2001 Pontiac Aztek Review

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile interior, available all-wheel drive, head-up display.
  • Butt-ugly styling, minivan platform, dated powerplant.
Other years
Pontiac Aztek for Sale
List Price Estimate
$720 - $1,458

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although functional as a minivan/sport-utility crossover, the Aztek's repulsive styling and weak engine still relegate it to second-class status.

Vehicle overview

Pontiac claims the Aztek was the product of out-of-the-box brainstorming in an effort to create a truly unique vehicle. The result of this creative thinking is a whole new SRV, or sport recreational vehicle, which takes the wide stance and sporty ride of the Grand Prix, the versatility of the Montana minivan and traditional character traits of sport utility vehicles, and blends them into a unique and polarizing alternative to SUVs and minivans.

The Aztek cuts a broad swath through the look-alike, humdrum SUVs on the road with a boldly aggressive exterior that could have only come from Pontiac. With its signature wide track stance, cat-eye headlamps, oversized fog lamps and protective side cladding, the Aztek looks like something out of the movie Road Warrior. Mel Gibson not included in base price.

Both base SE and upgrade GT models are powered by GM's tried and true 3400, 3.4-liter OHV V6 producing 185 horsepower and are backed by an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The Aztek is rated for pulling 3,500 pounds with the optional trailer-towing option that includes heavy-duty engine cooling, a high-output alternator and an auto-leveling rear suspension.

With the optional Versatrak all-wheel-drive system, the Aztek will automatically direct power to the wheels with the best grip when it's needed. Unfortunately, the driver has no control over the system and a low range isn't available, which limits off-road capability.

Two seating configurations are offered - front bucket seats with a choice of three-passenger flip/fold 50/50-split seats or dual captain chairs in the second row. The rear 50/50-split bench is of a lightweight modular design that can be folded, flipped forward or removed to create extra room on demand.

A portable cooler is standard on the GT model, and latches to the center console. The fully insulated container houses up to twelve 12-ounce cans of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage. The Aztek GT also features removable utility packs nestled in the front door bins for handy portable storage of cellular phones, sunglasses or sunscreen.

The Aztek has a wide, low and flat cargo floor with 93.5 cubic feet of storage when the rear seats are removed. Drop the tailgate and the Aztek accommodates four full sheets of 3/4" plywood. A dozen cargo anchors, rear convenience net and storage areas built into the side trim and tailgate help keep track of loose ends.

While many SUVs look like they're cast from the same cookie cutter, Pontiac cooked up the boldest - and the most controversial - design to hit the streets so far. Sure, the styling is different and you can't do any serious off-roading, but if you need the versatility of a minivan, and don't want to be labeled as another soccer mom driving a Caravan, the Aztek may be right up your alley.

2001 Highlights

Pontiac brings forth a new so-called Sport Recreation Vehicle, blending attributes of a station wagon, minivan, SUV and Pumbaa the talking pig (from the "Lion King") into an interesting, if not different, offering.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Pontiac Aztek.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Go ugly early!
The Aztek was recently chosen as one of the ugliest cars ever built. I concur. It is also the most utilitarian car that was ever built. Parents always teach that it's what's inside that counts. I have head room galore, unprecedented comfort, and radio controls at my finger tips. Add a heads-up display (nice for me, a pilot), a zip-in tent, sound system controls at the tailgate, an ice cooler for a console, myriad other creature features, and you have the best little house on wheels! I pity the man that looks only on the external challenges of this fine automobile and misses its inner beauty. My other cars are a Jaguar VDP, a 300ZX and a Lexus... guess which I like the most?
New buyer needs help with quirk!
Just bought for 15 yr old Son for him to drive in a 6 months, and wife now after some brainless driver side- swiped her beloved 2005 Screeming Yellow mustang! Bought cheap and car is absolutely like new red/black GT AWD. Got from original owner who has regularly documented maint hx and new guaranteed trans. SUV has intermittent very loud intermittent rattle that seems to come from left front. Rattle comes on more when air is on, maybe(?) Thought at first to be worn/loose shocks, but with all the A/C comments, wondering if condenser is failing and making grinding noise-- RPM drop? Note: Air bolws VERY cold!?
never have had a problem with my aztek. runs great. a few things have gone wrong. but i got the car with 150k. should have gotten a bigger motor. but i can't complain. i know everyone thought they were ugly but i think they're one of the nicer mid level cars GM built.
It got a bad rap
At first I thought it was just plain ugly! Then I drove it and bought it, needing a car NOW. Fun to drive, great U-turns, comfortable, enough features. New engine at 72,000 miles - a piston/cylinder spring broke - but that's the only problem. 26 mpg on trips - really good for the space we had. Seating was good, even used the tent and mattress once (we're older). Liked having shoulder belt in middle of back seat. Disgusted that Pontiac/GM didn't have a comparable sized replacement, now in 2007 Rendezvous. Like that, but, again, discontinued.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 Pontiac Aztek features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Pontiac Aztek

Used 2001 Pontiac Aztek Overview

The Used 2001 Pontiac Aztek is offered in the following submodels: Aztek SUV. Available styles include Fwd 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 4A), AWD 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 4A), GT Fwd 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 4A), and GT AWD 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Pontiac Aztek?

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Which used 2001 Pontiac Azteks are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Pontiac Aztek?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Pontiac lease specials
Check out Pontiac Aztek lease specials