Some look to utility or price or design to decide what car to buy. Others look to the stars to guide them. For all you astronomy fans, we’ve compiled a list of the cars named after stars.
If you’re into astronomy, one of the larger gravitational pulls toward a particular vehicle might be the celestial associations of its name. Car companies like naming their cars after animals, take the Tiburon (Spanish for shark), the Mustang, or the Cougar as examples. They like naming them after towns in the American southwest, like the Tucson and Santa Fe. They even like using the names of trees, like the Sequoia. However, the most popular names throughout the decades have been interstellar in nature.
And it’s not limited to model names, either. Whole companies have chosen to brand themselves after heavenly objects. Take Subaru, named after a cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation, or Mercury and Saturn, after the planets, or even Geo, after our own planet Earth. Whether it’s make or model, we love cars named after stars, planets, and celestial bodies. Here’s a rundown of our favorites.
The summer and winter solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year (as determined by the amount of sunlight). The Pontiac Solstice was a short-lived two-seat roadster built by GM from 2005-09 (model years 2006-10). The Saturn Sky was produced using the same Kappa platform as the Solstice.
The spring and fall equinoxes occur when light from the sun is equal between day and night. The Chevrolet Equinox is a two-row crossover first introduced in 2004. It’s known for its balance of affordability, quality, and sterling practicality (it is a crossover after all).
Why Ford chose to spell this with an “ie” rather than a “y” is a mystery. Perhaps they thought it looked cooler that way (it doesn’t). A galaxy is a cluster of stars gravitationally bound together, usually around a massive black hole at its center. The Galaxie was Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Impala. It was produced from 1958 to 1974. The first generation Skyline trim featured an option for a pretty nifty retractable hard top.
Nova are “brightened” stars produced by the interaction between a larger star and a white dwarf star in a binary star system. Supernova are larger, cataclysmic events involving the death and collapse of large stars, sometimes resulting in the creation of a block hole. The Chevy Nova was a compact car built on the X-body platform and produced between 1961 and 1988. The Nova came in a variety of body styles including sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible.
Taurus is a constellation of stars, some of which comprise the Pleiades cluster a.k.a. the Subaru cluster in Japanese. The Ford Taurus was a mid- and full-size sedan produced between 1985 and 2019. The Taurus was a best-seller for Ford, with over eight million produced in North America alone.
Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation. The Chevrolet Vega was a subcompact two-door produced between 1970 and 1977. The promotional launch of the Vega was overseen by none other than DMC-12 creator John DeLorean and sold just over two million units in its seven year run.
A comet is a ball of frozen gas, ice, dust, and rock; they are often remnant debris left over from the formation of the solar system. The Mercury Comet was a sedan produced between 1960 and 1977. It came as a two- and four-door sedan and as a station wagon. It came with a number of engine options over the years, the largest of which was a 7.0L V8 in the fourth generation.
An eclipse occurs when the light of sun, moon, or other object is obscured by another object. The Mitsubishi Eclipse was a sports car produced between 1989 and 2011. Though it survived through four generations and numerous updates, we’re partial to the first generation and its pop-up headlights. The Mitsubishi resurrected the Eclipse name in 2017 for the Eclipse Cross which is, you guessed it, a compact crossover.
A pulsar is a neutron star that emits electromagnetic radiation from its poles. Because these stars spin so fast their light pulses, hence the name. The Nissan Pulsar was a subcompact and compact hatchback produced from 1978 to 2005 and revived in 2013. During its early run, the Pulsar’s name varied depending on the market and also went under names including the “Cherry,” the “Langly,” the “Sunny,” the “Sentra,” and it was sold as the Datsun 310 in the US.
Terra is Latin for Earth. The Xterra was not, as you might reasonably guess, an extraterrestrially derived crossover from Nissan. At least I don’t think so. The Xterra was produced from 1999 to 2015. Our favorite design elements include the beefy fender flares and oddly proportioned passenger and rear windows.
Europa is one of Jupiter’s moons. The Lotus Europa was also a sports car made by the Lotus corporation from 1966 to 1975. It was best known for its super low profile and oddly styled rear deck (due in part to its mid-engine set up).
Star Chief sounds like Star-Lord’s real-real dad (no way it was that evil planet-dude Ego played by Kurt Russel or some guy who can’t spell named J’son). The Pontiac Star Chief has become equally obscure over time, but in its day it was a full-size chrome classic sedan made by GM from 1954 through 1966.
Astra is the plural form of astrum which is Latin for star. The Astra name was used extensively by GM for related compact cars including ones from Opel and Chevrolet and by Holden and Vauxhall. There was a whole lot of cross-pollination and badge swapping involved, but we don’t have time, space or attention span to get into it all here. Suffice to say, there were a lot of very similar cars all named the Astra. The Saturn Astra replaced the Ion in their lineup and ran from 2008 to 2010, when GM folded the brand. The Saturn Astra was succeeded by the Buick Verano in 2012.
The Studebaker Starlight was a classic 1950s two-door coupe made between 1947 and 1952. After that, the names Starlight and Starliner were shifted to designate coupe variations of the Champion and Commander models.
Polara refers to Polaris, otherwise known as the pole or North star. The Dodge Polara was a full-size two-door car produced between 1960 and 1973. The naming convention was a dig at the direct competition, the Ford Galaxie.
Aries is a constellation and astrological sign. The Dodge Aries (also cross/re-badged as the Plymouth Reliant) was the first of Chrysler’s K cars. It ran from model years 1981 to 1989. The compact Aries/Reliant was designed to be a smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient alternative to the gas-guzzling behemoths of the 1960s and ‘70s, and along with the rest of Chrysler’s K cars, is credited with saving the company from financial ruin.
does the Aerostar qualify?
How about the M3
Cirrus, Stratus, Strato Chief, Aurora, Solstice, Sunfire, Astra (From astralis meaning of the stars), Equinox, M37, M45, M35, M56
Nissan made a Pulsar model back in the day .
There used to be a Constellation too.