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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Captain Seats 177 43.17%
Bench Seats 233 56.83%
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Old 16th February 2021, 19:08   #1
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Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

MUVs and SUVs offering a third row of seats come with either two captain seats or a bench seat for the second row. Customers can often choose between the two and some are offered on certain variants only.

BHPians, what would you prefer - the comfort of captain seats or the bench seat, which can accommodate one more passenger? There are many more advantages and disadvantages of both types of seats. Here's a look at some of them.

Captain seats


Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-captain-seats.jpg

Pros:

• Offer better all-round support and are more comfortable than bench seats
• Can be individually reclined and adjusted according to occupants' preferences
• Some captain seats get lumbar adjustment
• Looks more premium than bench seats
• The passengers of the third row can stretch their legs between the captain seats
• The seatbacks of the captain seats are usually scooped out to liberate more knee room for third row passengers
• In most cases, all passengers of the car get 3-point seatbelts

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-captain-4.jpg

Cons:



• Can seat only two in the middle row. Fifth occupant would have to unhappily go to the third row
• Some captain seats cannot be tumbled forward limiting space for ingress/egress and making the access to the third row difficult
• With no center armrest, there is a lack of space to provide a cup holder
• Captain seats are expensive and therefore, usually found only on top variants
• Space between the two seats can't be used to seat another passenger or to store luggage and is therefore wasted
• Individual armrests are usually on the thinner side, which can make them uncomfortable to use
• In many cases, you cannot fold down the captain chairs to increase luggage space

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-captain-3.jpg

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-captain-2.jpg

Bench seats


Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-bench-seats.jpg

Pros:

• Can seat one more person compared to captain chairs
• Bench seats tumble forward to give more room for ingress/egress into the third row
• Offer the flexibility of 60:40 split in many cars. You can seat four and still use a part of the second row for luggage
• Easier for overweight people to use as its bolsterings are not as pronounced as those on captain seats
• Center armrest provides some storages spaces, including cupholders
• Seats can fold flat giving you a flat loading bay which makes it much easier to slide luggage inside
• You get a lot of luggage space when the third row + second row seats are folded

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-bench-2.jpg

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-bench-4.jpg

Cons:



• Offers lesser support & is nowhere as comfortable as a captain seat
• Seating three abreast in many cars may make occupants uncomfortable, especially over long distances
• The fifth passenger usually has a hard backrest due to the presence of the arm rest, which is uncomfortable
• The middle passenger usually gets a lap belt. Only a few cars offer 3-point seatbelts for all 3 passengers in the second row
• The middle occupant shares the backrest and seatbase with one of the side occupants
• Central floor hump reduces leg room for the fifth passenger
• Third row passengers will feel boxed in with the second row bench in place

Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?-bench-5.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 19th February 2021 at 07:35.
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Old 16th February 2021, 19:23   #2
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th February 2021, 19:47   #3
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Voted for Bench seats

-Although captain seats offer more comfort, it’s bench seats that offer more flexibility. While carrying luggage or people.
-Very often people are unwilling to go into the 3rd row when there are just 5 people.
-If someone wants to rest in the 2nd row with his legs up it’s possible.
-Cupholders in the 2nd row are missing in captain seats. (Some cars overcome it by providing a table or holders on the floor eg. Crysta.)

This is also one reason why we picked the Fortuner over the Innova in 2014, the top-end Innova (ZX was just introduced then as well) then also didn’t get a bench setup, we wanted the top-end only. This is going to repeat soon in the coming months.

If providing captain seats provide a bench option as well eg:- Safari, Hexa, Hector Plus. I know lots of people who didn’t go for the Crysta (or had to settle for the lower trim) because it didn’t offer a bench option in the ZX variant including me.

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 16th February 2021 at 20:03.
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Old 16th February 2021, 19:55   #4
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Voted for Captain seats.

I have experienced it in Innova, Crysta and the Tavera.

Reason:
1. Snug fit in the captain seat.
2. I love those handrests, if available.
3. To rest, again, I prefer a reclined captain seat with seat belt on.
4. Space between the captain seats for walking or keeping knick-knacks.

In those rare occasion, when I need to use the third row, I can walk/crawl/crouch between the second row seats. I prefer this than folding the middle row every time someone has to get in or out of last row. I am a 6fter and yet, I prefer this over a tumbled 2nd row.

I also find it convenient to keep that odd small bag between the seats without compromising on my leg-space and yet, easily accessing it at will.

Last edited by ashis89 : 16th February 2021 at 19:58.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:15   #5
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Captain seats all the way.

I am spoiled by the excellent captain seats on the Hexa. The sheer amount of adjustments on offer allow the most comfortable seating position which no bench can match. It truly is business class. You do seat a person less but my god this is the way to travel, especially for the chauffeur driven.

We are a family of 8 and have faced the dilemma of captain chairs or bench first hand. Could have gone for bench and 2+3+3 seating. But instead of packing the family like sardines, I have chosen to take 2 cars so that everyone is seated comfortably and safely, with ample luggage space at hand as well. Never regretted it. That’s the right way to go.

There is a reason why super premium cars seat only 2 at the back. That’s because captain seats rock!

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 16th February 2021 at 20:16.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:22   #6
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Voted Captain Seats. Here's why:

- Much, MUCH better comfort compared to benches. The feeling of having a personal armrest is unparalleled.
- Individual seats means you never have the need to brush each other.
- Individual controls thereby getting a much comfier position without compromising others in the same row.
- And lastly, the major reason why we love captain seats, Space to stretch out for the passenger of the third row, especially if it is someone tall like me.

