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I agree that most of those are not great names, but the total sales figures of cars like the Cavalier, Escort, Nova, and Probe, would indicate that a terrible name doesn't necessarily mean poor sales.
How did you miss the Gremlin???? That one seems very obvious.
I hate to break it to you but I still see hundredes of these on the roads.
We had a Citation and it was a great car, we also had 2 cavaliers and again they were great cars, and the Nova is very desireable with collectors. What Toyota can say that?
I had a Cavalier many years ago and never gave much thought to the name. Those were some of the most reliable compact cars you could buy at the time. They were nearly bullet proof and I never knew anyone else with one who had problems either.
Not to mention that value was incredible. When I bought mine, the neighboring dealership had a comparably equipped Civic for SIX THOUSAND $$$ more. Pricing wasn't nearly as competitive back then. Even with a slightly lower resale value, I was till way ahead when I sold that car.