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Nissan Rogue, 2008: Nice Wheels, Bad Name

A few friends and I drove around the recent Monterey Auto Week in a 2008 Nissan Rogue. It’s a new sport utility vehicle that offers a lot for a good price point — around $23,000. What the Rogue doesn’t have is a good name.

My friends and I had a pretty easy and fun time calling ourselves rogues. And there we were finding our way around Pebble Beach and Laguna Seca and parking next to wondrous machines with well-heeled nameplates like Bentley, Maserati and Ferrari.

So why would Nissan call its new SUV Rogue?

As a noun, rogue is defined:

* An unprincipled, deceitful and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
* One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp.
* A wandering beggar; a vagrant.
* A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd.
* An organism, especially a plant that shows an undesirable variation from a standard.

And as adjective, rogue is defined:

* Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
* Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.
* Operating outside normal or desirable]]> controls.

Any of those seem like a good fit for a car?

scrumMy friends and I had fun joking about being rogues and cruising around in our rogue-mobile. But it’s just a bad name for a car.

But perhaps as a new vehicle for 2008, the Rogue just hasn’t been around long enough to make the all-time list of Worst Car Names.

According to the web site, www.jalopnik.com, subtitled: “Obsessed With The Cult Of Cars,” here’s the list in reverse of the top-10 worst car names.

I’ve included images of the Nissan Rogue and the Mazda Scrum Wagon, which Jalopnik cites as the worst named car in history.

10. Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy

9. Diahatsu Charade

8. Tang Hua Detroit Fish

7. Pontiac Parisienne

6. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

5. Nissan Homy Super Long

4. Studebaker Dictator

3. Geely PU Rural Nanny

2. Ford Probe

1. Mazda Scrum Wagon


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