The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

A misleading article, pure nonsense from some marketing department, or a factoid your dad got wrong back in the day — the next thing you know you're surrounded by automotive misnomers.


10.) The Boxer/Flat Engine Conundrum

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

People often call any flat engine a boxer, but that's not always the case. Karl Benz called his invention, the boxer engine, the "contra engine," while Ferrari sometimes refers to their flat-twelves as 180 degree V12s. Confusing, I know. Marimvibe can change names!:

To be completely correct, a boxer engine is a category within flat/horizontal, which only concerns cylinder arrangement. But that's a nit in your point that not all flats are boxers.

If it's still unclear, check out Diesel_Powa's animation!

Suggested By: Diesel_Powa, Photo Credit: Frank and Myra Fan


9.) Cleveland's Venturi

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

Despite what it sounds like, 4V didn't mean four valves per cylinder when it came to Ford's Cleveland engines. Axel-Ripper:

Back in the original muscle car days, there existed the Ford 351 Cleveland. They had 2V and 4V variants, for 2 valve and 4 valve, presumably. However, this did not stand for the number of valves in the head. They were both 2 valve heads. They also could both be had with 2 barrel or 4 barrel carbs, though they're commonly termed 2 barrel or 4 barrel engines. Instead, it just means the size of the ports and valves, which on the 4V are ABSOLUTELY FUCKING MASSIVE.

Suggested By: Axel-Ripper, Photo Credit: Horrortaxi


8.) The Great AWD/4WD Confusion

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

The transfer case makes all the difference, and while both will give you more grip, 4WD with hi/low gearing and locking differentials is what you want off-road. Your AWD grocery getter most likely doesn't have that.

Suggested By: waveridin1959, Photo Credit: STI Performance


7.) Toyota's Party Button

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

While it might be the best button ever, all it does is boosting the stereo's bass and pushing the equalization to the back speakers. Sadly, it doesn't instantly start a party with rolled down windows and a Champagne dispenser.

Misleading at best.

Suggested By: MAXIMUMVRM, Photo Credit: Toyota


6.) Crossover SUVs

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

Car segments are really confusing nowadays, but your bloated wagon still isn't an SUV, reminds us DennyCrane:

They're not sporty. They're not particularly utilitarian. If I could honestly say they weren't vehicles, they'd have the hat trick.

Suggested By: DennyCrane, Photo Credit: M 93


5.) The Mythical BMW V6

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

BMW is very famous for its V6 engines. Right. Straightsix9904:

What kills me is EVERY DAMN BMW on Craigslist has a "V6"

I just have to wonder what the maintenance was like on a car that you don't know the most basic thing about.

DRobin78:

I just saw an ad today for a BMW on craigslist that said it had a "straight V6". *Faceplam.

Suggested By: Straightsix9904, Photo Credit: jeffwilcox


4.) Chevy's Not-Very-Small Block

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

Back in the '50sChevy called its new engine family the "small block" because it was smaller than the "big block". However, starting with a 265 cu in (4.3 liter) in 1954, these engines are in fact enormous by any standard.

Read more about it from Racescort666!

Suggested By: Racescort666, Photo Credit: Hugo90


3.) Four-Door Coupes

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

Putting a shorter trunk lid on a four-door car won't turn it into a coupe. Just a Gran Coupe, the biggest bullshit in modern car car design.

Suggested By: burglar can't heart click anything, Photo Credit: lotprocars


2.) When Is A Manual Automatic?

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

If you ask someone with a two-pedal tiptronic whatever if they have a manual or an automatic, be prepared to cringe when they say "both!" Do you have a clutch? If you don't, you're car is equipped with an automatic gearbox. Get over it, and stop lying to yourself and your loved ones.

Suggested By: RazoE, Photo Credit: Tom Mascardo 1


1.) German Engine Designation Misinformation

The Ten Worst Automotive Misnomers

That 335i is a 3-series, but it ain't got no 3.5 liter engine.

And if you think BMW's undisclosed downsizing is bad, listen to what TheStigSpanishCousin has to say about Mercedes Benz:

..63 AMG = 5.5 L (except the C63 wich is a 6.2L),

And I don't know if you have these in America:

E300 = 3.5 L; E400= 3.0 L; S300 bluetec = 2.1 L

316 d, 318 d 320d and 325 d =2.0L

However, Audi takes the cake with its Chinese 3.0 FTSI. As Franzouse explains, this China-only car comes with a 1.4!

Suggested By: RazoE, Photo Credit: porlamfer

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: domantasm.