3 January 2006
"Aviator," in the Lincoln lineup, was seen as the junior Navigator and a notch up from its Mercury and Ford cousins. Now it's about to become the MKX, a fragment of a Scrabble® rack that doesn't score well in Ravenwood's Universe:
Call me crazy, but I prefer my cars to have a name rather than the alphabet soup letters that are so popular now-a-days. I guess I just don't have time to remember all those letters. I don't own a Lincoln, although I did once take a look at the Aviator and other models. I would not have even considered buying anything called the MKX.
I blame this on Honda, which sold bazillions of Acura Legends and Integras before deciding that they'd rather be known for Acuras than for the bazillions of Legends and Integras on the road. Now there's the RL, the TL, the TSX and the MDX, and can you tell anything about any of them from this jumble of consonants?
If you're going to have alphanumerics, they ought to be at least hierarchical: BMW sells a 3-series, a 5-series, a 6-series and a 7-series here, in approximate order of price (the 6, sold only as a coupe, is pricier than the 7 it most closely resembles, though there are other 7s), plus high-performance M versions (for instance, M3 and M5). No harder to comprehend than, say, the TTLB Ecosystem.
Ford, at least, was ingenious enough to come up with a scheme to name all its SUVs with E words (Explorer, Expedition, Escape) and its cars with F words (Fusion, Focus and stretching it a bit Five Hundred). And no, I don't want to hear your F word for a Ford car. Chevrolet, of course, has its own collection of C words. But Chevy was the major practitioner of the fine art of naming vehicles after places no one would ever see them: think Bel Air or Biscayne. (They still sell Malibu and Monte Carlo, even today.) And Hyundai has named its two SUVs after Western cities: Santa Fe and Tucson. Might there be a Reno in its future? Dodge has already locked up Durango, after all.
Toyota used to have a whole bunch of C words of its own: Camry, Celica, Corolla, and the earlier Crown, Corona and Cressida. I always coveted the Cressida, and once suggested to a dealer that they develop a Troilus package for their pickup truck. This got as much response as you think it did. They occasionally did deviate from the scheme, though: there was, for example, the MR2, almost immediately dubbed "Mister Two" in the press, a tiny two-seat roadster that had just about enough cargo space for a Hershey bar if you didn't get the kind with almonds.
Disclosure: I drive a Mazda 626. This meant more back when they had 323s and 929s on the lot.Posted at 12:10 PM to Driver's Seat