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Captain Seats vs Bench Seats in Indian SUVs/MUVs

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.

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

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

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

Bench seats

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 healthier 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

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

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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