With a new generation for the Chevy Impala coming up in 2014, GM has made the decision to make the current one the last of its passenger cars to offer three-across front bench seating. It will also be the last of its kind in North America.
Chevy says that while at only $195, the option still wasn’t very popular with buyers – with only one in ten opting for it on the LS or LT trim levels it comes available on. The standard bucket seats are far more popular, not just for the Impala but also for most models throughout the industry and Chevy predicts this trend will continue, mostly because of what they gain by giving up the seat.
“A lot of people prefer bucket seats because they’re sporty, even in models that aren’t sports cars,” said GM director of design Clay Dean. “Our customers also appreciate having the center console as a convenient place to store their phones and other personal items.”
Dean still feels the front bench may return in the future, just not for the same type of cars. “There is a certain nostalgia for bench seats, like being able to snuggle up with your date at a drive-in movie”, he said, noting that “we might see bench seats re-emerge someday, possibly in very small cars like the EN-V concept”.
The bench seat hasn’t been completely lost with the Impala however, it is actually still available on some Chevy SUV’s.
-By: Alexandra Koken