Edy G., Gladstone, Mo.

Your only choice in a passenger car that still offers a front bench seat is the 2013 Chevrolet Impala, in both the LS and LT models, where it's a $195 option. That will end soon, because the redesigned 2014 Impala due in spring will come only with front bucket seats.

2013_impala

A front bench seat is still widely available on pickup trucks, though most higher-priced models you will find at dealerships are likely to have front buckets, as are General Motors' large SUVs, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and similar GMC Yukon XL and Yukon. A front bench seat is a $250 option on some versions of those large SUVs.

Front benches are hard to find because of low demand and because automakers don't want to spend money on satisfying a shrinking audience. They not only have to substitute a bench for buckets but also have to move the shift lever to the steering column from the floor, make other changes for seat mounting and seat belts, and add complexity to the manufacturing process and parts list.

We recognize that for some a bench seat is preferable, if not necessary, so get one while you still can. We wouldn't be surprised if they disappeared in five years or so.

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Answered by Rick Popely on March 9, 2013 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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