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Pontiac Aztek



  • Look at Isuzu Trooper S 4WD TOD. They're affordable and roomy, exellent warranty.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    No offense, but there is NO vehicle less safe than a trooper... in fact this is the last year for it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Platforms are only one factor in a crash test. I don't think you should be scaring people before the facts are out. The Transport is FAR from a "death trap".
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    OK... if you compare the current montana/venture minivans to, say, a Pinto or something, true they're not deathtraps... BUT if you compare this picture (Pontiac transport/montana):

    to THIS picture (toyota sienna)

    you'll see what I mean...
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The NHTSA gives Montana 5/5 Stars for both driver and passenger side impact, 4/5 stars for driver front and 3/5 stars for front passenger ( 3/5 still only means a 21-35% chance of serious injury). FAR from a death trap!

    Taking results from one vehicle and inferring another vehicle sharing only on the same platform will yield the same is silly. The platform is only one factor in a list of many.
  • topgntopgn Posts: 132
    Dindak stop telling us the Tintanic won't sink...
    The Aztek is unsafe compared to the compitition, it will be out of production in two years, and of course it has looks to give old people heart attacks if they see it at night on the road..
    GM are now trying to sell them at invoice and not well even at that price...THE AZTEK IS A "LOSER"
    Put your energy to good use: like maybe saving the dolphins, help reduce druken drivers on the road, give advice on purchasing a REAL SUV not a minivan with a need for some plastic surgery..!!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    When you answer my question from 20+ posts ago "why are you here?", I will respond to you. You obviously have no interest in the Aztek or mature discussion as a whole. All you do is knock other people and the Aztek. Grow up and get a life!
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    while the Montana/Aztek platform is the WORST. The vehicle was pulled from the European market after 3 months because it was so unsafe and both the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute tests have shown it to be nothing short of a death trap. <<<This guy is flat out wrong. The vehicle has never been part of the Euro market, there was an Opel version of the U.-van that did not sell and was discontinued, Biggest reason? Because Opel brought out the Zafira van which has been a huge success.

    I have no idea why the same group of people continue to harp on this vehicle. There are no quality problems unlike the Escape. There will be a restyling. But after seeing the Jeep Liberty, the Aztek may have been replaced as whipping post.

    Every vehicle has to pass certain standards in barrier testing to be allowed for sale in the United States. This vehicle has passed those standards. Safety is not a issue with this vehicle. If some outside firm chooses to retest vehicles in a manner that is different than the required standard, they may find a way for that product to fail that test. You want me to believe that GM is willingly producing a vehicle to kill it's purchaser. I think you are wrong.

    I think those of you who are here trying to discourage anybody from considering this vehicle are wrong. Some of you quote friends of friends who work at GM saying this and that. Well guess what? I work for GM in an engineering department. I know what's going on. Lots of your claims are just plain flat fabrications. There is nothing wrong about this vehicle in regards to safety or performance. We want to sell more of them. I think with some tweaks we will. We will sell a great deal of Rendezvous. If some posters have discouraged you from the Aztek, wait or research the Buick. It will cost more but it will have an AWD system available. It also is a slight bit larger. Along with that it does have fully independent suspension and four wheel disk brakes. The same system will be available on the Aztek.

    Strange thing about this vehicle, those of us who have driven them and spent time with it like it. I would have no reservations about going cross country in mine. Crossswind stability is excellent. On weekend trips I get around 25 mpg at 75 mph. It can pull a trailer (small one). It is exceptionally quiet. I do not buy a vehicle to impress others. I look upon them as tools. I prefer to keep as much of my cash in my pocket as possible. This vehicle is a very good value.

    Now if some of you just want to gripe about styling, the Jeep Liberty message board should be opening soon. But that's my opinion.
  • It's sweet! I've had a base model since late August and have had an enjoyable 4200+ miles so far.
    I purchaced it after totaling two other cars in '99 (95 Eagle Summit Wagon and 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee - neither my fault so no jokes!).
    I liked the wide wheel-base and Side Air Bags for safety. I find it comfortable inside and aesthetically pleasing as well.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,250
    Well, I looked at the Liberty pics. It is shockingly conventional for the most part (I'm reminded of an older style Isuzu) except for the googly-eyed front end, which looks like it was the doodling of a junior high-schooler. Dunno where Detroit is finding their designers these days.

