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"Thing" and "Puta" are only two of the Top Ten Worst Car Names....

Updated on December 3, 2015
Billrrrr profile image

Bill Russo is featured in the film & TV show, The Bridgewater Triangle & has written several books (both fiction & non) on Amazon Kindle.

Automobile companies spend billions of dollars to develop sleek, powerful and safe cars. But after they finish the design, they often farm out the task of naming the vehicle to an $8.00 per hour intern. Here are 10 prime examples of what you get when you pay for minimum wage names....................................

The Versa: Where's the Vice?

Number 10 Worst Name

10. Versa. Made by Nissan, it is the company’s entry level vehicle. It is said to prompt customers to ask for a more finished vehicle.

“Can’t you make a little better car and call it the “Vice Versa” because you can’t have a versa without a vice to go with it."

Perhaps Nissan can rescue this flagging brand, by making two separate called "Vice" and the other named "Versa". Two car families could buy one of each !

Dachshund's best the 240Z

Number 9 Worst Name

The number nine worst name is not the name of an individual car - but a whole car company.

9. Nissan: Several decades ago the company was called "Dachshund": but the dog lovers forced the name change to avoid confusion with their short legged, short-haired little long-nosed pups.

Dog lovers are still mad at the car company because when people ask them what kind of a dog they have, they say 'Dachshund', and jokesters reply: Oh no your dog isn’t a Dachshund; it's called a 'Nissan' now!

LA PUTA - Don't try & say the name is from Gulliver's Travels!

Number Eight Worst:

8. La Puta: If you are Spanish, or speak Spanish, you cannot believe this name ! !

What a bunch of idiots the people at Mazda are. Spanish is the second most used language on Earth (behind only Chinese and just ahead of English) and those idiots named a car after the Spanish word for whore or prostitute. Doesn't anybody research these names???????????

Mi Carro No Va !!!!

The Seventh Worst:

7. Chevrolet NOVA: Another gaffe. Another offense to the Spanish world was; the 'Nova'.

In Spanish, “no” means 'no' or 'doesn’t' and “Va” means “Go” so the two words NO VA mean “Doesn’t Go” and indeed the NO VA did not go over very well with Spanish

"Who you calling a Pinto?"

Number Six - One More Spanish slur !


Chevy and Mazda were not the the only car companies to insult the Spanish speakers, Ford did it too with the Pinto. In Spanish, the word has several bad connotations including “drunk” and “small male parts”.

So as with the Chevy & the Mazda product, the Spanish speakers said “No Va” to “pinto”

Actually, the Gremlin was a cool car..and fast!

Fifth Worst Name:

5. American Motors Co. "Gremlin": I am reluctant to criticize anything about AMC because they were a scrappy number four American car company, but what's up with "Gremlin". Who wants a car with a name that makes you think of a small gnome living under your hood ready to jam a wrench into your fan belt.

Hummer. 'Nuff Said'!

Fourth Worst Name - Maybe the Worst of the Worst

4. General Motors HUMMER:

GM huge truck. Some names have more than one meaning…what were you thinking GM???? This may be the worst of all names. Who wants a Hummer? Well it was popular with men. No further comment.

The Thing!

Number Three:

3. Thing: it was a strange creature made by VW in the 1970s,




I guess VW thought if a 'bug' would sell, then people would buy any(thing)!

The Jetta Knight - check that spelling!

Number two:

2. Jetta by VW:

I am pretty sure that this car was supposed to be named 'Jedi' - to capitalize on the Star Wars movies using the name Jedi - as in Jedi Knight. I am fairly certain that a typo caused the name to go thru as 'Jetta'. VW apparently used a german spell checker and it did not pick up the mistake.

Little Boys Want Their Toys...but not Toy Cars!!



No American car buyer will ever buy a car named Toyota! Why on earth would a serious car buyer want a toy car. Americans want real cars, tough cars.

No (TOY)ota for me I want a (REAL)ota ! !


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    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      It sure does seem that way Carl. The more I see of the fragile Nissan "Leaf", the more I am convinced that a high wind will blow it away.

    • Carl8033 profile image

      Alexander Okelo 

      5 years ago

      Hahaha, I always ask myself the same question and at times I can't help but wonder if the owners of those companies name a car after the first words that their kids spoke/ uttered.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for reading billd and for the great comment. Toyota is probably the most successful car maker, but if I were a comedian I think I could do a whole act based on their little 'toy' name.

