The classic American cars from the ’50s blend memories of huge and heavy sedans, all-metal bodies, tail fins, and front bench seats. Out of all these, the front bench seats are quite interesting and a hot topic.
Once popular in the ’50s, American car models, front bench seats got a hammering once the safety rules became stricter and the safety of the passengers seated in the front row of the car gained momentum.
Due to this, the companies gradually started to roll back the installation of front bench seats and started installing bucket seats, seats designed to fit a single person per seat.
Today, the majority (over 90%) of the carmakers install much safer and affordable bucket seats in their models. Still, the following 11 car models have ensured the revival of the front bench seats in modern times.
Cars with front bench seat
Although many reasons supported the step of dropping front bench seats, experts stated their inability to ensure 100% safety of all the passengers sitting in the front seat as the prominent one.
Thus, bucket seats appeared a better option. With every car designed to house two passengers, it became utterly easy to ensure 100% protection to the front passengers with the addition of airbags and seats.
If you’re a car fanatic and have sat in a car with a front bench seat, you might long for its comeback.
It, however, may not happen anytime soon on a large scale. Still, the following are the top 11 cars with front bench seats.
1. GMC Sierra
The GMC Sierra is another full-size pickup truck with luxury-laden front bench seats.
Being highly-priced compared to the other trucks in the market, it justifies its expensive price tag by providing you with seats having leather covers, outboard heating, power adjustability, and memory settings.
Besides, you get massive leg and shoulder room sufficient to fit multiple passengers without feeling cramped.
Its front bench seat has a 40:20:40 configuration, i.e., you can fold the center seat to use it as an armrest with cup holders.
2. RAM 1500
The RAM 1500 tops the list of the best full-size pickup trucks.
Its key features include superb ride quality even on bumpy roads, sufficient front & rear legroom, excellent tow ratings, and better fuel economy, among others.
Thus, if there is another full-size truck you can consider after or even ahead of the Ford F-150, it RAM 1500!
It is available in two primary models – crew and quad cab with a six passengers seating capacity in both models.
Similar to the other cars with front bench seats, you can fold the center secondary seat to use it as an armrest with cup holders. Thus, it becomes a car with dual bucket seats in that case.
3. Ford F-150
Ford F-150 is a 2-in-1 car and full-size cargo truck with an open rear end for cargo. Due to this, even its latest models feature the classic ’50s front bench seats to facilitate more passengers in a ride.
However, even its bench seat appears as a set of bucket seats with a center armrest with dual cup holders due to its clever design.
For this, you have to fold the narrow center seat (ideally installed for seating kids) and use it as an armrest.
Being one of its kind full-size trucks from Ford, it offers ample leg & shoulder room which is sufficient to fit three passengers at a time.
Thus, if you’re a small family who frequently travels, owning the latest 2021 Ford F-150 is a wise and rich choice.
4. Nissan Titan XD
The tagline of Nissan Truck XD is “truck harder, truck safer” and is rightly justified by its design. It’s a luxurious and high-power truck with excellent seating and cargo space.
With its massive V8 engine sitting quickly under the hood, you get tremendous power like never before.
An upgrade of the Nissan Titan, this XD model stuns its rivals through its awesome interiors and exteriors.
The legroom and shoulder room available in this Nissan Truck XD are 60″ and 63.6″ respectively.
5. Chevrolet Impala
Discontinued in 2020 by Chevrolet, Impala is another big hit among the car fanatics thrilled about front bench seats in their cars.
The 2013 model and the models before that featured front bench seats to fit multiple passengers in a go.
Thus, it is an awesome choice to pick if you don’t want the earlier big-size trucks and pre-owned cars.
Though not tech-savvy, it has some useful and cool features like comfortable seats, an infotainment system, etc. It’s suitable for a family and promises decent mileage per gallon (mpg).
Yukon is primarily not a pickup truck and rather a large SUV. Still, it’s an ideal SUV to own if you wish to carry some cargo in it.
Its unique engineering makes it suitable for fitting nine people in a go with 121.1 cubic feet of cargo space at the rear.
Note that you can increase this cargo space by folding the rear seats when not in use.
Similar to the GMC Sierra, its front bench seat has a 40:20:40 configuration. Fold the center seat when not required into an armrest with complimentary cup holders.
7. Chevrolet Suburban
This Chevrolet Suburban is like the elder sibling of Chevrolet Tahoe due to its bigger wheelbase.
Due to this, Suburban vows better headroom, legroom, ride quality, rear cargo space, among others. The SUV is also a bit longer and heavier than Tahoe.
Thus, it is a bit more expensive than the latter but worth every penny. Just like Tahoe, you get a 40:20:40 configuration front bench seat in Suburban with a folding center kids seat.
Thus, if you want a big SUV which is king in all terms, go for Chevrolet Suburban vs. Tahoe.
8. GMC Yukon XL
This GMC Yukon XL has a bigger wheelbase than its predecessor GMC Yukon.
It is indeed the biggest difference between the two models. Due to such a big wheelbase, the Yukon XL assures more cargo space (extra 2.30 cubic feet) and rear legroom (extra 2 inches) to its occupants.
There is again a front bench seat in Yukon XL, which you fold to convert into two bucket seats with a central armrest. However, GMC doesn’t provide the front bench seat in Yukon’s Denali trim package.
9. Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Tahoe is another huge SUV with three rows to accommodate up to 9 people comfortably. It’s an ideal creation for families who love to spend quality time on their long trips.
This Chevrolet Tahoe has a front bench seat that means you can also sit a kid in the front, taking the total passenger count to 10. And fold it to get an armrest.
Tahoe uses ultra-modern details like plush seating, climate control, and heated seats to justify its high-end price. Due to this, be it 9 or 10, every passenger will laud their ride no matter its length.
10. Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury sold its last unit of Grand Marquis in 2011, fitted with front bench seats and a capacity to fit six people maximum. It features the V8 engine with a capacity to deliver 224 bhp power sufficient for a powerful ride.
Other cool features you could find in the Mercury Grand Marquis include an air conditioner, cruise control, a trip computer, to name a few.
So, these are the top 11 car models with classic front bench seats.
11. Ford Crown Victoria
Discontinued in 2007, you may find the pre-owned version of the Ford Crown Victoria in 2020 for as low as $14,000. It features a front bench seat with a total seating capacity of 6 adults.
During its initial years, the Ford Crown Victoria was in the police squads and taxi fleet in New York City. It has a decent safety rating and houses a 4.6-liter V8 engine with the capacity to deliver either 224 or 239 bhp of power.
Thus, if you don’t have a lavish budget and are comfortable with pre-owned vehicles, this car is what you should consider.
Can you buy a new car with a bench seat?
There are no usual cars like sedans with front bench seats with such seats limited to pickup trucks and SUVs, as discussed above.
The front bench seats can also fold into two bucket seats, with the central seat converting into an armrest with cup holders.
Are front bench seats safe?
According to car experts, front-row bench seats aren’t very safe, although they can accommodate multiple passengers depending upon their dimensions.
Such seats pose serious driving challenges for the drivers, and many car engineers felt it impossible to ensure 100% safety to the front passengers on a bench seat.
While front-row bench seats ruled in the 1950s, with the safety of the passengers getting the upper hand while manufacturing a car, car manufacturers opted for a much safer bucket seat option.
Unlike the former, bucket seats are made to accommodate a single person and are more comfortable and cozy. However, the classic front bench seats are still alive, thanks to the full-size trucks and big SUVs, as discussed above.
Thus, if you want to experience the luxury of front bench seats, this article has some modern options for you to consider.