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Kiss My Aztek

The Aztek is no longer being produced. No big deal: I love mine, it runs great, and I'll have it for years. I've taken the rear seats out so many times, thrown golf, shooting, fishing, and travelling equipment and goodies in it so many times, and travelled about nearly 50,000 miles since purchasing it in August 2001.

Pontiac's ad campaign touted the Aztek as the "most versatile vehicle on the planet" and to speak to those that own an Aztek, the slogan fits perfectly. Did you know that the Aztek took home the JD Power and Associates "APEAL" award in 2001? The APEAL study rates how happy the owners are with their purchase and how thoughtful an automotive design is. The Aztek rated high for powertrain, sound system and interior comfort features. This truck rewarded those that were taken in by its quirky, non-conformist look.

Style was a big knock against the Aztek, but it's one of the reasons I bought it. The Aztek is pure form follows function. Bash it all you want (though you're encouraged not to): until you've tried it, and used it, you can't appreciate it. And heck, if you're gonna bash the Aztek for its looks, I don't wanna hear how much you think the Element and many of today's cars are so much better. Besides, the Aztek is a working man's Rendezvous. And a working man's SRV that gets over 30 MPG at that.

Read a tad more at the autoblog. Personally, I'm fine seeing the car move out of production. It merely guarantees that I'll have one of the more unique automobiles on the road for the next few years.

11 Responses to "Kiss My Aztek"

  1. Style was the main reason why I never gave the Aztek a second look. It looked too much like a Tonka truck or something made out of Lego to me. I do know a couple of other people who have one and love it just like you.

    It definitly filled a void, hopefully Pontiac will come up with a just a versatile replacement that maybe has a more appealing skin.

  2. I woman I work with has one and loves it. Since those of us doing sound for a living are often big racks of gear around to new cutting rooms and dub stages that whole pull-out loading thing in back is pretty brilliant.

    I was never crazy about the look of them though. Of course I'm not all that crazy about the look of the Element either. Those big strips of plastic wrapping up large portions of the body just seem a little odd.

  3. I just looked for some pictures on the web because I had never seen this car before but it seems that its design is a pretty good reason for GM not even trying to offer it over here. Moreover, I really have to say that 30 miles per gallon seems pretty crappy to me considering the low speeds at which you tend to drive over there. Cars at that size consume a lot less fuel over here - even when you drive faster than Americans do.

  4. Ralph, 30-35 MPG is great mileage compared to nearly every other care out. Most compacts don't get 30-35 MPG. Low speeds? I go 65 like everyone else. So, uhh, WTF are you talking about? You guys aren't zipping around over 100kph very often last time I checked. Autobahn excluded, of course.

  5. Erik: we guys are zipping around a lot on the Autobahn, and I live in Autobahn country 😉 Moreover, most other European countries allow 130 kilometers per hour on their own Autobahn equivalent. In fact, most distances > 10 miles are covered via Autobahn over here. Your 30 MPG do not reflect Pontiac's 19-26 on their website, but that aside, 30 MPG would not be a great thing considering a max. speed of 65 mph. Most European compacts get that even without shifting gears, I suppose 😉

  6. I'm with you there, man. It is a neat looking car, or at least it looks pretty easy to park in not-as-difficult situations. Or, at least it looked cool parked next to Ron's cruddy 'ol van when I saw it.

  7. I am sorry but the first time I saw a Pontiac Aztek I was like WTF is that. Some sort of station wagon ugly cousin I guess. Anyways glad to hear it's a nice vehicle but I would never have given it a chance given it's the ugliest thing since....whew I dunno.

  8. I suppose the Aztek could appeal to a cheapness factor, someone who would not want any of their consumer dollar having gone towards an actual designers salary.

    If you haven't seen an Aztek, take your run of the mill hatchback with some bit of spoiler on the back that usually acts as the door handle, and simply STRETCH the section between that and the bumper, to increase interior cargo space a foot or two in height. Something someone running a CAD workstation could do faster than ordering a sandwich, and apparently, the exact design process involved.

  9. Bud, what are you, 12? Grow up man. You've gotta have something a little more substantial than "I think it's ugly," especially when the reality doesn't back up your perception (i.e. the cost) and when I've already addressed the issue of its looks.

  10. The cheapness was not necessarily in reference to the cost of the vehicle but in the apparent design process. You say it has other value-- I don't knock that. And it could have kitsch and rarity value down the road. I like AMC Pacers and Gremlins and VW Things-- the market certainly didn't.

  11. I love my 2001 Aztek. Bought it used and still going strong. I love the looks and more impressed when drove it first time. Never had a problem so far. I like to keep it for as long as I can.