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Four 2024 SUVs Offering Front Row Bench Seats

Before the 1970s, you’d be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that didn’t have front-row bench seats. These three-person seats were staples of nearly every vehicle at the time. They’re carryovers from horse-drawn carriages but have plenty of perks for modern drivers, even if a V8 has replaced the stallions moving your vehicle along. Due to safety regulations and a general shift in vehicle taste throughout the U.S., bench seats went away for a while, but there are still a few holdouts in modern times. Today, if you need seating for nine passengers, a handful of 2024 SUVs get you that capacity by offering a bench seat in all three rows, including the front one.

If you have a large crew you travel with regularly, be it a family, group of friends, traveling business, or sports team, and you’re looking at a Chevy Tahoe for sale, you’re headed in the right direction. There are actually four terrific full-size SUVs to check out for the 2024 model year with nine-seat configurations. Below, we’ll go over the benefits of having a front-row bench seat and the four great models that offer it.

Benefits of the Front Row Bench Seat

When a vehicle doesn’t have a bench front seat, you’ll usually find a center console between the driver and the front passenger seat. Giving that up in favor of a third front-row seat has many benefits.

Room for one more. Naturally, the option to seat up to nine people is appealing. With seven- or eight-seat SUVs, you may have to take two cars when traveling in large groups just because you have that extra passenger. But with seating for nine, you can get the whole gang in one vehicle most of the time.

One driver, one navigator, and one DJ. The driver can get additional assistance with the ability to have an additional front-seat passenger. One front-seat passenger can be the navigator, entering destinations into the touchscreen and looking up places to rest, eat, and get gas along the way. The second front-seat passenger can be the DJ, taking song requests and swiping through playlists on the infotainment screen or their connected phone if the navigator is using the screen.

Keep young ones close. If you have a child who is old enough to sit in the front but still young enough to require extra attention, you can seat them in the front between two adults. This makes it easier for the co-pilot to help a little one with homework, feed them snacks, and provide additional care.

Create more cargo space. Having that additional seat in the front also opens up more cargo possibilities. If you need to, you can sacrifice the entire third row to belongings and still have seating for six between the second and first rows. Or, if your vehicle has 60/40 split-folding capabilities in the third row, as most do today, you can put down just one or two of the rear seats, maintaining seating for seven or eight while creating extra cargo room. Or, if you have so much cargo that all of the back seats must be put down, you can still carry three people in the front seat.

Better seats for drive-in events. You might love having that third front-row seat with drive-in movies and concerts making a comeback. It gives up to three movie or concertgoers a better view of the main event. Plus, since front-row seats and drive-in events are retro, the two go hand in hand.

Tuck it away if you don’t need it. You don’t have to use your third front-row seat. Most front-row bench seats boast a 40/20/40 design. The driver and single front seat passenger can fold down an armrest or center console and stretch out a bit when a third passenger is not present.

2024 SUVs with a Front-Row Bench Seat

Below, we’ll list four popular full-size SUVs with front-row bench seats. While several fleet vehicles and passenger vans offer this feature, we’ll stick to SUVs to show that non-business customers can access the front-row bench seat.

Chevy Tahoe

The Chevy Tahoe LS has a standard (and hefty) 5.3L V8 engine that unlocks 8,400 pounds of towing abilities. That powertrain is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. It also offers a front-row bench seat in its LS trim.

The Tahoe is more than ready to keep all nine passengers comfortable with automatic tri-zone climate control, giving each row command over their temperature. It also has a standard Wi-Fi hotspot capability, so everybody can stream shows, handle online homework, play games, and more on the go. The generous leg and headroom in all rows will keep everyone comfortable, too.

With the full Chevy Assist suite of driver aids, the Tahoe is prepared to help drivers keep a closer eye on what’s happening on the road and avoid accidents. Enjoying eight inches of ground clearance, it’s ready to go over uneven roads. The 2024 model snagged J.D. Power’s “Best Large SUV” Award, beating out the GMC Yukon and even its own family member, the Chevy Suburban.

A black 2024 Chevy Suburban is shown driving on a city street.

The Chevy Suburban

The Chevy Suburban is another full-size offering from Chevy. It boasts a longer wheelbase than the Tahoe and a larger trunk and more third-row legroom. If you need to keep tall passengers happy and have a lot of stuff to lug around, the Suburban might fit your needs better than the Tahoe. The Suburban has the same trims as the Tahoe and also only offers its nine-seat configuration in the starting LS trim.

Beyond dimensions, the Suburban and Tahoe are nearly identical when it comes to infotainment features, safety features, comfort and convenience, and even style details. The 2024 Suburban also earned a spot on J.D. Power’s “Best Large SUV” list, ranking particularly high in resale value.

The GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is a stylish full-size SUV known for its luxury appeal. The nine-seat configuration is only available in the basic SLE trim. This trim has a 5.3L V8 engine and can tow 8,400 pounds. It also enjoys a ten-speed automatic transmission, along with GMC’s popular Traction Selection system, which lets the driver choose the appropriate driving mode for the road conditions.

This SUV enjoys large informational and infotainment screens, as well as the impressive GMC Pro Safety suite of driver-assist features. It also won a spot on J.D. Power’s “Best Large SUV’s” list for 2024.

The GMC Yukon XL

The Yukon XL is to the Yukon what the Suburban is to the Tahoe, just a little bigger. The Yukon XL enjoys more cargo and third-row room than the standard Yukon. For drivers who simply need more space for their nine passengers and all their stuff, the Yukon XL will have you covered. As with the Yukon, the Yukon XL only offers a front-row bench seat on its starting SLE trim.

A black 2024 GMC Yukon XL is shown driving on a highway.

Unlock More Possibilities with a Front-Row Bench Seat

If you have substantial passenger needs, there’s a good chance you could benefit from a front-row bench seat. It’s good to see this feature making a comeback because it delivers many perks both to drivers and passengers. When the standard eight seats of most large SUVs don’t cut it, you need a front-row bench seat. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.