You really have to doff your cap to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan when it comes to the car choices in the show. They were all spot on, particularly in the case of the daily driver of main character Walter White - the Pontiak Aztek. At the start of the series, we’re introduced to a man who’s been downtrodden all his life, leading a mediocre existence that could be so much better had he just made some better choices. Naturally, his car was the oh-so depressing Pontiac Aztek, a sad, uncharismatic car that perfectly embodies Walter’s crappy lot in life.
However, we can only assume millennial car buyers (those aged 18-34) in the USA associate the much maligned Aztek with the badass side of Walter which later emerges. According to a report by Edmunds.com, this Pontiac is still in the top 10 used cars bought by 18-34 year olds, having been in the list for four of the last five years. It currently sits in sixth place, with 25.5 per cent of all sales going to that age group.
Edmunds.com analyst Jeremy Acevedo reckons the ‘Breaking Bad Effect’ does indeed have a big part to play, but interestingly, much of the data points toward younger car buyers being more interested in boring, functional vehicles.
"Millennials are more practical used car shoppers than we might otherwise credit them…When it comes to used cars, value and utility appear to trump just about anything else for many Millennial buyers," Acevedo explains.
Taking a look at the whole list of cars, you can see what he’s on about. Sitting at number two on the list with a 27.3 per cent share is the Chrysler Pacific, and a couple of places ahead of the Aztek is the Chevrolet Trailblazer on 25.9 per cent. But don’t worry, not all young US car buyers are boring: the Subaru WRX, VW Golf R32 and Nissan GT-R are also in the top 10.