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Bench Seats; and Then There Were None

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On: Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 10:54AM | By: Karen Cook

Bench Seats; and Then There Were None

Allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment. My children are grown and as I get older I start to appreciate things I once took for granted. While we are focused on raising children and moving forward with our careers we sometimes miss changes that gradually happen and then suddenly something you thought would always be there is gone. My wonderful automobile has begun having a few issues. It is the one and only new car I have ever owned and I never thought I would love a car as much as I love this one. However, it may be getting to the point that it will be cheaper to replace it than repair it.

Now that I’m older I am more concerned with comfort than style. What I would really like to have is a sedan that glides down the road on a cushion of air—which brings me to the disappearance portion of our program. I would like this transportation cloud to have a front bench seat. There have always been cars with front bench seats. They were good for an extra passenger, a convenient place to sit your purse, and made cuddling an option on the road, if you are lucky enough to have someone to cuddle with. Unfortunately, they are almost impossible to find in a new car these days.

So what happened? Most cars built today have two bucket seats in the front with a shifter and hand brake in between. Usually there are cup holders and some small storage space there too. As far as my research can find the 2013 Chevy Impala was the last car to have a bench seat in the front. And even that wasn’t the nice cushy one. It was more like an afterthought sort of squished between two almost bucket seats.

It’s cheaper to put in bucket seats due to the fact that with a bench the front seat requires an extra air bag. Trying to fit that in with all the technological features modern drivers require just isn’t cost effective. Bench seats also are not in high demand among most car buyers. Some manufacturers offered them as an option until recently and only 10% of buyers chose them. I understand the numbers. It just doesn’t make sense to make something so few people want to buy. Still, that 10% had plenty of good reasons for wanting them. Apart from the extra passenger space, bench seats also offered more comfort to taller people, providing them with more leg room. Also larger people found them to be much more comfortable than bucket seats.

It looks like I won’t be getting another new car. There are still used sedans out there with bench seats. Most of them are still in very good condition since they appealed mostly to the older set. They have been well cared for and gently used. I hope someone somewhere is taking good care of my next car.



gator done | 1:42PM (Mon, Nov 11, 2013)

In my opinion, Cars from lets say 2000 to today are just NOT comfortable. Unless you buy a high end luxury car I can't afford to sit in much less buy. Reading your article made me smile because I remember the bucket seats, they were great for so many reasons but bottom line they were comfortable!!!


gator done | 9:33AM (Tue, Nov 12, 2013)

I remember the bench seats. (oops)

  • gator done

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