Part of the idea behind Aztek was to bridge the gap between the edgy car that younger buyers wanted and the practical minivan that slightly older buyers needed. Instead, it became an ugly duckling minivan for 20-somethings that absolutely nobody wanted until Walter White somehow managed to make one look cool building a meth empire in boring New Mexico.
And although minivans are rarely considered cool, bear in mind that this was a time when crossovers were on the precipice of a boom that radically altered the American vehicular landscape. That the Aztek was positioned on the front lines of the explosion and couldn’t profit is easily its biggest failing point.
A true crossover, it was built on the all-but-forgotten Pontiac Montana minivan and, from an engineering standpoint, the Aztek was actually advanced for its day. Optional all-wheel-drive meant it could get you to a much better campsite, and it had tighter steering and less body roll than true SUVs because its crossover construction meant it shared more with a car than with a truck.