Can You Guess These Car Model Names from Their Literal Definitions?

Steven Symes

Image: TheStradman

About This Quiz

If you really stop and think about it, cars have some pretty interesting names. While some are made up, like Integra, others are very much real words. The funny thing is that the nature of the cars doesn't always line up with what the word really means, which makes you wonder what the marketing departments were thinking when they selected the name in the first place.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has had fun with this weirdness, and it works because we all know how ridiculous some car names are. After all, why did Ford name a car the Aspire? What is it aspiring to do? Then there's the Honda Accord, which has nothing to do with groups of people coming together in agreement. But, somehow, these names have worked to one degree or another. 

The real question is how well can you identify cars if they're called by the literal definitions of their names? It can be surprisingly difficult because you must think actively about what the car model names really mean.  Think you're up to the challenge? Take the quiz right now! 

This Ford is a wild horse in the American West.

The Ford Mustang has the famous galloping pony badge, which is prominently featured on the grille of virtually every model. The car has come to represent the wild nature of American muscle cars and their brash styling.

This Volkswagen car is a flying insect.

This cute little car has a funny name but an infamous start, since Adolf Hitler himself gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to build it, declaring it would be the perfect way to transport the masses of Germans in the surging Reich.

This Ford car is the center of interest in a given situation.

Ford first launched the Focus in Europe in the late 1990s, but decided to make it the follow-up for the Escort in North America starting in 2000. Apparently, consumers don't mind the focused naming scheme.

This Porsche SUV is a red powder that's really spicy.

When Porsche launched the Cayenne in 2003 it was a controversial move, being the brand's first SUV. It's proven to be pretty hot, generating plenty of revenue for the brand and even leading to a performance-oriented Turbo version.

This Chevy car is the small explosion used to start fires.

In the late 1990s, Chevy first launched the Spark in Asian and European markets. It didn't come to North America until 2013, addressing the need for something small and affordable that would attract younger shoppers.

This Lamborghini is the devil in Spanish.

Lamborghini has a habit of naming cars after famous fighting bulls from Spain. El Diablo was a particularly fierce and famous bull from the late 19th century, which the Italian brand obviously thought was a perfect fit for the vehicle.

This full-size Ford SUV is a kind of a journey through rugged territory.

With the SUV craze in full-swing in the late 1990s, Ford decided to release a model larger than the Explorer. It kept the same naming theme, which suggests a ruggedness about the vehicle.

When the light from a celestial body is blocked by another celestial body you get this Mitsubishi car.

Riding the wave of sport compacts on the market and the demand for them, Mitsubishi released the now-famous Eclipse in 1989. Most enthusiasts agree the first two generations are the only ones to take seriously, even though two more were produced before the car was terminated after the 2011 model year.

This Toyota truck is a flat, treeless area where the ground is always frozen.

Toyota broke into the full-size pickup truck market with the Tundra in 2000. It was the first time a Japanese automaker had produced a full-size pickup for the North American market, something that today isn't nearly as big of a deal.

This Mazda car is a thousand years.

Most people don't realize that the Millennia was supposed to be part of Mazda's future luxury brand, called Amati. Obviously, the idea never took off, but this full-size sedan certainly spoiled those who bought it.

This Jeep SUV is a Native American tribe.

The Jeep Cherokee has been around since 1974, although the current one is quite different from the rugged and spartan SUV that carried the name at first. Jeep often names its vehicles after undeniably American elements.

This Volkswagen SUV is a book that contains several maps.

Volkswagen decided to finally launch a three-row SUV for the North American market, and simultaneously use a model name people here could pronounce. So far, the Atlas has garnered plenty of sales and praise.

This Chevrolet car is a measure of electricity.

When Chevrolet launched the Volt in 2012, it was a bold move into the electrified vehicle market. Depending on who you ask, it's either an electric car or a hybrid. Regardless, it's been the source of controversy in the past.

This Dodge car is a type of horse trained to ride in battles.

The Dodge Charger has a long and interesting history that stretches back into the 1960s. The current version of the car has only been in existence during the 21st century, with a much more modern design and technology.

This Chevy truck is a western state in the U.S.

To replace the S-10 compact pickup, GM decided to create a midsize truck called the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. It's been around since 2003 and has grown in popularity, especially with the second generation of the truck.

This Hyundai SUV is the capital of New Mexico.

The Hyundai Santa Fe launched in 2000 as a way for the brand to broaden its appeal in the North American market. Naming it after a somewhat exotic city in the country would presumably make it more attractive to shoppers.