    • billd01603 profile image


      5 years ago from Worcester

      Good Funny Hub. I enjoyed reading it (and the comments) 2 points:

      I think the VW Thing was modeled after a WWII Nazi Jeep like vehicle.

      Toyota may be a stupid name, but they sure do sell a lot of good cars,


    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      I am a WWII baby as well and now that I am closing in on 70, I have found that old age can take just about everything away from us except our ability to laugh at it all. We got it!!! Thanks for the great and funny comments.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      LOL! Yeah, that sounds about right for Dade County, at least from what I've heard. I was born in Florida, but that was in the Naval hospital at Pensacola, during WWII. Got out of there when I was 6 months old and have been a dedicated westerner ever since.

      My wife and I go by the theory that the safest place is as far from other human habitations as you can get and still make it to the grocery store without running out of gas. Then you only have to deal with illegal immigrants crossing the border and passing through your property, the occasional assassination of one of your American citizen neighbors by the drug cartels, Mojave green rattlesnakes, centipedes, scorpions, and once in a while a meth head teenager wandering through hoping you left your truck unlocked.

      Piece of cake.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Sounds too scary Ghost. I guess I will head for Florida instead. But, it's pretty scary there too. A pal of mine bought a house in Dade County, near Tampa. He called me and said he met his neighbor. The neighbor was leading an angry pit bull with one hand while the other hand fingered a holstered 45. "other than the dog and the pistol, she seemed very nice," he told me.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well, come on out! Fair warning, though: Avoid Pima County (Tucson) unless you're a raging liberal and enjoy SWAT teams who do home invasions and gun down innocent homeowners in their hallways.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks Ghost32 for a funny & interesting comment. I love your account of the struggles you had with the little Gremlin. I live on Cape Cod and I love it, but did spend part of one winter in Prescott. I got to travel around Arizona a bit and see the sights and I must say, it wouldn't take much for me to pull up stakes and head West.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Shows you what I know. Okay, so La Puta is a bit beyond obvious, but go easy on the Gremlin and the Pinto, wouldja!

      Truth be told, being an ignorant Norteamericano, I bought a BRAND NEW '74 Gremlin back in the day. My 2nd wife and I loved it a lot, never mind that it had a few glitches, like no trunk and exploding a coolant hose atop Lookout Pass (MT/ID line)...oh, and pretty much falling apart after the 70,000 mile mark...and having to get a stalling problem fixed by disconnecting a stupid vacuum line that was sort of a predecessor to the catalytic converter, replacing it with a whittled wooden plug jammed in the hole in the side of the carburetor....

      Oh. Wait. You were talking about bad NAMES....

      The "little male parts" Pinto--dude, I had TWO of those! One was simply not enough!

      But, 'nuff said.

      Voted Up and Purty Danged Amusing.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Billrrr, you have a good sense of humor. (I lost mine along the way.) You should capitalize on your forte. Readers wants knowledge but they also want to be entertained. A good mix of facts and humor is a deadly combination.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thankyou for the comment Walter. I kind of want a Nissan "Leaf" but it is very windy in the U.S. in the Autumn and I am afraid that the "Leaf" would blow away!

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      QUOTE "No (TOY)ota for me I want a (REAL)ota ! !"

      No Realota for me!!! I just bought a Toyota VIOS but I would rather have a Lolita.

      A very interesting article! For me, I have absolutely no sense of what amounts to good names and what amounts to bad. Your article is indeed an enlightenment for me! Yes, Pinto sounds odd but I still cannot figure out why. But I know Hummer sounds like a noisy car, LOL.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thankyou very much khmazz. I greatly appreciate the comment. I don't think your block will last have a great imagination and and flair for telling stories.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Very funny and so true! Great entertainment to distract me from my current writer's block! Have a great weekend!!

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks Rochelle for the great story of the pregnant pen! What is up with VW? I forgot about the Golf until you mentioned it. They probably should have added a Hockey or maybe a Basketball. I guess silly names are their 'thing'.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      5 years ago from California Gold Country

      This reminds me of the translated ad for Parker ballpoint pens.

      in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." The Spanish word "embarazar" was used to mean embarrass. The ads actually said: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant." (great selling point.)

      I enjoyed your list. It seems that VW has had a lot of silly names (Rabbit, Golf), you'd have thought they would have had a Dachshund.

    • Billrrrr profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Russo 

      5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for reading WillStarr and also thankyou for the comment.

    • WillStarr profile image


      5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      In Kentucky, they pronounce Nissan as "Nice'n". I think it's a joke.

      The Spanish Armada was sunk, so that too is a poor name choice.


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