2001 Pontiac Aztek AWD GT Long Term Update
While it branches itself into a whole, new genre, combining many SUV and minivan cues, we can't help but feel it has too little of each.
Although it's hard to get some of our staffers to even look at our bright-yellow Aztek, let alone get them to drive it home, this minivan alternative is turning out to be a capable and versatile SUV. The AWD system works well in most slippery situations, and the optional camping package provides a suitable place to sleep for those who prefer to rest their heads above the surface of the earth, though installing the tent and mattress takes patience and a bachelor's degree in structural engineering and design.
We love the premium stereo system and Corvette-like optional head-up display, and we're amused by the center console/take-with-you cooler. On the other hand, we're not impressed by the sluggish-to-shift transmission and poor rearward visibility due to the unusual rear-window separator bar.
Small, yet annoying, electrical problems have plagued our 'Tek ever since we took delivery. A dead battery, AWD-warning light, and intermittent rear-hatch release button were all grief causers at one point or another-but all were replaced under warranty by the dealer.
She might not be the prettiest girl in the class, but she does have a fairly nice personality.