This Mercury car is a big cat that lives in the mountains in the Americas.

The Mercury Cougar was launched in 1967 as a companion model to the Ford Mustang. The two cars diverged from each other, and the Cougar took on many forms, including a sport compact, before it went away in 2002.

This Plymouth car is a large fish with lots of teeth.

The Plymouth brand offered this legendary two-door coupe and convertible in the '60s and '70s. Today, it's considered a collector's item that can fetch quite the high price on the market.

This Chevrolet car was a supporter of King Charles I during the English Civil War.

Of all the names to give a compact car, Chevrolet chose one that sounds good but has a strange definition. In North America, the car had a long run, from 1981 to 2005, outlasting quite a few others on the market.

This Ford truck is either a bird of prey or a small dinosaur.

The Ford Raptor is wider that an F-150 and considerably more powerful. Ford essentially offers a consumer-friendly trophy truck at a premium price tag, something that's quite controversial with some people.

This Eagle car is the bird's claw.

The Eagle Talon was a rebadged version of the first and second generations of the Mitsubishi Eclipse, thanks to an agreement between Mitsubishi and Chrysler.

This Ford SUV is a type of horse found in the western United States.

Ford claims to have started the SUV trend when it released the Bronco in 1966. Some might argue that's not true, but the vehicle certainly was popular, spawning five generations before it wrapped in 1996.

This Chevrolet car is a really fast military ship.

The legendary Corvette was almost called something else, but management inside GM thought the association with corvettes from WWII would resonate with veterans, who were the target buyers for the car.

This Volkswagen is named after a quick, agile, small mammal.

Volkswagen has changed the name of the Golf to the Rabbit in the United States and Canada for two time periods, presumably because the company thought the friendlier name would generate more sales. Obviously the effort didn't work out, because we still have the Golf today.

This Jeep SUV is a person in charge of the livestock at a ranch.

The Jeep Wrangler has been around since 1986, acting as the replacement for the venerable CJ-5. We've seen four generations of this off-roader, but many purists decry the modern amenities in some, like air conditioning.

This Hyundai car is a shark in Spanish.

Hyundai launched the Tiburon in 1997 as an affordable sport compact. Due to questionable styling and lackluster performance, the car failed to really catch on, even as the tuner movement was at its height.

This Chevrolet car is a metal rod that holds machinery together.

The Chevrolet Bolt is GM's first attempt at a mass-made pure-electric car. Thanks to a good range and overall functional design, the car has performed well on the market, with its technology used as the basis for future EV models.

This Land Rover SUV is something that was previously unknown.

The Land Rover Discovery has been a trusted off-road vehicle since the late 1980s. The name was still used outside of North America, while in the U.S., the SUV was called the LR3 and then LR4. Today it is once more the Discovery.

This Chevrolet car is a type of antelope.

The Impala name has been a part of the Chevrolet lineup since 1958, when the large car with plenty of chrome and quad headlights hit the market. Of course, the Impala of today is quite different, demonstrating how the auto industry has shifted over time.

This Rolls-Royce car is a disembodied entity.

The Ghost has only been around since the 2010 model year, and it's made quite the splash in the luxury market. The name was inspired by the legendary Silver Ghost, which was first made in 1906.

This Honda car is the way that something goes into another thing.

The Honda Fit definitely has a strange name, but it's been called the Jazz in Japan since it launched there in 2001. The Fit has been on the market in North America since 2007, earning a niche by providing a highly flexible interior.

This Ford car is blunt instrument medical professionals use for exploring a certain part of a person's body.

The Ford Probe has a name that's been the subject of many, many jokes. It was almost the new Mustang, but thanks to fans of the pony car revolting, it was given this unfortunate name.

This Holden car is a naval officer.

Since 1978, the Commodore has been a mainstay in the Holden lineup for the Australian market. We got the car in the United States for a brief time, but it was rebadged as the Chevrolet SS Sedan.

This Ford SUV is a person who goes into uncharted territory.

Ford revolutionized its concept of the SUV when it launched the Explorer as a 1991 model. The vehicle was an immediate success, thanks to a nature that was far more civilized than what the Bronco offered.

This Ford car is a bull in the zodiac.

Ford launched the Taurus in 1986, with the Mercury version called the Sable. For a time, the sedan went away, but then Ford decided to rename the 500 the Taurus, bringing the legend back to life.

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