While famously rated as one of the ?Worst Cars of All Time,? the 2001 Pontiac Aztec suffers from this overstatement. Pontiac’s heart finds the right place, with the concept of the ?Sport Recreation Vehicle? that seems as sporty as a high-powered sedan and as convenient, roomy, and all-purpose as an SUV.
The 2001 Pontiac Aztec looks nothing like anything on the road, and the general public may not be prepared for that. Unusually shaped and placed lights, bulky side cladding, and an overall design that really looks like an SUV mated to a luxury sedan seems off-putting to many drivers.
If you don’t mind the unusual appearance, the Aztec serves as a fairly versatile vehicle, especially if you add Pontiac’s Versatrak all-wheel-drive system, which senses where you need control the most and automatically directs power to the wheels accordingly. The carmakers offers two models of the 2001 Pontiac Aztec, the base and the GT, which includes extra features.
Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Aztec, Pontiac Aztec AWD, Pontiac Aztec GT, Pontiac Aztec GT AWD
The Pontiac Aztec starts new for 2001. This crossover vehicle tries to be the first ?Sport Recreation Vehicle,? a less rugged version of an SUV, making it the first and only model of its kind.
The dreaded exterior of the 2001 Pontiac Aztec features a U-body construction with multiple oversized headlights, a ring of plastic molding, and a somewhat boxy appearance. It has a rear liftgate door, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a roof rack on the GT. It comes in eight colors, including Aztec Yellow and Citrus Green Metallic.
The cloth interior of the 2001 Pontiac Aztec comes in dark gray or dark taupe. The base includes bucket front seats and a tilt steering wheel, while the GT features adjustable lumbar support for the driver and passenger, audio controls on the leather steering wheel, a portable cooler, dual-zone climate control, and a trip computer. The Aztec also offers a head-up display, so you can get driver data without taking your eyes off the road.
Performance & Handling
The Aztec handles well, especially on suburban streets. For more power and control, opt for an AWD model featuring the Pontiac Versatrak all-wheel-drive system. Under the hood of the Aztec sits a solid 3.4-liter V-6 engine, producing 185 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, with a four-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity for the 2001 Pontiac Aztec reaches as high as 3500 pounds.
The 2001 Pontiac Aztec has most of the safety features you’d expect in a crossover or SUV, including four-wheel ABS, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and dual front side-mounted airbags. The Aztec also features an engine immobilizer, child seat anchors, and rear-door child safety locks.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Aztec: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Aztec GT: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Strong and sturdy on pavement
- Plenty of room
- All-wheel drive option
You Won't Like
- Unattractive exterior styling
- Weak offroad
- Traction control not standard in base model
Once you get past the unusual styling, you may find the Aztec to be a surprisingly reliable crossover vehicle—just don’t go too far offroad.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Toyota Rav4
- Mazda CX-5