In the world of car design there are winners and losers. At the top of almost every list of horrible, awful, terrible, very bad, no good designs is the Pontiac Aztek. It was an unattractive car when it was sold from 2001 to 2005 and, looking back, it hasn’t gotten any prettier. One ex-designer wondered if he could tweak the design and make it look not just better, but good, and he did an impressive job.
Now, not everything was not everything was bad about the Aztek. It has a split-folding rear liftgate, plenty of storage, and there was even a tent that attached to the back for that weekend getaway. With a design that wasn’t so horrible, it might have even been likable.
YouTuber The Sketch Monkey is a former designer who now redesigns cars on his channel. The Atzek was ripe for his skills and what he creates is actually a halfway decent version of the original.
Part of his challenge was keep it looking like a vehicle from the era when it was built. Vehicle designs change over the years and he didn’t want to create a 2019 Pontiac Aztek. His goal throughout the redesign was to stay true to what the Aztek was and fix the oddities that made it look bad.
It’s hard for the average person to say why they don’t like the looks of a car. It might not be obvious, but when it looks wrong, you know it. There’s something that doesn’t draw your eye in the right way and if all feels disjointed. There’s a reason people go to school to learn this stuff.
TheSketchMonkey walks you through the problems with the original design using his computer screen, highlighting where things go wrong. Once you see it, you realize why the car felt so off. He then goes about righting the wrongs of the original design and comes up with a passable version of this much maligned vehicle.
It’s fascinating to watch the changes gradually improve the design until you’re left with something that is still definitely an Aztek, but one you probably wouldn’t mind parking in your driveway.