Chevrolet will put the last nail in the coffin of the front bench seat with the launch of its 2014 Impala sedan. Once a popular option, the front bench seat will be put out to pasture when the current generation Chevy Impala goes out of production.
The front bench seat was a staple of the automotive landscape through most of the 20th century, but has fallen out of favor with buyers with the advent of the center console. The 2013 Impala is the last passenger vehicle in North America to offer the three-abreast seating arrangement, with just 10 percent of buyers springing for the $195 option last year. As such, Chevy is dropping the front bench from the redesigned 2014 Impala's option list.
“A lot of people prefer bucket seats because they’re sporty, even in models that aren’t sports cars,” said Clay Dean, GM director of design. “Our customers also appreciate having the center console as a convenient place to store their phone and other personal items.”
Chevrolet's first-ever vehicle, the 1911 Series C Classic Six, was fitted with a bench seat.
Those wanting to snuggle up with their sweetie at the drive-in aren't completely out of luck – General Motors says it will continue to offer front bench seats on its pickup truck and SUV models.