    In terms of shock value, it's not in the same class.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I'm starting to see a few on the road around here (Florida) and I've got to say it's growing on me. I applaud the people that have purchased an Aztek so far. I checked the Azteks out at a recent auto show and was really impressed by the size, design and versatiltiy of the interior. It was one of the few vehicles at the show I kept going back to. All Pontiac needs to do is restyle the plastic area of the front end, the side cladding (needs to go altogether) and do something with the rear bumper area - basically restyle the plastic bits. I like the rear tailgate/ tailight area and the basic shape of the Aztek, including the hood and front turn signal design. I wonder what one would look like if the dark plastic parts were painted body color and the cladding was removed from the doors. I think it's all the dark plastic and that terrible lower door cladding that needs to be addressed in the redesign, leave the rest of it alone, especially the interior.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    With all due respect to the comments made by the "GM Engineer"... I stand by my comments about the Sintra/Montana/Aztek platform being unsafe. Again, I urge you to look at NOT ONLY the NHTSA site, but the insurance offset crash test results AND the European crash test results of their version, GM's Opel Sintra. Here is the text from their site...

    "The Sintra was overwhelmed in the frontal impact: the steering wheel and the deployed airbag broke off its column and the driver faced a real threat of fatal neck injury because his head was forced back and upwards. Opel has says it has now taken steps to prevent the wheel from snapping off, but the changes have not been tested by Euro NCAP. The car was awarded three stars, mostly for its performance in the side impact, but the final star has been struck through to indicate NCAP's fears over the chance of a fatal injury. Opel (GM) has announced that the Sintra is being withdrawn from sale, but this news came after Euro NCAP had tested the car; in any case, new examples will continue to sell for some time. Finally, its child restraints performed well in the front impact but poorly in the side impact." You can see the results here:

    Also, again, view my two links above that compare the montana/aztek crash photos with the toyota Sienna... a minivan of similar weight and dimensions. After comparing the two, a person would have to be off his rocker to choose the GM over the Toyota. Of course, Chrysler's Vans are not much better but in the case of the Aztek, these reports are important because they share the same platform. The Aztek has the same engine, drivetrain, suspension (for the most part), underbody, yadda-yadda-yadda as the montana and if you simply look at both of them on a lift, you'd be hard-pressed to differentiate the two. I am NOT telling people not to buy it... I AM suggesting they do their research with regards to vehicle safety because if safety IS a concern, there are MANY safer choices. If safety is NOT a person's concern, go ahead and buy one. But to suggest that 3 independent agencies are all wrong because you work in GM engineering and feel it is safe is ridiculous. I'm not making this information up as you suggest... I've always provided links to back up this information so readers can verify it. Perhaps you could provide links to show us how safe the montana/aztek/sintra vehicle is. Perhaps you could forward (like I have) pictures of the crash tests of the aztek/montana vs other vehicles in its class so that we can compare and make an educated decision. Honestly, I'm not trying to be confrontational... I would love to see an independent test of the Montana/Aztek that shows it being a safe vehicle. After seeing the Toyota/subaru/volkswagen pictures, I realize it IS possible to make a safe vehicle. Hell, the passenger compartment of the old Toyota Tercel remained more intact than the interior of the Montana. Just provide the readers here with facts and let them decide.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Now you are off on some European tangent?? You are really digging for anything you can find aren't you? It's like you have some kind vendetta against Aztek or something. I really think you need to get a grip.

    The government has minimum standards which Montana obviously meets. The NHTSA gives Montana a passing grade (though it's not as good as other vans). The Aztek is not a Montana despite the fact that it shares a few parts and a platform. Wait for the tests to come in, fine. Crucify the Aztek on the basis you use is premature to say the least.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The irony with the Pontiac Aztek is that this vehicle actually boasts very high levels of assembly quality and interior materials. Also the Aztek has been free from any significant recalls to tarnish its reputation of a quality engineered and assembled vehicle. Just look at the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute siblings...a total embarrasement 5 recalls even before they both hit the of the recalls stated that the steering wheel assembly could fell off in your hands! Classic Ford crap! They are talking the route of Chrysler...nicely styled vehicles with ZERO quality control built in them! Been burned by Ford before already twice! FORD NEVER AGAIN!. JAC NASSER, ARE YOU LISTENING??

    However, this car's main culprit is how ugly and out of proportion its exterior design is. I agree with most of you that the interior of the car during the 'emergency' re-design phase announced yesterday by Ron Zarrella of GM, should be left untouched. I think the strongest selling point of the current Aztek is the quality, design and versatility of the Interior, but the exterior is a total failure.

    As I type this, I am looking at a picture of the 1999 Pontiac Aztek Concept show vehicle (Yellow paint with a Jet Ski towed in the back) unveiled at the NAIAS show in Detroit 2 years ago. That vehicle looks interesting, fresh and much more proportionate than the 2001 (First series) production run. What happened in between from the concept model to the production model, I have no idea...but what I do know is that whomever signed off and approved this mounstrosity of vehicle should have been fired from GM. The Aztek has already been an endless money pit for GM that should have gotten the car right from the start and made it look much closer to the show concept imagine the heft amounts of $$$ to turn around the fate of the Aztek in the market place....dumb and dumber!

