Honda Once Built a Concept Car With a Glove Box for Your Dog

If you think about it, carmaker’s target markets aren’t exclusively humans, even though humans tend to be the ones with all the money. When it comes to non-humans riding in cars, dogs have to be the next most common species. With that in mind, it makes sense that every now and then a carmaker would really try to cater to their sloppy, furry clients, and I think the best example of this would have to be a 2005 Honda concept car with a really absurd name: WOW, which stood for “Wonderful Open-hearted Wagon.” Oh boy.

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The whole point of this wagon, as wonderful and open-hearted as it was, was to be the most dog-friendly car ever. Honda’s designers and engineers took this challenge seriously, and, as a dog owner myself, I can say they came up with solutions that are genuinely well-considered and practical.

Just for comparison, it’s way, way better than this ridiculous canine-focused Rolls-Royce we saw a few years back.

First, it’s a very roomy minivan with dual-sliding doors and a very low floor height, to make it easier for your pup to jump or climb in. Those floors are flat and wooden, not covered with hard-to-clean carpet—it looks like muddy paw prints or the occasional squirt of piping-hot canine urine would wipe right off.

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There’s places to tie leashes all over the car: the B-pillar has a tall pole just for leash-connecting, and the bumpers have integrated leash attachment points as well.

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The seating material appears to be removable and washable, a big deal, and, in a clever bit of engineering, the middle seat can fold into a little kennel!

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Honda even provided handy diagrams for how you could configure the WOW:

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And, of course, where you’d normally expect a glove box in a normal car, Honda managed to cram in another dog carrier, though this one is better suited to a Pomeranian than, say, an Irish Wolfhound:

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What’s really cool here is that the HVAC vent can accordion out like a giant bendy straw to provide heat or cool air to your pup while they’re relaxing in their little dashboard apartment.

There was also a hidden doggie-equipment storage area in the tailgate, and a bunch of other good ideas, which you can see in this little video:

If you think about what the goal was here, I think Honda did a bang-up job. And, considering that there are 88 million dogs in America, I think there actually could be a viable, real-world market for a car like this. I can think of far worse reasons to get a particular kind of car than it makes your dog happy, right?

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)