Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have long been known for their love of off-road driving. And while the Jeep brand has always offered several different models, the Wrangler has always been the show’s star.
With its iconic design and ability to handle any terrain, it’s no wonder that this vehicle is so popular. But one question that often comes up among Wrangler fans is what happened to the front bench seat? Why did Jeep make the switch to bucket seats in later models?
The change was made because many people believe that bucket seats offer a more comfortable and stylish ride. However, while some Jeep enthusiasts may miss the front bench seats, the advantages of bucket seats are hard to ignore. Here we will look at the reason for the change and what it means for drivers and passengers.
What Happened To The Front Bench Seats In Jeep Wrangler?
The front bench seats in Jeep Wranglers are one of the most iconic features of the vehicle. For many years, they were a standard feature in all Jeep Wranglers. Jeep has begun to phase out the front bench seat in favor of bucket seats in recent years.
There are a few reasons for this change. First, bucket seats offer more support and comfort than bench seats. They also provide a more ergonomic driving experience.
Moreover, bucket seats take up less space than bench seats, which is important for a vehicle as compact as the Jeep Wrangler.
Bench seats can be more awkward for long journeys, making it difficult to get in and out of the Jeep. Bucket seats provide more support and are generally more relaxing, making them popular among jeep owners.
Due to these specific reasons, most jeep wrangler owners prefer bucket seats over bench seats. As a result, Jeep decided to discontinue the front bench seat option starting with the 2018 model year in favor of bucket seats.
What Models Of Jeep Wrangler Have Front Bench Seats?
If you’re in the market for a Jeep Wrangler, you might be wondering if any of the models come with a front bench seat. The answer is yes – but only for the models made before 2018.
The pre-2018 Jeep Wranglers came with a standard front bench seat, which could accommodate three people in the front. This feature was later dropped, likely to make the Jeep Wrangler more comfortable and safe for the drivers and passengers.
All Jeep Wranglers come with bucket seats in the front, although you can still find front bench seats in some old used models. So if you’re looking for a Jeep Wrangler with a front bench seat, you’ll need to choose an older model or a lower trim level.
Yet, it’s worth noting that front bench seats are becoming increasingly rare on the Jeep Wrangler, so you may have to shop around to find one.
Disadvantages Of Jeep Wrangler Front Bench Seats
Many people consider the front bench seat in Jeep Wranglers a disadvantage. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Takes extra space
Unlike traditional bucket seats, the bench seat takes up a lot of space and can make it difficult to get in and out of the vehicle. The doors are designed to be close together, which can make it difficult for people of all sizes to get in and out of the Jeep Wrangler.
2. Restricts the space capacity
Another drawback of Jeep Wrangler front bench seats is limiting passenger and cargo capacity. While a Jeep Wrangler can typically seat up to five people, adding a front bench seat can reduce that number to four.
Similarly, while a Jeep Wrangler usually has a maximum cargo capacity of around 72 cubic feet, a front bench seat can reduce that figure by up to 25%. This can be problematic for those who need to regularly transport large items or multiple passengers.
3. Uncomfortable experience
The front bench seat is not as comfortable as individual bucket seats as it does not provide adequate support for the back or legs. The bench seat is wider than individual seats, which can make it uncomfortable for long drives.
4. Less supportive for taller passengers
Perhaps the most significant drawback is that the bench seat is less relaxing for taller passengers. The lack of headrests and armrests can make it difficult to find a cozy position, especially on long trips.
In addition, the bench seat does not provide the same level of support as individual bucket seats, which can lead to back pain or fatigue. Individual bucket seats may be better for those who frequently transport taller passengers or want the best possible driving experience.
5. Tough to be seated during a rollover
Jeep Wrangler front bench seats can be dangerous in a rollover accident because they provide only a single point of contact between the passenger and the vehicle.
Causing the passenger to be ousted from the seat during a rollover, increasing the risk of serious injury or even death. On the other hand, front bench seats tend to be less pleasant than individual bucket seats, making it more difficult for passengers to remain seated during a rollover.
6. No three-point seat belt
A serious limitation to the front bench seat is that it can be difficult to provide a third passenger with a three-point seat belt. If you want to have three people in the front seat, one of them might not have a seat belt.
It can be a serious safety issue, as a passenger who is not properly secured in their seat may be at risk of being ejected from the vehicle in an accident.
7. Challenging to control the vehicle
While it may seem like a more spacious option, several disadvantages are. It cannot be easy to reach the controls and features of the Jeep when seated in the middle.
It is especially problematic when trying to adjust the audio or climate settings. Additionally, the lack of a center console can make it challenging to keep small items from rolling around on the floor.
8. No airbag for the middle passenger
There is no airbag for the “center front seat” passenger in a front bench seat. If you are in an accident, you could be at a greater risk of injury than if you were seated in one of the other positions. So, it can pose a serious safety hazard in a mishap.
It’s safe to say that the front bench seats in jeep wranglers are a thing of the past. While they may have been a staple in the early days of the Jeep, they’ve since been replaced by more comfortable and functional buckets seats.
There are a few possible explanations for this change. First, bucket seats offer superior support and comfort, especially long trips. Second, they allow for a better driver experience, making reaching the controls and instruments easier.
Finally, bucket seats look more stylish than bench seats, giving the Jeep a more modern appearance. Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that front bench seats are no longer Jeep’sJeep’s go-to option.