This discussion was created from comments split from: Car Talk Community Update.
Don’t diss aspires. I have a 1995 with almost 200,000 miles and just got her first brake job. I get about 45 mpg. She’s been all across the country and commuted for the past three years about 500 miles a week. She’s never left me stranded. We are both going into semi-retirement and I plan to paint my new business information on the sides and hood of the car. I expect Anna Mae (her name) and I will be together for many more years. My mechanic is great and not disparaging about her name, for which she had no choice. Listen to you every week and have often thought to call. Jeannefood
Your car sounds great, but the name is sort of off-putting. I mean why buy a car named such that you really aspire to buy another car that you would really rather have in the first place? The name itself makes no sense. It makes one wonder if that is really the best the folks at Ford that produce their car names – after all it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard of a job to come up with a long list of reasonable names for cars, and be paid for it to boot – is that really the best they could come up with? I think that’s what Tom and Ray were saying. Not dissing the Aspire on it’s driving merits that is.
Hey, here’s a question for you: Since you like your Aspire, what would you have named it if you had worked at Ford naming cars at the time?
Yeah. . .Sounded more like they were dissing the Aspire’s name. . .And IMO, they weren’t wrong. It’s a dumb name for a car. No one’s going to aspire to upgrade to an Aspire unless they currently drive a Yugo, and suggesting that driving that car makes you “aspire,” is suggesting either that the car is undesirable, and you aspire to get a better one, or that your financial situation is undesirable, and you aspire to make it better so you can afford a better car. Insulting the car and/or the customer is not a good sales tactic.
I always thought the Ford Aspire aspired to be a real car, and the TOYOTA Echo (oops!) is an echo of a car. Come on, couldn’t these people come up with better car names?
@jeannefood, since you love your car so much, what do you think would have an appropriate model name?
I also thought the Aspire was “aspiring” to be a real car since it’s so small it makes a Focus look like a monster truck (or at least a Suburban). I will admit, though, that I’ve always wanted one, but only for the same reason I’ve always wanted a late '80s or early '90s Civic hatchback or CRX: super high gas mileage. Older Mazda B2000 pickup is also on that list. A friend of mine had one in high school. He said the only reason he kept if for so long is that he could fill it up for $15 and drive over 400 miles. Yeah, that was over ten years ago.
Also, Whitey, I think you mean Toyota Echo. A friend of mine has one. It looks sort of like a giant jellybean on 13" wheels and was replaced by the superior and far more refined Toyota Yaris. Sounds pathetic, and it is, but it’s true. Sad but true.
Oops! I fixed that.
The Aspire is NOT the worst name EVER for a car. I think that title shoud go to the Nissan Juke.
The Nissan Joke? That makes the Pontiac Aztek look like one handsome machine, it’s so ugly. I did see something the other day that is uglier, though. It was some kind of tall cargo van made by Opel. It actually looked like the offspring of a Nissan Juke and Ford Transit Connect.
Most of the women in my family voted the Ford “Probe” as the worst named car for some reason or another.
My wife, who is fluent in Spanish, laughed when she noticed a Toyota Paseo. She says that “paseo” basically means to “take a walk”, hardly what you’d want your car to be telling you.
The Aspire was the next generation of the Ford Festiva. The Festiva was probably a better car overall. My girlfriend once had one. She bought it from someone for super cheap. The old owner was amazed she was still driving it 10 years later.
Ant then there is the NOVA. This means “no go” or “it doesn’t go” in Spanish. And they wondered why it didn’t sell well in areas with a large Hispanic population…
I agree Aspire is a dumb name though. Wal-Mart used to (or still does) sell a cheap house brand of bicycles called NEXT. These things are heavy, have lousy brakes, and have less than precise shifting. I always told people who had them that “Your NEXT bike is going to be something else.” They were always bought on price and not quality or any other feature.
I hate to “diss” an Aspire, it’s not intentional, but I have never developed a very keen Death Wish.
I would never try and operate anything that small in the traffic of large vehicles we have where I live, not to mention texting drivers drifting over centerlines.
Just as “everything is fun and games until the beer runs out,”
"everything is fun and games driving a tiny clown car until an unavoidable collision crushes all the occupants."
I bought a fixed speed bicycle at Walmart. Its model name is the Thruster. I pulled those stickers off the bike before riding it in order to spare myself any embarrassment.
I find that small cars have an edge in avoiding collisions, especially at high speed. Maneuverability gives you an edge if you’re a good driver. If you’re not a good driver, you’re better off upsizing so you can kill others instead of yourself.
Rationalization usually accompanies the tiny car owners’ decision to take chances.
First, I wouldn’t drive a small car at “high speed.” If push comes to shove with larger vehicles they’ll fold up like a cheap suit.
Second, not all good drivers drive little cars. Would you be surprised to learn that many of them drive larger vehicles? Some of my best friends are good drivers and drive large vehicles.
Maneuverability is not available exclusively to little cars, in fact some heavier cars will maneuver just fine, even much better in adverse road conditions.
Thinking along the lines that a tiny car is safer because of collision avoidance superiority follows the logic of not wearing one’s seat belt to enable being “thrown clear” of an accident.
Finally, it’s on there, but the ability to kill other drivers is usually way down my list of criteria used in making a car purchase decision.
If popular stories are correct, the Chevrolet Nova had to be renamed in Mexico, because “Nova” means ‘no go’ or something similar.
I saw the thread header and wondered why a thread about a vehicle that stopped production in 1997 was revived. There can’t be too many Aspires left on the road.
A Buick Was Renamed In Canada When It Was Introduced.
The U.S. Lacrosse was named Allure for Canadians, after it was discovered that Lacrosse was slang for “self-gratification” among teens in French speaking Quebec.
GM wished to avoid having a car known as the Buick Mas_ _ _ bation car!
The Ford Pinto wasn’t well-received by some in Brazil where “Pinto,” in Brazilian Portuguese slang, means “small p_ _is”.