    Any way my prediction is that during the re-designed process the 'new and improved' Aztek will look more like the Show concept vehicle which is what GM should have done in the first place. As far as I am concerned, I don't think the Aztek is a 'dead duck' yet and the idea still has potential among consumers in this class of vehicle but it for sure will take GM a lot longer to recover all the loses from the first failed attempt. Also the upcoming 2002 Pontiac Vibe can put a serious dent into the new Aztek's sales as the Vibe can virtually do everything the Aztek does with a much better design and Toyota powertrain quality to boot.

    Does any one know if the Vibe will be priced above the Aztek or viceversa?
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    OK for the Trillionth time... I'm NOT crucifing the aztek... I've driven it and personally, I feel it is probably the highest quality product GM sells... it seems to be put together quite well and is quiet riding. It also handles like a Dodge Caravan Sport (compliment). I am only commenting on the safety issue here. I had a neighbor killed (and his grandson badly injured)in the Oldsmobile version of the Montana/Aztek and since then I've been very safety concious.. escpecially in vehicles that carry kids (minivans). I can only comment on safety since I do not own one. True, I am not a big fan of GM, but I am willing to admit that the only real problem with the aztek from a sales standpoint is its exterior styling. That is OBVIOUSLY the reason it is not selling. I think if they restyle the nose/tail and make it look like the wheels aren't so small, they'd sell a lot more. The Buick version will sell well, I'm sure! Again, I'm ONLY commenting on safety. The Montana/venture/sillouette, by ALL accounts, are not vehicles that I would feel comfortable piloting, personally. (Note the word "personally"...) I base this decision on crash tests conducted by the federal government, the IIHS and the Euro testing agency. OF COURSE, the Aztek is not the montana. BUT if you remove the outter skin, the Aztek is a short-wheelbased Montana minivan. Again, crawl underneith... better yet, lift the hood and look at the strut towers, the suspension, the brakes, the engine, the cross members up front... hell, even the bumper mounts and sub-structure. Example: The Plymouth sundance and the plymouth reliant share platforms. Did they look alike? Hell no... were they the same beast? yes. The Pontiac GrandAm and the Olds Alero don't look alike... but they are twins. The Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Dodge Stratus coupe look NOTHING alike.. but they are twins... sharing most MAJOR NON-COSMETIC parts. The Montana and the Aztek look NOTHING alike... but (excluding the interior and exterior panels) are identical (the aztek's wheelbase is slightly shorter than the montana's). This is fact not fiction. My only suggestion to people considering the Aztek is the same now as it has been. IF SAFETY IS AN ISSUE, DO YOUR RESEARCH... THE NHTSA WILL RELEASE IT'S AZTEK FRONTAL CRASH RESULTS THIS WEEK... Do your research and make a decision... ecspecially if you won't be cruising in the car alone. That's all I've EVER said. If you don't care about safety and the Aztek meets your needs, buy one. Dindak, relax. The Aztek on dealer lots 8 months from now will look substantially different than the one out there now. Perhaps they'll sell better... if not, they'll cancel it but the investment won't be a total flop because I think the Buick will pick up the slack. The Buick mark has a better reputation for quality and the styling is much more "acceptable" to the masses. BUT I think they would have a SURE FIRE WINNER if they'd drop the Buick 3800 engine under the hood. (I hear that may very well happen inside of 12 months)
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066

    Not sure why you keep pressing on jmatero. He has been completely non-confrontational and presented test after test and picture after picture to back up his claims. His only concern is SAFETY, and I think that his contribution here has been good.

    If you are willing to settle for a vehicle that mearly "meets" the US safetly requirements, as opposed to one that set's new standards of safety (Sienna, Legacy, Passat, etc) then fine. But don't try and quiet someone just because you DISAGREE with his point of view.

    Also, you can say "An Aztek is not a Montana" all you want and you'll still be wrong. THey share nearly every non-cosmetic part... everything that really counts in a crash. I don't care how much grey plastic you put on the Aztek, it will still be a Montana underneath.

    No flames meant, just observations.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Bottom line is.. there is no data on the Aztek. Extracting data from another vehicle is wrong and unscientific. Wait for test results before concluding Aztek is "unsafe". If you are right in your prediction I will be the first to congratulate you.

