The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

There's a particular moment in a car's history where the name finally burrows into the collective unconscious of the world as a whole.


10.) Land Cruiser

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

You can find these Toyota trucks and SUVs everywhere from ISIS convoys to your nearest private school parking lot.

Moreover, it's in contention for the longest continually-used nameplate in the entire car world. The name was first used by Toyota in '55.

Suggested By: hammerheadfistpunch, Photo Credit:


9.) Range Rover

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

From the deepest jungle to your local buy here pay here lot, this is the world's SUV.

These British offroaders themselves may be less common than their Toyota counterparts, but their worldwide cultural weight is a different question.

Suggested By: Andrew "Truck Maybe" Collins, Photo Credit:


8.) Mustang

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

It's hard to stress the worldwide recognition of America in its golden age of the mid '50s through the early '60s. American is global, and the Mustang's unprecedented baby boom sales hit still echoes around the planet today.

Suggested By: CalzoneGolem, Photo Credit: Alden Jewell


7.) Mini

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

The 1960s were the peak of automobilism in the western world, and there's really only one vehicle that can challenge the 'Stang for cultural dominance: the littlest Austin Mini.

Like the Mustang, the Brits sold the Mini for decades and it's been in more movies than I can count, but it was tied even closer to the spirit of the times. 'Mini' is a word for the decade as a whole, with this car in the center of it all.

Suggested By: reverberocket, Photo Credit: Alden Jewell


6.) Prius

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

Like the Mini, the World's Only Hybrid is something of an Anti-Car. It means that gearheads know the name and grimace when they hear it, and it means that non-car people still recognize the prescription drug kind of name, too.

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5.) Model T

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

Show anyone a black and white picture of any car made before World War Two and they'll probably just tell you it's a Model T. I mean, they do have good odds. There's an old line that in 1920, one in every two cars sold in the entire world was a Model T.

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4.) Civic

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

It's hard to downplay how much of a revolution the Civic was when it came out in the '70s, a small car Alka-Seltzer to a world reeling in a gas crisis. The little Honda was just so good, and it's stayed so good that it's been pretty much the small car for decades now. When most people think of a compact, they're probably thinking of a Civic.

Suggested By: Patrick "Team $$$" Frawley, Photo Credit: Honda via Douglas Millar


3.) Corolla

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

Amazing as a Honda can be, it cannot match the universal constant that is the Corolla. Take Afghanistan, for instance. The Corolla is the country's most popular car, but in the capital Kabul, four out of every five cars are Corollas. That's insane.

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2.) Jeep

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

You could say that Jeep is a brand and it shouldn't be on this list. But Jeeps were first built by other companies - Willys and Ford - and were designed by a small firm called Bantam.

The thing is, though, Jeep doesn't only refer to a single vehicle anymore. It's a generic term, a Xerox to the dirt road world's copy machine.

Suggested By: ezeolla, Photo Credit: Alden Jewell


1.) Beetle

The Ten Most Recognizable Car Names

The Volkswagen is so standard, it can be used as a unit of measurement. It's like Beetle translates into every language, still rattles across every country. Hell, ask a penguin to describe a car and they'll probably squawk about a Bug.

Suggested By: duurtlang, Photo Credit: VW of Australia

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