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Cars have many unique names, which can help drivers remember a particular model or invoke an appealing image to consumers. As such, many vehicles are named after animals, usually fast animals, because automakers want car shoppers to think that their cars are fast. That being said, there is one model that might be unique in the sense that it’s named after a type of mammal and a type of reptile. 

The many different names that automakers have given their cars

Zero to 60 Times compiled a list of vehicles with animal names; unsurprisingly, it’s very long. Many of these cars are defunct, but many are still around to this day. Some of the more well-known examples are from Ford, including the likes of the Bronco and the Mustang. Interestingly enough, both of those names reference a type of horse.

Several other cars are named after land animals, such as Ram trucks, but automakers have drawn inspiration from a wide variety of lifeforms to name their cars. For example, the AMC Eagle and the Nissan Bluebird were named after types of birds. The Volkswagen Beetle and the Pontiac Firefly were named after bugs.

Automakers have even looked into the oceans for inspiration, as evidenced by the AMC Marlin and the Chevy Corvette Stingray. However, one of the more unique animal-inspired names may not even appear as one to many drivers.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has a unique half-mammal, half-reptile name

A closeup exterior shot of the grille and headlights of a white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line compact SUV model
2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV, and at first glance, many drivers may not know what Tiguan even means. According to Car and Driver, that’s not surprising since Tiguan is a completely made-up word, but it’s a word that the German automaker made up by adding two animal names together. 

The “Tig” in the name stands for “tiger,” while the “guan” stands for “iguana.” This imaginary creature is supposed to be a cross between those two animals, and this made-up creature has the body of an iguana and the head of a tiger. In fact, Volkswagen even had fun with this crossbreed by making a commercial featuring the Tiguan SUV and a taxidermied version of the Tiguan.

An overview of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan

Weird name aside, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a competent compact crossover that can hold its own against its segment rivals. VW priced the SUV at about $26,500, and every single trim of the SUV comes with the same engine. It’s a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, getting 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive is standard. The German automaker also offers all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option.

This powertrain configuration allows the compact SUV to get 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on highways, for a 27 mpg combined rating. It’ll also enable drivers to tow up to 1,500 pounds of cargo when the Tiguan is equipped properly. Despite being a compact SUV, the Tiguan can be equipped with three rows of seats, allowing up to seven passengers. 

Volkswagen also gave the SUV a good amount of cargo capacity for its segment. The two-row configuration has a max cargo capacity of 65.3 cu. ft. With the three-row option, however, its max cargo capacity jumps to 73.4 cu. ft. On the inside, the German automaker gave the Tiguan a 6.5-inch touch screen as standard and comes with an 8-inch digital cluster display. 

Related 2023 VW Tiguan: Price, Specs, and Features — Best-Selling Volkswagen!

2023 VW Tiguan: Price, Specs, and Features — Best-Selling Volkswagen!