2014 Chevrolet Impala won’t offer front bench seats

Article by Christian A., 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.

A new look for sedan’s Chevrolet's flagship is being showcased by the 2014 Impala. However, it is one that drafts its design from the signature nameplate that it has been relying on for years.

John Cafaro, US passenger vehicle exterior design director, said their team was inspired to create a new classic without taking too much from previous models. The Impala is an innovative car with craftsmanship, design elements and precision that go well with its modern technology and performance.

18, 19 and 20-inch wheels are available for the Impala, and are customized to give a proportioned built for the exterior, while the vehicle's long, low dimension has a wind-swept shape that implies mobility. In the front, low-key projector-beam headlights, which function as LTZ’s LED daytime running lights and HID headlights, are seen around the edges and embrace a broad grille, while performance is expressed by the power dome hood. The LED daytime running lights on LTZ give a new visual appeal, together with superb visibility.

A trademark cue flowing in the rear fenders is drafted from the classic Impala style while the carved coves in the body's sides contribute drama to its design. The "greenhouse" area is long which aids to improve the elegant look of the vehicle while keeping superb visibility.

The deck lid appears short to go well with the overall dimension but its trunk has a cargo capacity of 18.8 cubic-feet (532 liters). The look of the rear is completed by exhaust outlets outlined in chrome on LTZ and slanted dual signature taillights.

Exterior colors include Black, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Champagne Silver Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, White Diamond Tricoat, Tin Roof Rusted, Blue Ray, Blue Topaz Metallic, Cyber Gray, Silver Topaz Metallic and Summit White.

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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