Car owners share preferred seating configurations in their vehicles

After getting the Innova Crysta, I have been exposed to this new world of flexibility in seating arrangements in a vehicle.

BHPian amalji recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Ever since I got introduced to an MPV ( The innova Crysta ), I have been exposed to this new world of flexibility in seating arrangements in a vehicle. Many of it has been of great use to us. I thought of sharing a few of the seating configurations that we have found very useful.

Please feel free to use the same thread for sharing seating configurations used on other type of vehicles as well which you found very useful. And it doesn’t even have to be an MPV. The humble Honda Jazz with Magic seats or even the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R could put many of our modern SUVs to shame in terms of seating flexibility.

The Relax Mode:

  • If there are only 3 travellers and 2 of them want to be in the most relaxed position, this is the seating configuration we use.
  • Configuration for the 2nd passenger
  • Slide left 2nd row seat to the rear most position.
  • Remove headrest from front passenger seat.
  • Slide front passenger seat to the front most position.

Recline the front passenger seat so that the top of the seat joins the 2nd row seat.

Configuration for the 3rd passenger:

Adjust the recline of 3rd row right side seat to maximum recline.

Slide the 2nd row right side seat to the rear most position to close the gap as much as possible between rear and 2nd row seat.

Adjust the recline of the 2nd row right side seat so that it gets converted into a footrest as shown in the photo.

We have family members with knee issues and this seating position has been such a blessing for us on long trips. A typical drive to my hometown is 11 hours and it’s this seating position which gives us the confidence to drive home without 2nd thoughts. A few hours of the journey on this kind of seating is enough to get the stretching needed for the knees.

The front seats are kept slightly above the rear seat to make it more comfortable.

The headrest is placed under the seats so that it doesn’t turn into a projectile in case of an accident. Generally we try and give it more packing by placing a small luggage as well along with it.

This is how close the ‘foot rest’ is from the 3rd row seat.

View from the 3rd passenger’s sitting position.

View from the 2nd passenger’s sitting position

Safety precautions:

  • I will not recommend reclining the 2nd row seat completely since the seatbelt might not hold you with proper grip in case of an accident.
  • Any loose objects inside the car is a potential projectile in case of an accident. So, make sure that the headrest removed is properly secured.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

In all my cars, I am only at the front. Either I am driving…


…on the front passenger seat. Even when I am being chauffeur-driven, I sit only on the front seat (not the back seat). Reasons = more legroom, seat is way more adjustable than the backseat, the front seat is safer (more airbags & proven in crash tests), I can control the music and the AC is cooler in the front seat.

You’ll usually see me working on my laptop in the front seat, if its on a weekday.

In terms of seating configurations, I mostly have sedans so it’s standard fare. However, with my Jeeps:

This is how 3 of us travel in the Thar, due to zero boot space. Later learnt that we can wrap the seatbelt around the luggage to hold it in place:

With the Classic, the seating configuration is just for 2 . Have thrown the rear seat away:

Here’s what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

2 + 3 is what I want. 3rd row expendable most times.

Bench for 2nd row because it allows my mom to sleep when travelling long distances. And a bench here allows for 3-4 people, based on the situation.

In the possibility of a reclining position by combining two seats on the left, I still would not use that since: either a co-passenger would sit there, or I use that space to keep stuff when I am driving.

Here’s what BHPian SmartCat had to say on the matter:

A few seat configurations we have used:

2 adults/ 2 kids/ 2 bicycles mode:

Note that third row seat is still useable. Note that the green bicycle does not budge because of bicycle lean & front tyre angle. But it can be tied to folded 2nd row seat if needed to make it even more secure.

Outdoor plants +house moving mode:

The ability to partition the cargo area into separate compartments (like Jazz Magic Seats) helps here. Muddy/dirty/fragile pots can be kept separate from other stuff:

Kids play area:

Here’s what BHPian hrk997 had to say on the matter:

I’m a tall person, so i push the seat fully back, fully down and incline it somewhat straight so I have a good view of the road. I’m never able to see the bonnet so i always lean forward when I’m in tight parking situations.

Passengers cannot sit behind me. The only car where they’ve been able to sit is in the E class, not even the endeavor. The position is super comfortable. I lean the seat even further behind in highways.

Here’s what BHPian Osteon206 had to say on the matter:

I prefer a 2+3 layout with a large boot space and flat folding split rear seat which could be used effectively to rest. The cars that fall in this layout IMO – Hector, Harrier, XUV700 5 seater.

This way on road trips there will be ample luggage space and on the occasion we want to rest in the stationary car, can lie down comfortably. Added advantage would be if front passenger seat backrest can be folded down in continuity with rear seat – that way when driving continuously the second driver may rest wearing seat belt.

Another car I absolutely loved was the old Jazz with the magic seats.

If only Triber had a more powerful engine, I’d prefer that as well.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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