SUVs are popular because of their high level of off-road capability and driver comfort. Due to the possibility of driving through rough terrain and for extended periods of time in an SUV, a supportive seat is a must. In terms of comfort, traditional bench seats fall short.
For this reason, captain’s chairs are standard in many SUV models. Even yet, many passengers opt for the second-row captain’s chairs. Although they only have room for two people instead of three, they do have certain benefits. They also sometimes come equipped with a sumptuous center console or a convenient pass-through to the third row.
The standard SUV has a bench seat in the back for three people, although SUVs with individual front seats, called “captain’s seats,” are still highly popular. Even yet, many passengers opt for the second-row captain’s seats. Individual seats are preferable over a bench because they offer more personal space, such as armrests and a more upright seating position.
What Are Captain Seats?
In contrast to common bench seats, these are designed for a single occupant and appear much like the driver’s seat. The second row of a plane often has captain’s chairs available. These captain’s chairs are a relatively recent addition to the market and are starting to appear in more and more SUV models.
An SUV outfitted with captain’s chairs may be just what you need for those weekend road excursions with the gang. In comparison to individual seats, bench seating forces people to “rub elbows” with one another and reduces legroom. You could find these second-row “captain seats,” also called “captain chairs,” in a three-row MPV or SUV.
Captain’s Seats Offer Comfort, Convenience
Often more accommodating to adults and teenagers, captain’s chairs extend first-row amenities to the second row. The captain’s seats are more comfortable and adjustable, and they often include inboard armrests for each passenger. In certain luxury SUVs, a second center console may be installed for the people sitting in the second row.
In other configurations, youngsters can easily access the third row without having to move a seat in the second row. It’s convenient for parents if children can sit in their own chairs. Tilt-and-slide access to the third row is a feature of some captain’s chairs that isn’t available on most second-row bench seats, allowing parents to leave an empty forward-facing child seat installed without removing it.
Pros And Cons Of Captain Seats
As was previously noted, the captain’s seats are meant to mimic the driver’s position. Each one is custom fitted to the passenger and offers unparalleled back support. Without having to squeeze in and make adjustments for other people, your comfort level will increase dramatically.
Every passenger has plenty of space to stretch out, is secured by a three-point seatbelt, and may lean back as far as they choose. Also, the chairs are more mobile whenever the third-row passengers need more elbow room.
Yet, you will undoubtedly see that there is a decrease in passenger capacity due to the use of captain seats. Access to the third row may be problematic due to the inability of some captain chairs to be flipped forward. Not having an armrest in the middle makes it difficult to install a drink holder. There is a wasted expanse of space between the two seats, which might have been utilized to accommodate additional passengers or their baggage.
Best SUVs With Captain’s Seats
Typically, premium automakers are the ones to provide an SUV with captain’s seats. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that several viable choices are available. Second-row seats are often captain’s seats.
SUVs with captain’s seats may be best for those frequently taking cross-country road journeys. Seats on a bench configuration are far less spacious and comfortable, causing passengers to “rub elbows” with one another. For these reasons, we have compiled the following list of best SUVs with captain seats for 2022 and 2023:
2022 SUVs With Captain’s Seats
2022 Subaru Ascent
To begin, the captain’s seats in the 2022 Subaru Ascent are a nice touch in an already great SUV. It’s the newest addition to Subaru’s portfolio and can comfortably accommodate up to seven people. It shares the reputation for high-quality construction and extensive standard equipment found in other Subaru models. In addition, it is remarkably roomy and dependable.
As rated by J.D. Power, the Ascent has enough space for seven people, including ample legroom. So, travelers need not worry about cramped quarters, even when the car is packed to capacity. If you need an SUV that can handle rough terrain and yet have plenty of room for passengers, look no further than Subaru’s offering. Standard captain’s seats are only included in the Limited and Premium grades.
2022 Chevrolet Suburban
When it comes to full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Suburban 2022 is a great option. Many engine choices are available, including several different V8 possibilities. In addition, it has a roomy cabin and a ride quality that rivals that of any luxury SUV.
According to J.D. Power, the improved ride quality is the result of the vehicle’s new independent rear suspension, air spring, and adaptive shock absorbers.
The Suburban’s High Country, Premier, and L.T. trims have captain’s chairs. They are a potential upgrade for a variety of other models. The second and third-row seats of a Suburban are easy to get to because of the flexibility of the seats, which can move forward and backward or fold down.
2022 Ford Expedition
The 2022 Ford Expedition is the flagship model in the SUV family. It’s built on a truck chassis, so it looks more like the Ford F-150 than the Escape or Explorer. When it comes to towing, this vehicle shines, and when it comes to comfort, the cabin is roomy and accommodating.
The second-row seating in this model is all captain’s chairs. The center bench may be swapped out for a pair of captain’s chairs in any trim above the Limited level. Captain’s chairs are standard on the King Ranch and Platinum. When entering the back of a Ford, you may fold down the front captain’s chairs and move them forward.
2023 SUVs With Captain’s Seats
2023 Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is a popular choice among consumers who occasionally need a seven-seater SUV but don’t want to spend the extra for a bulky full-size SUV. The fourth-generation Sorento, constructed in West Point, Georgia, on the Hyundai-Kia N3 platform, debuted in the United States for the 2021 model year.
The Sorento’s basic formula is the same for the 2023 model year but upgraded standard features increase the vehicle’s desirability. It seats six people in a 2-2-2 arrangement with two captain chairs in the center row instead of a bench.
The standard engine isn’t very powerful, but the optional turbocharger boosts its output to a respectable 281. The Sorento’s cheaper pricing makes it a compelling option among Kia’s many SUVs, despite being less practical than the Telluride.
2023 Cadillac Escalade
The Escalade is Cadillac’s premier vehicle, barring the forthcoming Celestiq EV ultra-luxury sedan. This premium three-row full-size SUV has been continually successful, saving Cadillac from extinction after the Great Recession of 2008.
The Escalade is now on its fifth generation and has only improved with each new version. The Cadillac Escalade 2023 has enough space for eight passengers due to its three bench seats. Nonetheless, seven people can ride comfortably in the normal arrangement with two rows of captain’s seats in the second row.
It may be powered by either a 6.2-liter gas V8 producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque or a 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder turbodiesel producing 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is more than just a spacious SUV with room for seven people; with a 357-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. 2021, 2022, and 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L provide captain’s chairs as an optional seating arrangement for drivers and passengers alike.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is back for another year of rugged off-roading and refined urban driving in 2023. Although it may be driven as a grand cruiser, an off-roader, or a luxury car, the emphasis here is on the latter.
The Wagoneer is the next logical step up in terms of luxury, but we think Jeep struck a good mix between the Grand Cherokee L’s pricing, performance, and amenities with the Grand Cherokee.
What is the best SUV with captain chairs?
When it comes to luxurious interiors, the Cadillac Escalade reigns supreme. Its luxurious inside is crafted from high-end materials and has room for six people. It also has an excellent multimedia suite, many safety systems, and driving aids as standard equipment.
The price ranges from a little over $76,000 for the base model to over $103,000 for the top trim, so you’ll need to decide how much you’re ready to spend.
Bucket seats versus captain seats: are they the same?
Captain seats at the back of a car are similar to front-row bucket seats, only they are meant for the back row. Nonetheless, SUVs with rear bucket seats are often more upscale.