The world’s worst car names

I’ll take the Titan Dump, darling

World's worst car names

AT THIS week’s Frankfurt motor show, Nissan added a new entry to the big book of bizarre car monikers: the Friend-Me. With its social network-inspired interior and specification, the concept vehicle previews Nissans of the future. It looks great but the name is at risk of sounding a bit desperate to the Facebook generation.

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And that’s the problem with car names. They can mean different things to different people. Take the Toyota MR2. The car maker had to market the model in France with the shortened moniker “MR” (pronounced “em-air”) because no one in the marketing department had twigged that the final digit (“deux”) made the name sound very like the word for French for what farmers spread on fields.

Fortunately, Mitsubishi came up with an altogether nicer name for one of its models. The Lettuce suggests something palatable and inoffensive, but as a name for a car it’s a little limp.

We Westerners can’t mock what we might regard as the naivety of Far East car makers, though. As we shall see, Ford, Austin, Vauxhall and more have each been guilty of giving their cars ridiculous and ill-judged names. Here’s our list of some of the worst from around the world.

World's worst car names: Mazda Bongo Friendee

Mazda Bongo Friendee

Once you realize that the vehicle bearing this name is, at least in the UK, a campervan, its ludicrous name begins to make sense. Bongo drums around the campfire, making new friends… that kind of thing.

World's worst car names: daihatsu naked

Daihatsu Naked

The name of a car, or the dress code for its driver?


World's worst car names: mitsubishi carisma

Mitsubishi Carisma

It’s difficult to imagine a car with less, no matter how much Mitsubishi wants us to think otherwise.

World's worst car names: hyundai trajet

Hyundai Trajet

For some people, this MPV’s name came close to describing their ownership experience.

World's worst car names: gaylord gladiator

Gaylord Gladiator

A car, and possibly a follow up to the 2000 Ridley Scott movie.

World's worst car names: dodge dart swinger

Dodge Dart Swinger

This was a hip car to own when it was introduced at the end of the ’60s. Come the ’70s and it gave party guests the wrong impression.

World's worst car names: vauxhalll adam

Vauxhall Adam

It may have been named after the founder of Opel, Vauxhall’s owner, but Adam shouts “Bland! Bland! Bland!”.

World's worst car names: studebaker dictator

Studebaker Dictator

Not the best choice during the 1930s and ’40s.

World's worst car names: amc gremlin

AMC Gremlin

Don’t get it wet, and definitely don’t feed it after midnight.

World's worst car names: great wall wingle

Great Wall Wingle

It sounds like a comfort break while trekking in China, but we’re assured it’s the name of a pickup.

World's worst car names: mazda titan dump

Mazda Titan Dump

See above, but in Japan.

World's worst car names: ford probe

Ford Probe

Nothing pleasant is associated with the word “probe”.

World's worst car names: Mitsubishi lettuce

Mitsubishi Lettuce

For the vegetarian car owners out there.

World's worst car names: isuzu mysterious utility wizard

Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

JK Rowling left Isuzu soon after.

World's worst car names: mitsubichi toppo guppy

Mitsubishi Toppo Guppy

Named after the best fish in the tank, perhaps.

World's worst car names: minicar winky

Mitsubishi Minica Winky

Find something funny, Jenkins? Do share it with the entire class.

World's worst car names: toyota deliboy

Toyota Deliboy

It looks like a sad platypus whose mum and dad named it for a bet.

World's worst car names: subaru sumo

Subaru Sumo

Overweight – not the image you really want for a car, is it?

World's worst car names: tarpan honker

Tarpan Honker

A honkingly awful name.

World's worst car names: chevrolet celebrity

Chevrolet Celebrity

We’ll put this one on the Z-list.

World's worst car names: proton putra

Proton Putra

Any self-respecting child would instantly nickname it the Putrid.

World's worst car names: mitsubishi pistachio

Mitsubishi Pistachio

Another nuts car name.

World's worst car names: subaru brat

Subaru Brat

Doesn’t start when required, and slams the door shut behind you.

World's worst car names: austin princess

Austin Princess

The only person who’d think this was a good name is Frank Butcher.

World's worst car names: mazda laputa

Mazda LaPuta

Laputa was the flying island in Gulliver’s Travels. Unfortunately it is also a Spanish term for a lady of the night.

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