    I have no problem with concern for safety, but calling the Transport a "death trap" is a bit much. At worst, it's safety rating is only acceptable. The data shows 5 star side impact, 4 star driver and the only marginal point is the three star front passenger at three stars.

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I have seen crash testing scores inconsistencies on cars built on the same exact basic platform. Case in point, the W-body cars from GM:

    (2000 model year):

    * Chevrolet Impala: 5 stars front/4 stars side

    * Buick Regal: 4 Stars front/3 stars side

    * Olds Intrigue: 4 stars front/2 stars side

    So illustrate my point, notice how the safety scores for these 3 W-body sedans vary from one car to the next while they are built on the same basic platform.

    For instance the Y2K Impala already meets 2003 Safety Goverment standards, while the other W-body sedans that scored a bit lower only meet current 1997 Government safety standards.

    So, until the Aztek completes the crash testing proceedings and final results are posted, it will be very difficult to know how it will rate against the FWD V-6 GM Minivans. Who knows, the Aztek quite possibly already addresses the weaknesses of the GM Minivans on which it shares its basic platform. On the other hand, the Aztek might exhibit worse results than its minivan counterparts.

    I appreciate JMatero efforts to increase awareness of the safety faults on the current GM FWD Minivan platform. Safety for me is also paramount and it plays a very significant part on the type of vehicle I purchase.

    I also think Dindak has a point in saying that until the Aztek results are released to the public, nothing is written in stone at this point in time, so we all can go back and forth here for weeks fighting and claiming that the Aztek is unsafe because it is a "montana" minivan in disguise, etc.

    Let's show some civility and let's try to keep this forum as objective as possible.

    If you were a school teacher, would you tell one of students that they already failed the course without grading his final test paper?

    Please guys, think! ;-)
  • So it is CERTAIN that the Aztek will be restyled slighty..... When would that model come out? What would a restyling do to the value of the 2001 (original) model? Anybody got any ideas or are these questions unpredictable??
  • Check your figures on the safety of the CR-V. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety crash test rating was "marginal" for this vehicle. The Suzuki Grand Vitara tested higher and is a true off road vehicle. Read the owners manual for what is "safe" for use in your CR-V. Anyway back to the TOPIC. Just rec'd our first Versatrak Aztec and being in the snow capital of the world (Syracuse,NY) just finished running it through its' paces in snow that was 8" deep. Performance was excellent and you could actually feel the AWD system working. Every customer that I have been able to get behind the wheel of this vehicle wanted to buy it because of the ride quality. I do not understand earlier quote of "floaty feel" he must have been driving on a windy day. The Aztec I was just driving had a MSRP of $25,025. It was a base AWD with a towing package. As for safety of the vehicle in my opinion it was much safer feeling than the CR-V and the Explorer that I drove when I went to the Aztec ride and drive(school for car salesman put on by GM and professional drivers on a closed course).
  • gonzo7gonzo7 Posts: 259
    A previous post said "The Aztek on the lot 8 months from now will look different that the one on the lots today"
    I beg to differ.
    Most of the Azteks on the dealer lots today will still be there 8 months from now.
  • Aztek may be a great vehicle, but it is completely hideous to look at. But to each his own.

    Check out the demand for the Aztek vs. the PT Cruiser.

    Enough said.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    jsylvester: Thanks for the news flash.

    pilot374 : Restyle will be for sure on 2002 models. Should start showing up on lots in the summer. Should be good deals on the old models if you like it.
  • topgntopgn Posts: 132
    Hey we agree , "should be good deals on the old models" hell $1000 under invoice my guess!! However, If I was a GM customer who bought a Asstek from Sep 2000 to May 2001 and find my resale at 50% of what I purchased the Minivan for, I would be very upset...Hmm maybe that's why GM's market share fell to 28% (USA market) in 2000 from 30% in 1999..OH did I mention Toyota's market share increased 10% in 2000 (this according to USA Today). You cannot continue to screw the customer out of a quality product, and expect to NOT to lose customers.. GM DOES NOT build a quality product compared to Toyota, BMW, and even Nissan..

    The Aztek is a perfect example :
    1. Ugly product
    2. Resale will be horrible..
    3. Unsafe platform

    So if you feel like throwing $$$ away and not concened for your family's safety ( Oh I know the Aztek has not been crashed tested, but the "Montana has been") go ahead and buy a Aztek.
    Or if there is some gray matter working look at the Honda CRV, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda Tribute, or a used 4Runner..!!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Moderator... can you please remove the previous post. Mr Topgn. He is name calling with inappropriate language (in the title).
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    Yes, the restyle is official... If you'd like to read an article about it, click here...
    You'll get GM's take on the Aztek and more restyle details. In a nutshell, major sheetmetal changes are not going to happen with the 2002 re-style... just "plastic"... meaning, we'll see new front/rear bumpers, facias, grilles, headlights, taillights... perhaps new hatch and hood. They may also work on the wheel openings and include larger wheels... the current style reminds me of the old passat/jetta where there was so much sheetmetal above the wheels that the tires looked "tiny" and out of proportion. Perhaps they'll tone down the body cladding and replace it with wheel well shrouds or something.

