During our five-day stint in the Motor City covering the Detroit Auto Show, your Jalopnik staffers noticed no less than 15 Pontiac Azteks on the road — more than 20 if you count its sibling the Buick Rendezvous. What gives, Detroit? Why were so many of these ugly things still running around? Did the city give them away at some point as part of a bailout raffle or something?
I sincerely doubt it's because everyone in Detroit is a city full of annoying, orange sunglass-wearing extreme sports enthusiasts who take their Azteks on snowboarding trips or jungle adventures and live in its rear hatch tent. Of course, you can't be faulted for thinking that's the case, especially after you look at GM's ad campaign for the car back in the early 2000s.
Back then, the General would have you believe that the minivan-based Aztek was "quite possibly the most versatile vehicle on the planet." Perhaps they mean a planet where Jeeps and Land Rovers never existed, maybe. I guarantee you that very few people — if any — took their Azteks to Fiji or whatever, or used them to scale snowy mountains.
Of course now, the Aztek has become more associated with "Breaking Bad" than anything else. I guess there are worse jobs than beater duty in Detroit or being featured on one of the top shows on TV.