Corsa, Avensis, Prius… Have you ever wondered what some of the most common car names actually mean?

Here’s a rundown of the inspiration and meaning of some of the most popular, but oddly named, cars.


Vauxhall’s Astra takes its name from Astralis, meaning ‘of the stars’.


Toyota combined the English word aura and the Latin noun aurum, meaning gold, to create a ‘golden aura’. When the car was first unveiled back in 2006, it was finished in a gold hue.


The Avensis, another Toyota model, takes its name from the French verb for advancing, with the idea that it shows a clear step forward from its predecessor, the Carina E.


Celica is a Spanish word, meaning celestial, so you might expect a heavenly drive from this Toyota model.


The ring of petals around the centre of a flower is called the corolla, so Toyota took inspiration from the natural world for this model.


The Vauxhall Corsa may be a popular choice with driving instructors up and down the country, but the word Corsa actually means race in Italian.


The Volkswagen Eos takes its name from Greek mythology. Eos was the goddess of dawn.


Seat’s Exeo model took its name from the Latin word exire, which means ‘to go beyond’.


Adopted by Skoda, the word fabia means bean-grower in Latin, while it is also the name of a prominent Roman family.


Volkswagen used the German word for jet-stream by opting for Jetta.


To juke means to change directions in an athletic way. It also means to dance and you may associate it with a jukebox. So, Nissan wants you to know that its Juke model is particularly nimble and agile.


Kia took the Italian word for a beautiful and complex musical solo as the inspiration for its Kadenza model.


Karoq is taken from the language spoken by the indigenous people of Alaska, combining the words for car and arrow. An arrow also forms part of Skoda’s logo.


Skoda also turned to the same indigenous language for the Kodiaq, which means bear.


The Ford Kuga is the ninth best-selling car of 2019 based on new registrations, but what on earth is a Kuga?

The name is thought to be a reference to Ford’s old Cougar model. But kuga also means plague in Croatian.


Bentley’s Mulsanne is named after one of the corners of the Le Mans race track. Bentley has a proud history in the 24-hour race, with its cars having won the competition on six occasions.


If you’ve been to Venice you may have taken a water taxi to the nearby island of Murano, a pretty place famed for its glass-making, and the inspiration for Nissan’s Murano range.


Lamborghini’s model takes its name from a famous Navarra fighting bull. The word Murcielago is also Spanish for bat.


Like with its Fabia, Skoda opted for another famous Roman family name with Octavia.


Kia’s Optima takes its name from the Latin word optimus, meaning the best.


Volkswagen’s well-known brand Passat is a shortened version of the German word Passatwinde, which means trade winds.


Prius in Latin means prior or previous. Toyota explains that before the Prius, there had never been a mass-produced hybrid car before.


The Qashqai are a nomadic tribe from a remote area of Iran. Stephane Schwarz, design director at Nissan, has described the car as an “urban nomad”.

In China, the model is known as the Nomad, rather than Qashqai.


Sedona, a Kia model, shares its name with a small village in Arizona, named after an early settler in the area whose mother invented the name.


Toyota went with the Latin word for above, suggesting the car performs at a level above what you might expect.


Have you ever wondered what you’d get if you crossed an iguana and a tiger? Volkswagen has provided the answer with its Tiguan model.


This is another car model which takes its name from a nomadic tribe. This time Volkswagen has taken its inspiration from the Tuareg people who live in the Sahara Desert.


According to Toyota, Yaris is a bit of a mash-up, bringing together Charis, a symbol of beauty and elegance in Greek mythology, with ya, the German word for yes.

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