The Booth Babe Chronicles: Can A Minivan Be Cool?

The Booth Babe
by The Booth Babe
the booth babe chronicles can a minivan be cool

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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2 of 71 comments
  • 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.

  • SCE to AUX "Volvo has suggested it’s capable of yielding 275 miles of range"Every non-US car's range estimate is based on WLTP - worth mentioning.EPA range never 'backs up' WLTP; it's always about 15% lower - so figure maybe 234 miles. Not great, except as a commuter.As for the interior - it's obviously a Model 3 clone, but the screen is substantially smaller. Incidentally, I suspect Tesla made the Model 3/Y interior so minimalist to save money - not just to be different. When you're trying to become profitable on EVs, every dollar counts.
  • Dukeisduke I know it really isn't, but the central display looks like it's being held by one of those cheap spring-loaded mobile phone mounts. Poor interior design.
  • Fred Remember when radios were an option? Do you know you can use your phone to listen to any radio station in the world? This is just a whole waste of time.
  • Pig_Iron ASTC 3.0 AM radio was successfully demonstrated at CES. It is a common standard shared with terrestrial television, so the audio equipment is commonized for broadcasters. And no royalty fees to pay, unlike HDRadio which has been a less than stellar success. 📻
  • Art Vandelay Crimes that are punished with fines encourage abuse by those enforcing them. If it is truly dangerous to the public, maybe jail or give the offenders community service. People’s time tends to be very valuable to them and a weeks lost work would certainly make a high earner think twice. If it isn’t a big danger why are police enforcing it (outside of raising money of course). Combine it with a points system. When your points are gone you do a week imitating Cool Hand Luke.