2014 Chevrolet Impala won’t offer front bench seats

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 1, 2012

The redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Impala won’t have front bench seats, according to General Motors. In fact, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala is the last passenger car in North America to offer them. The front bench seat was first seen in 1911 on Chevrolet's first vehicle, the Series C Classic Six. This option will still be offered on pickup trucks and SUVs.

GM doesn’t expect customers to take much notice that the front bench option is no longer available since front bucket seats have become standard. Last year, just one in 10 Impala customers asked for the $195 bench option in the LS and LT models.

In the statement, Clay Dean, GM director of design, said that bucket seats are preferred by many people due to their sportiness even when they’re not driving sports cars.

They also like having a center console where they can conveniently store their phone and other personal stuff. But then Dean doesn’t discount the possibility that the bench seat could reappear in smaller cars due to the nostalgic factor.

Dean pointed out that customers still like them and many still remember snuggling up to their date at a drive-in movie. He said that the seats could possibly return in very small cars such as the EN-V urban mobility concept vehicle whose customers may prefer getting a sense of open space.

Press Release

Front Bench Takes a Back Seat

When the 2014 Chevrolet Impala arrives next year it will put to rest a fixture of automobiles since the days of the horseless carriage – the front bench seat. The outgoing Impala is the last passenger car in production in North America to offer three-across front seating, an option that that ends with the introduction of Chevy’s redesigned flagship sedan.

The passing of the front bench seat into automotive history is expected to transpire without notice from many car buyers. Only one in 10 Impala buyers chose the $195 option last year on the LS and LT models. For many of today’s car buyers, front bucket seats are the norm – a trend that General Motors designers expect will continue.

“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.”

The first Chevrolet ever manufactured, the Series C Classic Six of 1911, featured a front bench seat. Chevrolet will continue to offer bench seats on pickup trucks and sport utilities.

The need for six-passenger sedans is largely being met today by SUVs or crossovers, such as the Chevrolet Suburban and Traverse, which offer seating for up to eight.

“There is certain nostalgia for bench seats, like being able to snuggle up with your date at a drive-in movie, and some customers still like them,” Dean said. “You never know, we might see bench seats re-emerge someday, possibly in very small cars like the EN-V urban mobility concept vehicle, in which the feeling of open space may be very desirable.”

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