The Booth Babe Chronicles: Can A Minivan Be Cool?

The Booth Babe
by The Booth Babe

The cow is on my side. (Please don’t tell her I ate her brother for dinner.)

In observance of Labor Day, I stray from my labor work as a Booth Babe and write about something considered unsexy: Minivans. I think by now we’re all well aware of my feelings on minivans. And we’re also well aware how you feel about my feelings on minivans.

I was afraid this was an insurmountable issue between you and me, and that’s sad. Life is too short for such ire brought on by automotive classism, don’t you think? So just for you, I have gone searching for some minivans in which the driver might actually be datable. MIGHT. I am making no promises.

Let’s explore, shall we?

Honda SkyDeck Concept

From the outside the Honda SkyDeck looks like pretty much every other minivan, but inside it looks like a chic minimalist beach house Ari Gold would rent in Malibu for the summer. The glass roof is perfect for star-gazing – tres romantique! Scissor doors are just hot on anything. In fact, I might do an aftermarket scissor door on my fridge. Alas, the Skydeck is only a concept at this point.

Volkswagen New Small Family line

The VW NSF is another concept, but one that will actually hit the streets pretty soon. A compact three-door version is due in 2011, with a five-door in summer 2012. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as we’ll have a couple of months to date before the world ends. This VW was written up here at TTAC back in ’07 and I love the design – it’s something a cute hippie boy who showers and doesn’t smell like patchouli but still cares about the earth and bunnies would drive.

Nissan FORUM Concept

This is the ultimate party wagon, perfect for a group date – and much classier than those party vans with the stripper poles in the middle. Those swiveling captain’s chairs are begging for a poker game. There’s an outdoor Bose audio system and a microwave for God’s sake. We can go to the drive in, microwave our own popcorn and watch a movie on a blanket with surround sound from the minivan doors! Modern science is the best, isn’t it?

And, well, that’s about all I found. All concepts. Everything out there now is extremely family-oriented, and car seats just don’t scream “hot date” to me at this stage in the game. Much like how pig and elephant DNA just won’t splice, utilitarian family vehicles and sexy cars haven’t found a way to mate yet in a commercially viable way. These concepts show us with a little dreaming, it could be possible. Keep the hope alive, kids.

The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at

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  • Davey49 Davey49 on Sep 07, 2010

    Scissor doors are incredibly stupid and minivans are the best road vehicles ever! WOOHOO!

  • Hank Hank on Sep 08, 2010

    I think some of you are missing the point of at least a few of the detractors of this post (not of Booth Babe as a writer, or a person, but of just this post). It's low-hanging fruit, and criticizing minivans or not being cool (we're not talking 328 GTB v. Carrera here, we're talking Sienna v. Quest, et al) is like criticizing a Deusenberg's high cost of ownership, or an Aveo's lack of a third row. It's just pointless, and it seems to me lately that here at TTAC and a couple other blogs and rags, it has just become the "me too" post of the day.

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.