FTLComm - Tisdale - November 29, 2000

The Sports Utility Vehicle, once a small insignificant part of the auto market has become the main menu as it surplants the domination of the mini-van. Auto makers want to keep ahead of the demand and establish trends before the customer demands vehicles still on the drawing board.

Each manufacturer has been testing the market place and adapting to the many changes. Ford fixed up its economy line with the Focus and Chrysler turned everyone's head with the retro and stylish PT Cruiser. General Motors has introduced the Aztek.
The Pontaic Aztek is almost
the same height as a full size pickup truck, like the PT Cruiser it is a highbred, a combination vehicle that can do many things depending upon the demands of the owner. Incorporating many of the features found in a van with some of the size of an SUV it looks like GM is on to something.

For decades I was a dedicated GM driver but I tired of the company's fixation on glitz and low quality and even lower durability and for two decades only Fords have graced our driveway. I say this to point out to you that for the first time in a very long time this is a GM product that really catches my eye.

With its rear seats folded you can see there is some
room in this vehicle's aft
section and it looks like the
designers have been paying attention to what people do with their vehicles as this one has some really clever storage and handy features including cup holders in the tailgate.

Though this is a four passenger vehicle it is a big four passenger vehicle. The "big" thing about this machine are its doors. They are positively huge. No ducking and scrunching up to get in, you won't bump your head or you tummy stepping into an AZTEK.

I found the seats a little firmer than I am used to but this is a showroom vehicle and Dennis Miller of Bow Mar Sales Ltd. said that it is really a comfortable vehicle
drive. Dennis says that he suspects that this vehicle will be the machine of choice of the thirty-something sports active woman of today. The vehicle is big, sporty and yet offers the emenities of a well designed sedan.

There is definitely no question about the sportiness of this thing with its automatic floor shift and abundance of room.

Small cars and even small sized pickup trucks are not fairing well in collisions with the heavy and sturdy pickup and SUVs on the road today and people want a solid crashworthy vehicle to protect themselves and their passengers. The AZTEK puts you eye level with the folks in the chunking gas guzzlers that you must share the road with and its styling will definitely make a fashion statement.

The AZTEK definitely has attitude.

The first version on the road are equipped with the durable and powerful 3.4 litre six and the one in the Bow Mar show room comes with the latest version of what was originally called limited slip differential, or "positraction". Dennis told me that he looks forward to the allwheel version that will give the AZTEK the versatility of the SUV for add highway performance and handling.

Ron Bowditch of Bow Mar says besides being comfortable to drive the new AZTEK out handles the heave metal by far. When it comes to price the new AZTEK is priced comparable to a mini-van in that $30,000 range or a on a lease at $475 a month.