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Autotrader Find: Pristine 2001 Pontiac Aztek

Gather ’round, Internet car enthusiasts, because I’ve discovered a true collector’s item: the finest 2001 Pontiac Aztek on Autotrader. It’s in nice condition, it’s covered just 99,000 miles, and it can be yours for just $5,499 from the appropriately named Rock Bottom Auto Sales in the small town of Hudson, Florida, north of Tampa.

So, why do you care about this Aztek? Because this isn’t just any ol’ Aztek, people: This is the finest 2001 model on the Internet. And if you’re looking for an Aztek, you seriously want a 2001 model. See the 2001 Pontiac Aztek models for sale near you

Allow me to explain.

As you may know if you’ve studied the history of the Aztek, it made its debut for the 2001 model year. At the time, everyone at General Motors was very excited that they had created this sensational lifestyle vehicle — and they were so pleased with their automotive achievement that they even gifted it with a 3.4-liter V6 engine that made all of 185 horsepower. This thing was destined to be a gem.

Unfortunately, as we now know, it wasn’t a gem. It wasn’t even a rock. It was a discarded bottle of contact lens solution you find in an empty parking lot.

The primary complaint about the Aztek related to its styling — namely, that it was among the ugliest products ever manufactured at any point in human history. Pontiac quickly reacted to this complaint by taking care of the most obvious problem, which was the gray plastic body cladding that inexplicably took up half the car’s exterior surface area. By the 2002 model year, the plastic on the side was gone, and all Azteks were one body color. The Aztek was no longer extraordinarily ugly — instead, it was just ordinarily ugly.

Unfortunately, the removal of the plastic also changed the character of the Aztek. It was no longer hilariously strange-looking; now, it was just a sad, misguided attempt at starting a new fad. And so, the Aztek soldiered on through 2005, with its four final model years free of cladding.

But if you want the true Aztek in its original form, the way General Motors intended to release this thing on the American public, then you have to get a 2001 model in all its body-cladded glory. And this particular 2001 Aztek is the best of the breed.

Trust me: In 35 years, when you’re at the Amelia Island Concours winning the award for "Best American Vehicle: 1990 through 2020," you’ll thank me. And I’ll be standing right there, grinning and giving you a thumbs up as your Aztek rolls across the stage. The rest of the crowd will shield their eyes. Find a 2001 Pontiac Aztek for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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15 COMMENTS

  1. The also hated Buick Rendevous was on the same platform and other than being a little narrow looking for its height I thought they looked pretty good. Didn’t share any body panels though.

  2. Am I the only one who’s ever noticed that the Aztec looks like a bloated 1980’s LeMans? Seriously, Google “80’s Pontiac Lemans” and tell me I’m wrong.

  3. I had one 2001 pontiac aztec paid 500 put 1000 still would not pass inspection so traded in got 4300 for it why I asked never any answer so any one no why

  4. I think they probably built these better that year as well. They were excited, they wanted it to be great. By 2005 they were slapping them together without and care. 

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