Last edited by akash_v12 : 16th February 2021 at 20:23.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:38   #7
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Voted for bench seats, especially in the case of a MUV/Minivan. The whole reason we have such vehicles is to carry large number of passengers, so captain seats (no matter how comfortable) go against the whole idea of a MUV.

Having said that, I have been a passenger in MUV taxis that had captain seats in 2nd row, and it is an absolutely fantastic experience. BUT, if I were buying one for a large family, then captain seats are a no-no.

On a separate note, in a MUV with captain seats, putting 4 adults in the first 2 rows and kids in the 3rd row feels like "adults travel business class, kids in cattle class". Just so wrong on so many levels!!
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:43   #8
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

I would prefer captain seats any day. I want the second row passengers also to experience similar comfort as my front row co-passenger.

Also, Captain seats ensure that the pair of travellers can adjust the seats the way they want individually without disturbing each other. On a typical long journey on a highway, this is extremely helpful.

Also, due to captain seats, somehow the 3rd row passengers get the inclusive feeling of being in the same car and not isolated . The gaps between the captain seats make the 3rd row passengers feel comfortable too.

Lastly, I hate anyone sitting in the center of the bench seat blocking my IRVM.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:50   #9
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Capt seats would be nice. But looking at the recent example for the 2021 Safari, may be they should design a seat that will slide side-wards to go towards the "inside". This will really help where the capt side seat doesnot fold sufficient to provide required space for the ingress to the last row.

Even one side - the left capt seat having this would be sufficient. But having said that, there will be issues to design it sturdily so that the seat doesnt jump out of it's position in case of a mis-hap.

May be I should patent this idea ?

Last edited by condor : 16th February 2021 at 20:52.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:52   #10
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

I prefer Bench seat variant and below are the reasons why I chose the bench seater Crysta.

1) Second row is for family and a continuous seat end to end is appreciated.
2) Third row is practical only for 2 though Toyota says 3 can sit comfortably.
3) Captain seat Innova is practically a 6 seater vehicle. An MPV than can only seat 6? I would have rather bought a sedan.
4) All 3 people in the middle gets a 3 point seat belt and adjustable headrests.
5) Second row in Innova is awesome - seats are positioned higher than first row and feels airy with great view outside and one more person gets to enjoy it.
6) Remove the third row (mine was like this) for more luggage space but can still carry 5 people.
Edit:
7) 60:40 second row bench can be moved fore and aft independently, and the 60:40 backrest can also be adjusted independently.

If I were to choose again I would still choose the bench seater as long its me who is doing the driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post

Cons:


• Captain seats are expensive and therefore, usually found only on top variants
With respect to the Crysta its the bench seater that is more expensive than captain seat variant.

Last edited by Sankar : 16th February 2021 at 21:05.
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Old 16th February 2021, 21:08   #11
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

This is a tough one, though I voted for Captain seats.
I have captain seats as well as bench, infact until recently had Crysta with captain as well as bucket.
Bench seats at back with arm rests are comfortable but Captain seats offer more comfort. Captain seats also make 3rd row comfortable. I travelled 2500KM in a bucket seat Innova spending almost 1000KM at third row. This probably is not possible with bench seats. Bench seats though are far more practical, especially if you have kids. With captain seats, even for a short journey you have to push folks to 3rd row and luggage carrying capacity drops drastically. If you have boot of XUV or Safari, forget bucket seats, unless you are willing to put carrier. 8 seater variant of Crysta actually has a best of both worlds- a bucket seat and bench. Only thing is bucket seat here doesnot get dedicated armrest.
Bottom line, pick one based on your needs, number of family members, intended usage of car and most important, ask folks who spend most time at the back.

Last edited by PrideRed : 16th February 2021 at 21:16.
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Old 16th February 2021, 21:27   #12
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
....may be they should design a seat that will slide side-wards to go towards the "inside"...
It's been done. Honda Magic Slide Seat Easy Access Mode.

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Old 16th February 2021, 21:28   #13
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

Voted for bench seats.

I had captain seats in my Sumo Grande.

When there was luggage, it used to get reduced to a huge four seater. On family trips it was always our Storme which was preferred.

The two benefits of captain seats are the reclining option and arm rests.

If the bench seat is split 60:40 and is reclinable, then one would hardly miss the captain seats.
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Old 16th February 2021, 21:38   #14
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

My vote is for the Captain seats. Two safaris that I had with the ‘sofa’ was still not any match to my Crysta bench seats. That’s what my mom says.

And whenever my wife drives on the highways, it’s such a joy for me to recline and enjoy the captain seat with that posture that really is relaxing.

It suits us as a family because we are just three and on the rare occasions that my parents accompany us, my teen son is happy to enjoy the last row in the Crysta.

Captain seats are pure seating comfort.
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Old 16th February 2021, 21:49   #15
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re: Captain Seats vs Bench Seats | Which one do you prefer in your SUV / MPV and why?

In my opinion, BHPians won't like third row seats at all. All they like is right side front seats irrespective of vehicles.

Jokes apart, I would like to have bench seats as against captain seat on third row.

Reason:
1. Value for money. It can accommodate one person more as compared to captain seats.

2. When folded, it can accommodate more luggage as compared to captain seats

3. At times, in case of emergency, a person can lie down and sleep in bench seat whereas it's impossible in captain seats.

Last edited by gkveda : 16th February 2021 at 22:08.
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