over the current Torrent, which is nothing more than a rebadged and slightly modified style of that stupid Chevy Equinnox. I DON'T consider Aztek to be ugly. Best of all, it's DIFFERENT, and UNIQUE on any angle of the view, that's what matters to me most and to me, that's what makes it cool.

Looks aside, Aztek was also very functional inside. Which other SUV offers the goodies like Camping package, funky consol cooler, Cargo area audio controls, even sliding cargo trays that even opens up to store even more?

To me, Pontiac shoudn't have killed the Aztek. They should have just updated the styling a bit and continued on, rather than playing the re-badging thing that is to me, is like the cheesiest, and the most ridiculous thing in the auto industry these days.

To me, Aztec is a far far better looking, and functional SUV than the trash like Honda Element, Scion xD and so and so, yet they get all the rave reviews while Aztec is being chewed as if it is the most ugliest of the pack, while the Element and xD are the REAL ugly utes that are just plain disgusting. I just don't like media who gives all the good ratings for anything Japanese and chews on anything new that is tryed by Detroit. It's just UNFAIR.

Posted Image

My favorite Aztek. The Aztek Salsa that I took the picture of a few auto shows back. I hope they bring back the Aztek.

Edited by Diehard GrandPrix Fan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I was going for a U-Body Aztek it would be a one without the full cladding... It looked good on the Trans Sport/Montana.... But even so on the Aztek, it's too much.

A popular misconception is that cladding was "removed", which is not true. All it was was painted with a little bit of the gray plastic still revealed. Take a look at Fly's maroon pic and then the yellow one I posted and you'll see the plastic cladding is still present!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who wants to drive something that blinds you? I will never deny the truly awesome utility it had, but I could never own one for the sheer fact that it looks grotesque. Looks matter in the realm of vehicles. :P

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cmon, the aztek has a 'hofmeister kink' on the rear window! Looks like an X5, too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a testement to how undesireable the Aztek is, its gone after five days on the lot. Sold it to a Liberian couple who put a $200 deposit on it this weekend and picked it up today. Four people were on that thing, too; almost as popular as the '03 Expedition we have.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must confess... I never thought the Aztek was ugly. Then again it debuted when I was 10, and anything unconventional looks awesome when you're 10. And I think the Rendezvous was far uglier. I suppose I'm just able to see the beauty in any car.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I don't think Aztek was the original UGLY Ute. If you look at the horrendous tank called 'Lamborghini LM002', which came out before Aztek, you will see what I mean. LM002 was.... well.... Threatningly ugly which isn't even funny, yet it costed out of this world expensive to be in the common popularity, but, to me, I also prefer Aztek over the current Torrent, which is nothing more than a rebadged and slightly modified style of that stupid Chevy Equinnox. I DON'T consider Aztek to be ugly. Best of all, it's DIFFERENT, and UNIQUE on any angle of the view, that's what matters to me most and to me, that's what makes it cool.

Looks aside, Aztek was also very functional inside. Which other SUV offers the goodies like Camping package, funky consol cooler, Cargo area audio controls, even sliding cargo trays that even opens up to store even more?

To me, Pontiac shoudn't have killed the Aztek. They should have just updated the styling a bit and continued on, rather than playing the re-badging thing that is to me, is like the cheesiest, and the most ridiculous thing in the auto industry these days.

To me, Aztec is a far far better looking, and functional SUV than the trash like Honda Element, Scion xD and so and so, yet they get all the rave reviews while Aztec is being chewed as if it is the most ugliest of the pack, while the Element and xD are the REAL ugly utes that are just plain disgusting. I just don't like media who gives all the good ratings for anything Japanese and chews on anything new that is tryed by Detroit. It's just UNFAIR.

Posted Image

My favorite Aztek. The Aztek Salsa that I took the picture of a few auto shows back. I hope they bring back the Aztek.

Now I like that tek....the rims are nice.......

I've been in a few, and I must say it it is pretty useful car...If I could find one in decent shape, I might consider one.....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, if you really want to see the one that can only be described as UGLY, to me, this can't be beat. It is like the UGLIEST vehicle ever designed. It's only a concept, and I pray to god, for it NEVER to gets produced.

http://z4.invisionfree.com/CarsDiscussion_...;st=0last

I got lazy to copy and paste every pic, so I just posted a page from my site, but you will get the idea how ugly it is. Aztek doesn't even close to this thing in ugliness.

Edited by Diehard GrandPrix Fan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0