Pontiac Aztek

The Pontiac Aztek saw production from 2001 to 2005 and crosses a functional minivan with a sport utility vehicle. Unfortunately, this vehicle quickly became known for its incredibly ugly styling and underpowered engine, but it does have several features to recommend it. Its interior proves quite versatile and comfortable, and it has an easy-to-read display and offers all-wheel drive.

More on the Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac Aztek Origins

With the introduction of the Aztek, Pontiac tries to make a unique vehicle, and in some ways it certainly manages to do so. The Aztek is an aggressive looking vehicle with oversized fog lamps, protective side paneling, and distinctively shaped headlamps and front end. It doesn’t look that great compared to other SUVs, and it cannot hold up for any serious off-roading. Yet it provides an alternative for anyone looking for the practicality of a minivan but doesn’t particularly want to drive one. Although it doesn't look much better than most minivans.

Pontiac Aztek Features

The Pontiac Aztek is known for its reliability and usefulness. It contains a 3.4-liter, V-6 engine capable of producing 185 hp, and a four-speed automatic transmission. The Aztek has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds, and the optional trailer-towing system includes heavy-duty engine cooling and auto-leveling rear suspension. The all-wheel drive version automatically gives the best grip possible, but unfortunately, the driver does not have control over this system, which restricts its offroad capability. Given that it tries to fall somewhere between a minivan and an SUV, it's difficult to understand why it doesn't have better offroad capabilities to appeal to a larger audience.

Seating includes either front bucket seats and three passenger 50/50-split seats, or the optional Captain’s chairs in the second row. With these rear seats removed, the Aztek has 93.5 cubic feet of storage capacity. Cargo anchors, a convenience net, and storage areas are built-in to the tailgate and side trim, helping to keep cargo tidy and restrained. The GT model comes with a portable cooler that can attach to the center console, and it has enough space to stock 12 beverage cans. This model has removable utility packs for storing sunglasses, cellphones, and other small items. In spite of all these attributes, the public did not receive the Aztek particularly well during its first year. The EPA rates this model at 17/24 mpg city/highway.

2005 marks the last year of the Aztek’s production. From 2001 to 2005, it shows no major changes to any of its models. By this stage, Pontiac only produced the base model, and many earlier features that had originally been optional come standard.

Pontiac Aztek Evolution

Pontiac first introduced the Aztek in 2001, and hoped its very different styling would appeal to the public, especially those looking for a cross between a minivan and a sport utility vehicle. Its styling is brave but incredibly unattractive and controversial. Although it functions as both a minivan and a sport utility crossover, a lot of other models on the market offer far more features, better offroad capabilities, and have better aesthetics.

The 2001 Aztek models include the base model and the GT. While the base model includes many convenience features, such as extra storage and a cargo net, it doesn’t have much else. The GT model offers a lot of extras, including dual-zone climate controls for the driver and passenger, an interior air filtration system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

2002 marks one year after Pontiac unleashed the Aztek on the unsuspecting public that did not receive it well. This led to Pontiac trying to salvage its offering by attempting to makeover the exterior with the inclusion of a new rear spoiler. Many of the features that had originally been optional on the previous model come standard on this model.

In 2003, the Aztek introduced more high-tech options such as satellite radio and a DVD-based entertainment system. Other options include more luxurious fittings for top-of-the-line models, more wheel styles, and the introduction of a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

Updates to the 2004 model include an MP3 player and five-spoke aluminum wheels. An attempt to make the unpopular styling more appealing, Pontiac includes a package with chrome exhaust tips, a lowered suspension, and a body-colored front grille. This model only offers grey, black, or orange exterior paint.

Select a Pontiac Aztek Year

2005 Pontiac Aztek

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 Pontiac Aztek is a crossover SUV with a reliable drivetrain.

2004 Pontiac Aztek

SUV, Utility/Offroad

Since its 2001 inception, the main goal of the 2004 Pontiac Aztek was to attract the younger generation or just those who are young at heart.

2003 Pontiac Aztek

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Pontiac Aztek makes a great buy for the type of person who adopts the ugliest dog at the shelter and has a big heart.

2002 Pontiac Aztek

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2002 Pontiac Aztek debuted in 2001 to a poor reception.

2001 Pontiac Aztek

SUV, Utility/Offroad

While famously rated as one of the ?Worst Cars of All Time,? the 2001 Pontiac Aztec suffers from this overstatement.