(Words by Tom Lohnes) – Sometimes cars that are actually cool and interesting fail to impress audiences and are often laughed at by the public and internet. A few of these are even known as some of the worst cars of all time. They may be ugly, slow, and in some cases terribly put together, but very often some cars in this category were ahead of their time in terms of design. Today, we are going to talk about the two main suspects of this harassment, the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Pontiac Aztek. Here’s why I think they would sell well in today’s market.
Starting off with the PT Cruiser, a retro-styled car that sold well but is now laughed at by many enthusiasts. It is true that the PT is an early 2000s Chrysler model, so the quality is going to be absolutely appalling but The PT cruiser was sold with an interesting engine choice: a 2.4-liter Turbocharged Inline-4. More specifically this was the engine from the iconic Dodge Neon SRT-4. The hot PT was called the PT Cruiser GT and came equipped with the standard 5-speed manual transmission, ran to 60 in 6.7 seconds, and the quarter mile in an impressive 14.9 seconds. Nowadays, you can find the hot GT variant of the PT for under $5,000 with a manual transmission. If quality is not an issue and you like getting your hands dirty fixing stuff, the PT GT seems like a good and fun performance option.
Hear me out, the Aztek is cool. It might not be decently quick like the PT cruiser, but for as low as $1,400 for sale across the internet, the Aztek seems like it could be a good cheap buy.
Powered by a 3.4-liter V6 and using all-wheel-drive, the Aztek is capable in the winter. Also, it comes with a cooler, and a built-in tent. The Aztek also started the “coupe” SUV trend of styling, and I personally think it looks pretty cool. (Have I failed as a parent? – ed.)
The Aztek was a symbol of its time and I think if they brought it back with some new technology, it would sell pretty well. If you based it off of GM’s capable Alpha platform that underpins everything from the Camaro to the Cadillac XT4 crossover, the Aztek would actually make sense now. Also, if you want, you can probably fit a fuel injected L98 small block from a C4 Corvette and a 6-speed manual in there judging by the size of the engine bay.
Now that would be an interesting project.