Cooley On Cars
Are bench seats coming back?Is the couch on wheels primed for a comeback?
Hey folks, Bryan Cooley here from Road Show. Got another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving. Andrew C. wants to know, As traditional style gear selectors start to disappear from the middle of the car will bench seats ever make a return? Kind of going back there a ways, Andrew. The bench seat was a mainstay of automotive front row layouts forever, and then It suddenly became this cool option to have bucket seats. That was back in the 70s. Now of course, individual seats are the the very least, a split bench are universal. Let's take a look at this. Now definitely we have a move out of the center console of the gear selector. These things were turning into either rotator knobs or push-button panels getting up out of that space between the seats. So you could say the real estate's been freed up for a bench. The problem is airbags need a home, and they tend to like individual seats as opposed to the airbags moving on a bench and having that whole middle of the bench being kind of uncontrollable what happens there. Plus the console forms a little bit of a barrier in an impact it can keep you from flying around the car. And there's another factor, bench seats are dorky unless you in the old cars, you look at them and say what is that. If you're of a certain age, you're not even sure why there's a bench seat there, it looks like a mattress. So I don't know that they've got a real hit factor in them coming back into the marketplace. Unless you're like that creepy lecherous uncle who wants you to slide on over. [SOUND] One last factor. We love putting crap in cars. And if you have a bench seat, you lose the console. If you lose the console, you lose a place to put junk. So I think the bench is a nonstarter.