All of these cars could be better with a simple name change.
A good model name is extremely important to a car's success. History is full of nameplates that have stood the test of time like the Corvette, Mustang, 911 and even everyday models like the Accord and Camry. However, there are plenty of terrible car names throughout history (the AMC Gremlin comes to mind). Even though marketing departments spend hundreds of man hours and research dollars to come up with the right name, there are still some cars on sale right now that make us scratch our heads. Who approved these terrible names?
We are all well aware that the Chevy SS was just a rebadged Holden Commodore that was not meant to live a long life. Much like the Pontiac G8 that preceded it, the SS is an enigma that non-car people seem to overlook. GM really didn't seem like it wanted to sell that many of these, and we think that the name shows the company's disinterest. Chevy has plenty of historic names that it could have used for the SS like Nova or Chevelle. Instead it used SS, which was formerly just a trim level for the fast Chevy models. SS doesn't really match anything else that Chevy currently sells, and it stuck out in the range like a sore thumb. This could have been the return of the full-size Chevelle SS but Chevy had to go squander it.
We want to take a moment to announce our disappointment with BMW and Mercedes. Both of these companies have gone absolutely nuts with their naming schemes and we no longer live in an age where the numbers following the series name have anything to do with engine displacement. A BMW 330i used to have a 3.0-liter inline six, but today comes with a 2.0-liter four cylinder. Even the AMG models like the C63 used to have a 6.2-liter (close to 6.3) V8, but now come with a 4.0-liter. Would C40 AMG really have been that bad of a name? Only Lexus seems to still be somewhat on track with matching name to engine displacement and we commend it for that. And what about Audi? It couldn't be bothered with it in the first place.
As a brand, Infiniti might be the worst offender of a naming scheme that makes no sense. Having the G37 and the larger M37 wasn't too logical, but at least people had plenty of time to get familiar with the naming scheme. Infiniti seems to be targeting Mercedes with it's new scheme of reserving the Q moniker for cars and QX for SUVs. Unfortunately, the numbers do little to tell you about what kind of car it is. To someone who is unfamiliar with cars, the Q50 sounds like a 5 Series competitor, when it is actually a 3 Series competitor. Infiniti has locked itself into this new naming scheme, so we will all have to get used to it at some point.
We don't usually have too many faults when it comes to Kia's names, because they are merely boring word like Forte and Optima that are very similar in nature to what Honda and Toyota name their cars. So what was Kia thinking of when it came up with the K900? It sounds like it could be a car that was specially developed for police dogs. None of the other cars in the Kia range have numbers in their names, which makes the K900 seem completely out of place. In other markets, the K900 is badged as the Quoris, which at least matches with every other Kia. We assume that Kia was targeting the S500 with this name to make it sound like the German and Japanese competition.
The Nissan Pathfinder is nothing more than a minivan without the sliding rear doors. It may have a pretty potent 3.5-liter V6 with 284 horsepower, but it is completely let down by a CVT transmission and poor driving dynamics. It didn't used to be this way though. The Pathfinder used to be a rugged looking off-road capable SUV that sat right between the Xterra and Armada in the lineup. The Pathfinder even had a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 310 hp at one point. It's sad to see a once proud off-roader be reduced to boring family runabout. This mom-mobile is no longer used for "finding paths." Instead, it is only used for finding a closer spot in the mall parking lot.