The Pontiac Aztek and the Perils of Design by Committee

In a recent interview, Don Norman warns of the perils of design by committee:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Hey, I love my Aztek!

It’s wide enough for 3 booster seats in the back, has decent storage and is distinctive enough to spot in the parking lot. I much prefer the split gate/window combination. The mileage is OK (22-24 of continuous highway), and it’s got a peppy engine.

Oh, if you run a business, the back panel is great for a magnetic or vinyl sign.

Best of all, it drives like a car, not a truck. Believe it or not, I contrasted it to a Olds Silhouette (I know, it’s a minivan) and just loved the Aztek’s ride.

Actually, there’s really only one thing I always hated about the Aztek: a really, really bad blindspot, necessitated by the back window design.

So, it’s weird looking. So’s the Mini Cooper, the PT Cruiser (for which I still don’t get the attraction), the Prowler and an awful lot of cars these days.

Here’s a funny Aztek review, courtesy of Steve McConnell himself:

Steve also said there’s also a fourth Aztek reference in Code Complete 2, but I haven’t found it yet.

Hey, I love my Aztek!

LOL, I was waiting for the first owner to offer an opinion. :wink: It is an, uh, distinctive automobile!

I love my Aztek! Maybe the people offering negative comments are just to “level” headed! It has lots of space great interior and it is quite zippy! The blind spot does take some getting used to…
This is definetly a car for some one who thinks outside the box! I’m proud to be such a person!

I have a 2002 AWD and I love the car. It’s peppy enough to keep me out of harm’s way, tall enough to allow me to see “down the road”, roomy enough to carry things I need, up to and indcluding 2 carseats. Yes, it’s unusual looking at first but the plus’s far outweight that. The blind spot is an issue but if you tilt the rear view mirror that goes away. Since all driving schools recommond turning your head and looking before changing lanes, it’s not that big an issue.

A great car for all around use!

I like Aztek. Why many people say that Aztek is ugly? I think it looks pretty cool. I’m planning to purchase a used Aztek. Anyone can give me some advices? How about Aztek’s performance? I really like it.

Love my Aztek. MPG, roomy, very comfy front seats, just enough power and a great discount. Like it so much even bought his “big sister”, the Rendezvous, for my wife.

The blind spot issue seems to be dependent on driver height, seat adjustment and mirror positioning. Have always been able to “adjust out” for our drivers.

Best of all my girlfriend loves the camping package for our little “get togethers” in secluded areas as she calls it affectionately: “MY Aztek”.

I must admit, the design at first was not so appealing, but it grew on me. I love my Aztek! It’s got plenty of room for my girls and all of our “stuff”. I don’t have to worry about things not fitting in. If it’s a little too long, no problem. Just shift the carseats over and take out a seat! It’s perfect for the single mother who is repulsed by station-wagons and definitely not ready for a minivan (Can’t stand the thought of being a typical soccer mom). Of course, the V6 engine helps me feel better when I’m accelerating past the little 3 and 4 cylinder cars up the mountains with the air conditioner on full blast! It doesn’t hurt either that I can definitely spot it in a crowded parking lot. Over the last year since I got mine, I’ve noticed a lot more of them popping up in our area. Can’t be all that bad if it is catching on.

I love my Aztek. I have had it since 2001 and have almost 90,000 miles racked up. My older son thinks it’s ugly, but doesn’t hesitate to borrow it to go skiing or camping! My 13 yr old is begging for it when he turns 16!

I love the Aztek, so much that I traded my 2002 for a brand new 2005. I am disappointed that they quit production. I don’t know what I’ll do next time. It loves the mountains and makes a great car or truck or SUV. And most people ask “what is it?” but once they have ridden in it think it’s cool!

I have liked Azteks ever since they first came out, and always wanted one. I traded in our 1999 VW New Beetle on one just yesterday so I could own the final version of the car, the 2005 Aztek AWD in electric blue. With the sunroof open, this thing freaking rules. And I’ve never seen one in this color before, so when I saw it on the lot I just said “that one”. Today I even had a guy in a Hummer H2 looking over at it appraisingly as we sat next to one another at a light. I call it my “Electric Blue Trash Truck Sport”. I’m glad I was able to get a fully loaded new one before they became extinct.

No matter what you guys think, the aztek (aka asssuck) is, was, and always will be, one of the largest car design failures of all time. It was an absolute FAILURE based almost entirely upon how it looks. It was loaded with all the features people where looking for and very few people bought it. They took one look and said “OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT HEINOUS MACHINE!!?” It looks like some immoral mass meat processing device or perhaps some satanic effigy of a long forgotten god.

For every ONE person who likes it, there are 100,000 who said they hate it. (You can’t argue with the sales numbers).

For those who do like how it looks, I am of the belief that there MUST be something different/broken about your genetic code. The aztek gene is something to be studied intensively, and then systematically erradicated from the human race.

Look, I don’t care what ya’ll think about azteks, especially the previous comment made by TRUTH…LMAO
I think everybody deserves their opinion, And if we like the way AZTEKS look so what. I personally think they are fu*^ing tight. SWEET.
I don’t think that there is another suv out there that comes close to the AZTEK.

I LOVE my aztek. I own a 2005 black fully loaded aztek and my wife drive a 2003 yellow aztek. THEY ARE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED. I think its the slick design that drives everybody nuts…some people just don’t want to admit it. but azteks rule.

Hey I love my Aztek. What’s wrong with being different? Different is good. Why be all the same. I bought my Aztek because it’s as different as I am. I’ve had no troubles with the car. I’d own a another after I retire this one.

What about all the problems with these things? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many reviews about so many problems - intake manifolds, wheel bearings, etc! Geez, I love the way the thing looks, but if I wanted to keep pumping money into something, I’d just keep my 11 year old Probe!

I’ve had my Aztek for 2 years and just have under 12,000 miles on it since I live near Boston, MA and take the T to work every day. So far, I’ve had no problems with my 2004 and I really like it too! I think it’s cool looking, a bit ugly, but so is my Mastiff and she’s awesome! I’ve been looking online today for them and see that the model has been replaced for 2006 so I guess it’ll be a collectors’ item some day?? At any rate, I’ll be keeping it for about 10 more years until I get my money’s worth or my milage worth out of it. Until then, I’ll continue to wave at the others out there who are part of our “Aztek Family.”

I love mine too! 2001 GT - 64,300 miles and no problems. People think they’re ugly but have they looked at the Scions or the Elements??? Azteks are beauties up next to one of those. The thing with the Aztek is, you have to drive it to appreciate it.

My wife and I both love our 2001 Aztek ,Imust say
It is not the best looking car on the road ,tier are a few worse than it. the ride is very good and
it has geat versitility .it has some problems
but they are not restricted to Aztek only !
I would buy another one If one could !