By G.R. Whale
The automotive industry is a strange place, much of it not making sense. Clear communication should be imperative, but leave it to marketing to muddy the transmission. Consequently, hybrid vehicles — many of which sport blue badges — are called green. And aftermarket diesel exhaust fluid — a product meant to make a diesel's emissions "greener" — is called BlueDEF or AdBlue. You also can buy vehicles with labels that imply or outright promise high efficiency and still get mileage in the teens.
Further, according to SAE International, a coupe can be a four-door car and even a "sport activity" coupe. Some manufacturers like to use heritage names and numbers — Mercedes-Benz's 63, Chrysler's 392 and Hemi, Ford's Boss — regardless of their technical accuracy. And they do get mixed up over time. Is "Blue Flame" a Chevrolet inline-six engine or a Ford F-150 color choice?
For the most part, most pickup trucks are spared awkward names because they use alphanumeric nomenclature to designate how much they can carry, but would you want a pickup named Brat, Probe or Esteem? Then there are engine names that give no clues as to their abilities: think Triton, Magnum and Vortec. Additionally, all the manufacturers seem to be adding "tec," "boost" and "eco" to engine names.
What's your vote for the dumbest name given to a pickup, whether it's the truck, trim level, engine, safety technology or whatever?
Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; manufacturer image