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Old 7th March 2008, 16:52   #61
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My father has a Ford Ikon and he always prefers to sit in the back when it is chauffeur driven. Even I prefer the rear seats.

Reasons -
1, Ford Ikon's rear seats are much more comfortable than the front seats (not sure about other cars)
2, You comparatively feel safe and relaxed and do not have the tension of how your chauffeur drives (because you feel you are far front the front bumpers and so does not fear you when he is driving too close to the vehicle in front)
3, If you sit in the left rear seat, you can have a very good view of the speedometer.
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Old 20th January 2012, 12:06   #62
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Fascination with the back seat in our country is also due to the fact we have a large number of private cars driven by chauffeurs be it from Marutis to Beemers and other reasons like-

a. There has been traditionally large families, with alpha males and females driven around by drivers seated in the back and children in the front

b. The cars either had a bench seat (ambys and padminis) with did not separate out the drivers hence back seat by choice

c. Babudom culture of 'saheb' being let ushered into the back seat by his chauffeur which was the unwritten protocol and status symbol

And the tradition to fill the back seat is being continued to be lured by car manufacturers such as Nissan Sunny and Tata Manza who do offer and brag about the real estate in the rear to sell their wares.
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Old 20th January 2012, 13:20   #63
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Perhaps too much brightness and movement from the driver when in the front passenger seat?

Also, it may be a throwback from times of the tonga or the autorickshaw. The saahebs have a very sensitive nose. Not generalising drivers, but many of them chew on something that stinks, or perspire a lot, or talk a lot, or all of it together.
Segregation of the classes anyone?

Last edited by selfdrive : 20th January 2012 at 13:34.
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Old 20th January 2012, 13:21   #64
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Back seat offers more privacy and 'space' if one wants to use the laptop/paperwork during office commutes. Also some privacy from nosy drivers while using the laptop or reading some official paperwork etc. It also offers more space to place your bag on a vacant seat to access your stuff. Also during hot days, keeps the sun off your face.
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Old 20th January 2012, 14:31   #65
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Another thought to it, In case of a head on crash, chances of survival is more in back seat. So, some people may prefer back seat because of this.
I have seen many people not taking up the seats in the first two to three rows of overnight buses because of this concern.
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Old 20th January 2012, 14:36   #66
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Class difference. Never would a car owner sit side by side a driver, who according to our culture is at least a class lower.
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Old 20th January 2012, 14:44   #67
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

I would prefer a back-seat cos of:
1. Would have more space to myself : keep book / paper etc.

2. Most importantly to not get distracted by the way driver drives. Even with other people (friends, family) I am pretty tense sitting on the front seat and my mind is always on the road. This is because I drive myself. I cant be sitting in front seat and take my mind off driving so it isnt relaxing for me anymore. This has happened with me when I have sat in the front seat with driver driving on many occasions in India and outside as well.

3. If I am travelling with second person I wouldnt wan to distract the driver by talking to the person sitting at the back.

so it is more practical than "seth" attitude to sit at the back. Of course "seth" attitude would be true for many many people.

BTW i do not have a full time driver but have one back home and do travel in it when I am there.

~maniac
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Old 20th January 2012, 15:56   #68
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NIP View Post
Back seat offers more privacy and 'space' if one wants to use the laptop/paperwork during office commutes. Also some privacy from nosy drivers while using the laptop or reading some official paperwork etc.
+1
It's impossible sitting in the front seat and working with your laptop (or) just relaxing your mind without getting distracted.
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Old 20th January 2012, 16:03   #69
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Older generations may have felt the class difference.

It offers privacy, space, relatively tension - free, a bit more safer. Also, many people, who have the habit of dozing off prefer to sit in the rear not only because of relative safety but also due to the feeling that a dozing passenger beside the driver may induce dozing in driver too.
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Old 20th January 2012, 16:24   #70
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

For me its mostly the back seat while driver is driving. However, when I am driving, I avoid the back seat completely.

Reasons -
1. I can sleep. Travel time (especially in Mumbai) is Nap time. Carried that habit from the local train. Plus its not good to be snoring sitting next to the driver.

2. Oncoming vehicle's headlight can't reach me enough. Especially with the 100/130 on my car, I expect nature's vengeance all the time.

3. Most of the drivers we have employed are of the talkative kind. Sitting next to him (them) only provides encouragement.

4. In the safari, the back seat in indeed more comfy than front seat, especially if you push the front passenger seat all the way front.

5. I rarely do any work in the car - but if I do, I would prefer to get the whole back seat to myself.

6. I consider myself to be a driver of very very high talent. Hence, it freaks me and irritates me to no end if I observe every juvenile move of the driver.

EDIT - My wife drives the auto santro. In that, I always sit up front - and often come back home with a severe headache after observing her zig zag through powai traffic.

Last edited by sen2009 : 20th January 2012 at 16:29.
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Old 20th January 2012, 16:48   #71
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

I don't have a driver (well we do, but he drives my wife and daughter around on weekdays).

But when I need to go somewhere on a working day - here or say outside the city/country, I prefer the back seat because I can catch up on my emails and calls.

For leisure, I drive, period.
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Old 20th January 2012, 17:02   #72
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Haven't experienced the back seat in the 3 cars I have owned. Just sat there occasionally and it sure is uncomfy: M800: no good, Accent: very low set and no under thigh support and Elantra is also low set. The best seats in a car are the driver seats with all adjustments to get a comfy position. Even the front passenger seat in Elantra is low set and has no height adjustment so lacks under thigh support. I have liked the backseats of the tall boy hatchbacks and also the SX4 which has the correct height and support.
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Old 20th January 2012, 22:38   #73
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My dad usually uses our driver and I occasionally use driver too. Both me and dad has habit of sitting in front if any one of us is only one in car besides driver. But if I am with my wife or dad with mom, usually we sit in the back as it's easier for conversations. On long trip, it's always back sit with front passenger sit pulled all the way up-front. Moreover, Merc has curtain/side and Rear Airbags plus the rear and Side windows sunshades, it's much more comfortable and secure in back on long journeys.
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Old 21st January 2012, 06:38   #74
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I don't like anyone other than myself driving my personal car. Period. Includes valets, friends, chauffeurs for hire and family (except for my Dad, who taught me all I know about driving).
If I am unwell or need to get to the airport or am travelling in another unfamiliar place,I simply use a chauffeured taxicab in which I sit in the back seat or front seat, whichever has more legroom. On holidays I like to drive, in India or outside. Legroom and comfort is the main criterion which dictates where I sit in a car. Not concerned about class distinctions etc.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 21st January 2012 at 06:40.
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Old 21st January 2012, 13:08   #75
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Default Re: Why the fascination with the back seat?!!

Other reasons:
Privacy: Due to the near transparent windshield, people on the outside tend to see who is on the inside.
Safety: In India, majority of the cars sold in the sub-10 lakh category still do not have passenger air bags. Some 95% if I dare say...
Ambassador effect: Many of the current "Sirs" and "JIs" once traveled on the sofa in the rear of the HM flagship.
Heat: In cities like Chennai, where it can get very hot the sun shine falls directly onto the person sitting at the front. One might want to avoid this altogether by sitting at the back.

Last edited by SedatedDrive : 21st January 2012 at 13:11.
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