can anyone give me a valid reason why we no longer are offered a bench front seat thus making a full sized sedan a 6 passenger auto, so we don’t have to purchase a ‘minivan’ or a ‘large’ SUV, just so we can haul 6 people. My last 6 passenger auto was a pontiac bonneville which is no longer made, wait even pontiac and oldsmobile are no longer made.
Yup, I notied the same thing. I have 2 kids, wanted to be able to have 5 or 6 people in the car when grandparents visit, etc
Ended up buying a Lincoln Town Car.
The new Cadillac STS offers a 40-20-40 split front bench seat as an option fir $395.
Car buyers are looking at price and mileage. That means smaller cars. You don’t get 6 seats in a small car.
When I was a kid we did not have any small cars, unless you bought a King Midget or a two seater sports car.
I think the Feds have their dirty little fingers in this.
No air bag there.
In the past I downgraded my 92 Explorer special order to get three in front. Yes, don’t be afraid to special order a vehicle when you see it could be outfitted your way. There’s no better way to get the car you want than to ORDER the car you want.
Many pickups still have the option.
My 79 Chevy pickup can fit FOUR people there and I added the fourth seat belt.
Safety reasons. No airbag, no seat.
We get so many posts asking if “such and such” car is a safe car. I turn the question around and ask if sitting in the middle position would be a less safe position to be sitting in? If this postion is found to be less safe how could you with a clear conscience assign this seat position to anyone?
Pretty simple – most people do not want bench front seats. Car makers can not make money offering a product that only 0.0001% of their customers will buy.
I think part of the reason is that family sedans have shrunk.
Oddly, econoboxes like the Corolla and the Civic have grown.
With a bench seat, the mfg. would be required to have a center airbag. ergo your question of safety is totally moot. also the center 'would’be safer in a side collison. Now i ask you if the center rear seat is safe as there is no seatback in front of it [due to the console] allowing that passenger, who is not required [in most states] to wear a seat belt to be thrown thru the car and out thru the windshield
if they put a seat in they would have to put in a airbag for it
1955 studebaker fullsized commander station wagon v8 full 6 passenger load with luggage, 22mpg on the available mostly 2 lane roads of the time. this car was mid pricerange.
?over 50 years and they can’t beat this? something wrong here somewhere.
no model of auto from detroit has done anything but get larger and fancier[more expensive] in the past 50 years [if you disagree name one, except for the 75,76 when the suppression was going on]. by model, i mean impala,cutlass,malibu, ranger, c-10 etc. they even eliminated the f-100,c-10.astro,serra, any short wheelbase van, any short wheelbase pickup].
I said family sedan, not trucks.
I respectfully disagree. I believe the '62 Impala and sedans of that era were larger inside than the current version. I believe the same applies to many models. My '64 Fairlane in its time was considered a small car, almost an economy car, and it was larger inside than my brother’s Buick.
There are still a few land yatchs, but very few.
“also the center 'would’be safer in a side collison”
WRONG! Without a curtain type airbag shielding you on the side you would much more likely contact another passenger in the car with your head. Possibly causing more head trauma for, or killing both! The front center would not have a shoulder restraint like the rear center does. Also remember you have the rearview mirror in the center of the windshield which would be just inches from your face.
Even the rear benches are compromised for middle seat belting and I feel the farther you stray from the back, the harder it is. I agree with most that it’s a safety issue as much as anything. I never felt safe trying to drive or ride in a car with a third person squeezed in next to the driver.
glad we’re onthe same page, my main original comment was to get a 6 passanger we are being forced to buy a minivan or an suv neither of which is a sedan.
Great to get a discussion going, i appreciate all the replies. hoist one for me [be it beer, coffee, or mineral water] and let’s get on with the next one 'cause detroit doesn’t listen to us and just does what they want
Oh they listen, if you speak with your pocketbook.The individual adjustments just aren’t there for benches and that for one reason would keep me from sharing a bench seat with someone a foot shorter while trying to accommodate someone in the rear. You bring up some good reasons to have one; the rest of the buying public has out voted you, with their pocketbook.
If you really want a standard with a front bench, do we really want to go back to those hideous column shifters or get real friendly with the center passenger.
put the friendly passenger in the center.
I was just making a comment on the seat as at present i have a JEEP commander 7 pass. that i also use to tow a boat and drive on the beach to surf fish.
I agree on the column shifter and do like the shuttle shift option.
ps; saw a pickup one day with 4 in the front, one with a baby on her lap, three in the bed and a bumper sticker that said ’ love your kids, buckle them up’