Cars Whose Names Seem Ironic

Automakers have often been ridiculed for their strange and often inexplicable model name choices. In fact, there are many cars that seem to have been named ironically, since they do not possess the qualities suggested by their (usually aspirational) names.
Chevrolet Suburban 9 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
Tesla CybertruckOpel CorsaOldsmobile AchievaHonda LegendChevrolet TrailblazerChevrolet SuburbanOldsmobile ShilouetteAlfa Romeo Stelvio
We’re sure manufacturers wanted to imbue their models with the ethos and qualities suggested by their name, but in some cases, the vehicle is the exact opposite. This does not necessarily make them bad cars, just ones that are not really what you would expect based solely on their denomination.

Take the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, for instance. It is named after a famous mountain pass in Italy, widely acknowledged as being one of the world’s best driving roads. The car that bares this name is actually an SUV, and even if it’s a great handling vehicle by segment standards, it seems a bit daft to name a high-riding vehicle after a twisty winding road.

Chevrolet has a couple of silly model names too. Just look at the Trailblazer - its name suggests that it can go where no other vehicle can, but in actual fact, this soft roader can only really blaze a trail through the local strip mall parking lot. It is by no means a good off roader, but rather a tall hatchback with 4x4 styling cues and its name is aspirational at best.

Chevrolet Trailblazer
Photo: General Motors
Another silly Chevy nameplate is the Suburban, that adorns the tailgate of a massive SUV which you can have with up to nine seats. Such a vehicle would only work in America, where the streets are wide and parking lots usually empty, but the fact of the matter is there is nothing “ sub “ or “ urban “ about it - it is big and quite cumbersome in town.

Honda has its share of silly model names too. We’re pretty sure the Japanese automaker named its now defunct top of the range sedan the Legend because it was a really good car. And it really was, but the fact of the matter is it didn’t sell particularly well. It’s actually more like those legends whose origin story may not be based on facts because there isn’t any palpable proof it ever existed.

There is a good reason why Oldsmobile is no longer around. Its last models, from the early 2000s, were average cars with silly names. They had the Olds Silhouette minivan, which was really ridiculous since its silhouette was that of a box on wheels, as well as the Achieva, a mediocre sedan whose only achievement was it helped bury the Oldsmobile brand for good.

Oldsmobile Shilouette
Photo: General Motors
One classic that often pops up when talking about ironically named cars is the Suzuki Swift which really wasn’t that swift until the last two generations of the model (which also got Sport hot hatch variants). But performance variants aside, even today’s Swift really isn’t that quick and in spite of its name being considerably more ironic in the early 2000s, it’s still pretty ironic today as well.

Opel has been selling the Corsa city car for decades now, and it has to be one of the most ironic car names of any model on sale today. The word “ corsa “ literally means “ race “ in Italian, and there is absolutely nothing even remotely racy or sporty about Opel’s cheap econobox.

Last, but by no means least on the list, is the Tesla Cybertruck. Sure, it has a lot of tech on board, but it looks like it’s a 1980s B-movie prop made real. And there’s nothing cyber or advanced about how its solid stainless steel structure will slice through any vehicle it comes into contact with - it’s practically a projectile with an electric drivetrain and some gadgets, but calling it “ cyber “ is an overstatement.
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