"I was in the audience at the Detroit auto show the day GM unveiled the Pontiac Aztek and I will never forget the gasp that audience made. Holy hell! This car could not have been more instantly hated if it had a Swastika tattoo on its forehead. In later interviews with GM designers — who, for decency's sake, will remain unnamed — it emerged that the Aztek design had been fiddled with, fussed over, cost-shaved and otherwise compromised until the tough, cool-looking concept had been reduced to a bulky, plastic-clad mess. A classic case of losing the plot. The Aztek violates one of the principal rules of car design: We like cars that look like us. With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells (cf., Fiat Multipla). The shame is, under all that ugliness, there was a useful, competent crossover.
The above is from "The 50 Worst Cars of All time". Doest that deserve to be so ?
In my view, This is one reason for bad GM management. I am not talking that its a bad design, In my view it was bad management handling the design.
The Aztek design was very easy to be gone through proper wind tunnel tests and would have been getting a lowest Cd value Which may have translated to a better mileage and better aerodynamics.
The management was not able to project/market this as a feature of Aztek. They never tired for a Version 2 of Aztek and get it done with a better aerodynamics, instead they made the people who initiated the project to drive the unsold cars and made fun. Do you think they don't deserve this bankruptcy ?
If the management was good, they should have come up with a V2 and a mild hybrid engine at that time (2002 thatz would not have been a big seller but i am sure if you have a theme , it would have been a hit in 2007 )and in course of time they should have made that design a full hybrid with better aerodynamics. If you look at prius, this is what the story says to us.
Again GM deserve to be back ? again the problem is they look for new ways to make failure. When they killed EV1 program, they never used the chassis again for ICE based car, they killed that also and they showed concepts of serial hybrids but they never worked on it.
link : http://www.autoworld.com/news/GMC/Series_Hybrid.htm
Now lets see Aztek will come back or not. I am sure it is going to come back.Once Gm will introduce a 2 mode Equinox or a 2 mode SUV, It will be Aztek based design because if its aerodynamic tail and curves.
Lets wait for return of Aztek