Back in autumn 2012, I brought you an article outlining some of the worst-named cars on the planet. Well, here at UK Fuel Cards we pride ourselves on keeping a beady eye on the motoring industry, and few things bring us as much amusement as spotting a truly awful name sprawled proudly on the boot lid of the UK’s fleet cars. So, in true Fuel Cards fashion, we’re proud to bring you another rundown on the most unfortunately christened vehicles on the road…


5. Kia Cee’d

By anyone’s reckoning, this is pretty bad name. But those of you who are sticklers for grammar will no doubt be especially appalled. It begs the question – what on earth is the apostrophe for? Our only guess is that cee’d is short for ceded, in some bizarre way. If this is the case, which unlucky territory is Kia planning to overthrow? Could this be a subversive warning about a possible automotive uprising? Sort it out, Kia.


4. Volkswagen Touareg

This is as impossible to spell as it is to pronounce. When you write it down you find yourself checking and re-checking against the original to make sure those pesky vowels are in the right order. And don’t even get me started on the pronunciation. Toe rag? Too rej? VW’s sturdy 4×4 SUV is a mischievous little vehicle – an inflated Chelsea tractor with an impossible name.


3. Studebaker Dictator

The boffins at Studebaker, in the 1930s, wanted their latest model to ‘dictate the standard’ for future vehicles. A noble ambition, but sadly an angry Austrian with a minimal moustache and some big ideas would forever change the association of ‘Dictator’. There’s nothing that could persuade us to get behind the wheel of a car with this name.


2. Mazda Bongo Friendee

The Japanese lead the way when it comes to bonkers car names, but most of them get reigned in a bit when they come to be marketed to North American and European markets. The Mazda Bongo Friendee however, must have slipped through the net. This SUV-camper-van-hybrid seems to have nothing to do with bongos, and there have been whispers that many almost detect a racial undercurrent to the word. Perhaps the Japanese thought so too, and decided to stick the equally inexplicable ‘Friendee’ on at the end, for good measure. Surely nothing as sweet-sounding as Friendee could be racist. Could it? 


1. Renault Le Car

The Renault 4 was rumoured to have been designed so it could perfectly accommodate a French baguette without bending it – a sensible car deserved a sensible name. Along came its replacement, the little hatchback logically christened the Renault 5 – except in North America. For the American market, Renault rebranded their hatchback ‘Renault Le Car, which the more astute linguists among you will have cleverly deduced means, er, ‘the car’. What on earth was the problem with Renault 5? Can Americans only count to 4? Either way, if Renault were set on renaming their car, they could have done a whole lot better than this crude French concoction.

The five cars above boast truly awful names and here at UK Fuel Cards, we’re certain that the good fleet drivers of Britain have too much dignity to be seen behind the wheels of any of them.