Pontiac Aztek – the ugliest car in the test: Heisenberg’s classic cars from & quot; Breaking Bad & quot;

The Pontiac Aztek was considered revolutionary leisure automobile. But the precursor for crossover flopped - because he was so ugly. Thanks Walter White of the design accident for Used-Star become. We dare to test drive the SUV classic cars.

04/29/2016 Roman cathedral, Franz-Peter Hudek 1 comment Powered by

As Pontiac hired the Aztek in 2005, hoped the Americans, the matter of the crossover SUV would be forgotten as soon as possible; 2010 was also the brand Pontiac mothballed. And the world should be spared cars like the Aztek. Think again: For the Pontiac Aztek experienced as a car of Walter White aka Heisenberg from the popular television series "Breaking Bad" a comeback unprecedented scale.

The Pontiac Aztek prototype convinced

In presenting the Aztek prototype at the Detroit Motor Show, the marketing folks at General Motors (GM) were really proud of remembering the yellow racer, in its basic form to the BMW X6. Pontiac, the most dynamic brand from the GM brand composite, presented in 1999 a crossover between SUV and van with the versatility of a Swiss Army pocket knife: economical, agile, spacious and with many equipment options for sport and leisure, which have also been adopted for the 2001 introduced standard model.

The clientele was "young, hip, with a very attractive lifestyle," says the press release. But somehow did not work out that. Instead of the planned 75,000 units per year initially only around 27,000 Aztek found a buyer. In the last year 2005, the number eventually dropped to 5,020 pieces. Had the epochal crossover about a design problem?

Pontiac Aztek, ugliest car ever

Today we know more: The Aztek was not just one or another design flaw, but is considered simply as the ugliest ever built automobile. In 2008, the readers of "Daily Telegraph" chose the hunchbacked Pontiac number one of the "100 ugliest cars of all time." The "Time Magazine" already was searching in 2007 for the "worst car ever". Among the ten candidates of the period 1990 to date included the Aztek.

Even "Spiegel Online" had again Nachtreten and declare the already tormented Aztek with Fiat Multipla, Mercedes Vaneo, Ford Orion and other one of the "ten ugliest cars of all time" in 2009.

But does the practical Pontiac with the nearly inaudible current V6 engine really that bad? Or is the least 188 hp traffic light sprinter about the innocent victim of a pernicious media campaign? Let's put it this way: Compared to be beaten rather low, sporty stance and flowing roofline Aztek prototype of 1999, the production model has changed.

Design weaknesses of the Pontiac Aztek can not be denied

From the former Gazelle a cumbersome rhino, whose edgy widened wheel arches too small wheels were hiding was. Also, the sloping rear of the trailer, which really fits neither a combination nor a coupe, is anything but dynamic. And the high, Asian-looking front end seems two different vehicles to come, because the hood also has two narrow cooling air slots and small lateral light units. Karl Brauer, American automotive journalist, said at the time aptly Aztek: "He looks like a station wagon in which a bomb has gone off."

Our photo vehicle from 2002 has the facelift of the same year. Recognized by the body-colored all-plastic panels, which stood out in the original model as gray or black Rammschutzelemente significantly from the body. Elegance of the still visually cumbersome occurring Aztek has barely gained - not even in the festive champagne gold.

Pontiac Aztek youngtimer 02/2016 Photo: Achim Hartmann
In 2008, the readers of "Daily Telegraph" chose the hunchbacked Pontiac number one of the "100 ugliest cars of all time."

Pontiac Aztek, perfect party mobile

Nevertheless, Manuel Schmidt-Bratzel is quite proud of his unusual automobile. During the Aztek owners sits comfortably as with a pickup on the lower tailgate of the trunk, he calls for a number of reasons. "In the car many interesting features ideas stuck," begins Manuel.

So one could (with several SUV or pickup tailgates Party) govern the Pioneer music system and from the stern at a tailgate party. There are also lots of accessories such as a removable cooler as the front center console, a huge trunk extendable drawer, a custom-made air mattress and a growing tent that transformed the Pontiac for two-man camping mobile.

Young buyers want the Pontiac Aztek

In addition, the Pontiac Aztek lie currently all the rage. "I bought my After the Internet and approved had," says a resident of Hagen car salesman, "I had customers two more Aztek get." A devious to England left-hand drive was brought by his owner even up to Dover, the specialist for exceptional classic cars and classic reports (www.unique-vehicles.de). The way it is: "Some hate the Aztek, others love him."

And if you look at the US used car statistics, you realize that not Generation X (born ca. 1965 - 1976) bought the Pontiac Aztek, for which he was actually conceived. But today has around 20 to 30 years old "millennials". 26 percent of buyers who opt for a used Aztek belong to the generation Y. This is far above the average of 17 percent, determined the US portal "Edmunds.com". In general, especially young families do not seem to be interested in sedans or station wagons, but for vans and SUVs. This is in this country with the experience.

Used-Star in the US

The Pontiac Aztek for five years one of the top 10 cars with the highest Millennials-buyer ratio. In addition to the Aztek one finds Ungetümer as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, or the Chrysler Pacifica. Who together with the Aztek one: the very reasonable price. The Aztek not even cost $ 5,000 on average. Little money for a lot of car, which also applies to top it all to be quite reliable, it gives portals such as "Edmunds.com" or "cars.com" faith.

The secret TV star

The television series "Breaking Bad" made the Pontiac SUV known in Europe. In almost every episode of the first of five seasons of terminally ill chemistry teacher and crystal meth drove producing series hero Walter White a Pontiac Aztek. The car went well with his rather battered owner. the Pontiac permanently is also something got broken, it was mostly the windshield. In any case, the series has greatly helped you remembered the oblique SUV again and suddenly even also wanted to own it.

The Pontiac Aztek drives like a one

Last but not least, the Aztek simply go also "quite wonderful," as Manuel says. And we must try to the photo trips that now. It follows the driver change with the engine running. For real? Either from within or from outside is much to hear from the bumblebee buzzing like V6. Only the typical American "Bing-bing-bing-bing" as a warning signal for the open doors makes to panic.

Pontiac Aztek youngtimer 02/2032 Photo: Achim Hartmann
The plump appearance of the Aztek was partly responsible for the demise of the Pontiac brand in of 2010.

The high seating position and the ample space in the nearly 1.9-meter-wide crossover SUV like the first time. Also at the round instruments and the T-shaped automatic gearshift lever in the center console in the style of the then produced sports model Firebird there is nothing to complain about. Of course, dominates in the interior next to the suede-like material of the seats especially plump molded plastic - from the shoehorn-like door openers up to the light gray, neatly arranged in rows control buttons of the music system.

Tough V6 in Pontiac Aztek

And just as soft and round also the Aztek drives - even with a relatively purposeful steering and a crisp damped suspension. Its 3.4-liter V6 shows the traffic lights start shortly teeth and makes the 1.7-ton vigorously until EU urban pace to accelerate. The 188 hp act with more relaxed driving style more than sufficient need for Überholsprints on the road but occasionally higher speeds. Then the machine sounds like the heater blower on maximum level and acts a bit grumpy.

In sum, its properties, the Aztek is therefore not a bad car. There was also a conventionally styled sister model of Buick with the same technology, which also was not a big seller. Maybe it was the name Rendezvous.

And so it is that creatures like the Pontiac Aztek, which was once wanted nothing more than for them to be swiftly deleted from the memory of the population, one day are more in demand than ever. Even if the manufacturer has long ceased to exist, and even has long celebrated its final the hit series "Breaking Bad".