    As for the CR-V and safety, we'll in an odd situation with all of these hybrids on the market. The grand Vitara is a true off-roader... body on ladder frame construction. The CR-V, however, is not an off-road vehicle... it shares components with the Civic and is really a tall wagon with AWD. One drive of the two and you'll find the CR-V is a good car-like ride while the Suzuki is more truck-like. The aztek rides very much like the Dodge Caravan AWD model... slightly stiffer in fact. It should since it's a minivan. It is NOT designed (despite the now pulled TV ads which showed otherwise) to be taken off-road. It is unibody and does not have the ground clearance a true SUV has. In reality, most minivans (AWD included) don't... in order to accomodate easy entry/exit and to provide that flat floor and car-like seating position. This makes them BAD off-road vehicles. Interestingly, some cross-over (like the CR-V) have excellent ground clearance and CAN be taken off-road on a limited basis. Here are some examples of ground-clearance:

    Subaru Forester: 7.5"
    Ford Escape: 7.8"
    Honda CR-V: 8.1"
    Toyota RAV4: 8.3"

    But, here are the ground clearances of AWD Minivans:

    Dodge Caravan AWD: 5.4
    Pontiac Aztek AWD: 6.0

    You can see that there are advantages to the Aztek being a minivan... again, the flat floor, great headroom, easy enter/exit, great ride height and car-like ride.. but, because of its styling, many believe it to be an SUV... but with only 6.0 of ground clearance, the most difficult terrain you should try to tackle with an Aztek is snow (less than half a foot). If you REALLY need to go off road, you should look at something with greater ground clearance and the proper shields. The subaru forester is a good example of something that can do both quite well. It's no range rover but its off-road abilities are quite good and subaru offers gas-tank and other underbody shields as well as excellent ground clearance. And the on-road ride is excellent.
  • gonzo7gonzo7 Posts: 259
    Koolguy is crying to teacher again. The big kids are calling him names!

    P.S. (DINK means Dual Income No Kids)
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Hey... I agree with you. Aztek is no off roader. You want to do that, you have to get a real SUV. I really like the new RAV4 and the upcoming Saturn VUE. I like the Escape, but I would wait till Ford/Mazda get all the bugs out.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    I learned my lesson about buying the first year... ecspecially US models... yikes... Although, they are getting better, there are ALWAYS glitches... ALWAYS. I think one of the reasons the Escape is having so many "growing pains" is because it is a TOTALLY new (ground up) vehicle. It really doesn't share any parts with other cars now in production and the ones it does "borrow" have been so heavily modified that they could be considered "new". The Aztek has a great track record so-far and seems to be particularly tight for a first-year model. The main reason for this is that it is not really "new"... it's platform has been in use for a number of years and from a drivetrain-suspension-underbody standpoint, should have most-if not all-its bugs worked out by now. I know the drivetrain is almost bullet proof (although not very exciting... drop in that 3800 and wow!)

    As for Pontiac Aztek Crash testing... The NHTSA has pushed back the frontal testing to February 2001 so we'll have to wait another month or two before we get the results.
  • gmdronegmdrone Posts: 78
    I am not really sure why some people always feel that they have to attack, and others feel they have to defend... BUT every one has an opinion, and we all know that opions are like*******s, everyone's got one! I can respond to the safety advocates with one sentence. If you want to believe that ANY accident will follow a pattern, then you must live in a real dream world. The Insurance Institute is in business to keep Insurance companies payouts to a minimum, if the had their druthers, we'd all be driving Sherman tanks with anti- collision radar and repel-a-trons, inside of a pillow wrapped interior. Safety is a BIG issue among consumers nowdays, and there are a lot of other issues besides the crashworthiness of a vehicle, not the least of which is driving ability of the average human that always cause me to fry behind the wheel. ( I KNOW that I am the best driver in the world...). I do enjoy reading the posts in this area, I just get tired of reading the same messages from the same people attacking each other, it only serves to remind me that this is America, and isn't it wonderful that we can disagree?

    For the record, my latest fleet car is an AWD Aztek, had it for two weeks, HATE the looks, but love the ride, power, handling, room, versatility. I can hardly wait for my Rendevous!!!!
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