Americans have their place in history inventing some several body styles that we’ve come to take for granted. For instance, America’s automobile industry is father to the station wagon and the minivan. And although some of them have declined significantly in popularity, one of them is certainly on its deathbed: the six-passenger mass-market full-size sedan with front and rear benches.
Back in the height of our industry, Americans rode around in full-size six-passenger sedans on a daily basis. But because times are changing and the boffins behind the automobile industry invented automobiles that are far more multi-purpose machines than dedicated coupes, sedans and trucks ever were, the demand for these full-size mass-market sedans is significantly decreasing. The same thing could be said for full-size mass-market coupe versions of the sedans.
People’s demand and expectations in their automobile have shifted. For example, people looking for a coupe either want a more compact car or something sporty. Those who want big coupes either have to pay big money or choose to opt for one of the new “four-door” coupe models like the Hyundai Sonata or the Volkswagen CC. And the same could be said about the sedans.
The purpose of the six-passenger sedan was to be able to haul a large group of people without the bulkiness of a larger vehicle. Now we have crossovers and better-designed minivans that do the job better, rendering the full-size six-passenger sedan obsolete.
“The six-passenger car is disappearing because baby boomers didn’t embrace their parents’ sedans,” said managing director of 2953 Analytics’ managing director. “They buy lots of six-passenger vehicles, but those are crossovers and minivans.”
And of course, America being the first to introduce this concept, will also be the last to produce it as these concepts fall off the face of the Earth. The last and only remaining examples of front and rear equipped bench full-size sedans and coupes are the Chevrolet Impala and late Impala-based Monte Carlo Coupe.
With the new Impala coming around in the not-so-distant future of 2013, that is if we’re all still around for all of you 2012 believers, the new model will be smaller than the outgoing one which limits the potential for featuring a front-bench seat to allow the seating of six-passengers and GM is still debating whether to design the new Impala with the possibility of featuring a front bench. And while GM’s Epsilon II global platform is large enough to fit a bench in the rear, which is fine, having your front-row passengers sitting shoulder-to-shoulder also poses a safety issue, especially for the driver.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Free Press