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Bench seat vs bucket seats

20156 Views 47 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  shadyskins
Hello, I just got back from looking at the 2007 Tundra today. I am planning on trading or selling my 2005 Tacoma and buying the Tundra. I have a couple of questions regarding the seats on the new Tundra.

I seem to like the bench much better than the bucket, as I don't see the 2 as being that different in the actual seat.. The seats on the bench are still disconnected from eachother, so I don't see how they are even called a bench.. The seats themselves are almost identical from what I can tell to those on the 'bucket' model.

A few things I like about the bench model over the bucket are:

1. Steering column shifter - Why have the shifter taking up room in the middle of the truck where someone could be sitting or you could set something if absolutely necessary... shifter on the steering column is terrific, especially since youre hands are on the steering wheel most of the time anyways.

2. Better use of space - why do I want a huge peice of plastic going from the center console to the dash like with the bucket seat model? why not have an extra seat there with a fold down center console? what does the console really offer besides a deeper spot to put more junk or papers?

3. The fold down center console is plenty big for me - has 2 cup holders on it and is great... who really needs the giant ice cooler center console on teh bucket model? or all the plastic that comes with it to make the giant plastic island in the center of the truck?

So with my opinion stated.. can anyone tell me why someone would prefer the bucket model? In general I feel like the bucket model just wastes alot of space in the truck, and if someone needs filing cabinet why not just carry a briefcase in exchange for having an extra seat in the middle, a center console that folds up so you can lay across should you ever need to, and an easier to access and more tucked away gear shifting handle.

I ended up ordering a 4x4 5.7l long bed double cab with bench, because none of the 5 dealerships around me had that exact combo... some were close, but were short beds and I refuse to own a shortbed.

Thanks for any tips/reccomendation/thoughts.
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I agree with you on the bench seat configuration. That is what I'm gonna go with as well.
I know what you're saying. I have an '01 with a bench because like you said, why not have the room to seat a 3rd person in front if needed. But I've never used it! And I had previously told myself I wouldn't get a bench again.

The big thing I don't like is the cupholders in mine don't have anything to keep the cups from rattling, like the little rubber inserts that a center console usually has. Not only does the flip down console shake because it's mounted to the seat, but the cups also shake within the cupholder.
Storage space not a big concern with me, I don't like stuff rattling around and the more space to hold stuff, the more crap gets thrown in to rattle.

I thought maybe a DC would be right for me. I need room for my 3 kids in the back and figured a CrewCab would be best but maybe a DC would work. Went to look at them, and sat in one with a bucket seat configuration. I actually like the floor shifter. But in the back, the center seat is basically UNUSEABLE! The center console comes so far back, there is NO foot room. And the center console is so wide, you have to practically spread eagle to staddle that console when your sitting in the back center position. I really don't know what Toyota was thinking on that one. :confused:

So it seems the only option if you need to realistically seat 3 in the back, is: A DC with Bench seat or a CrewCab.

P.S. If I got a bucket configuration, it would mainly be to stick a JL Stealth box(when/if they come out) in that center console. I should fit a 12" sub no problem. ;)
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I like the bench seat, also, but I can count the number of times I have used that seat on one hand. Probably once a year. The thing I don't like about the 07 Tundra bench is how high the cup holder is. I don't know about you but my coffee spills out of the cup holder in my Ram on a regular basis even going over a speed bump and its at knee level. I wouldn't want to go over a speed bump and have the coffee splash onto the sides and then run into my lap. If I were going to go for the bench, I would take a coffe cup with water in it and see how the cup holder behaved taking turns and driving over speed bumps at the local supermarket.

I think it might be useful if it were a real bench but, at least in my Ram, it's actually a 1/3 seat and is 2 inches higher than the other seats which makes for a God-awful way to take a nap at a rest stop.

I also felt there was a lot of wasted space under the console and it turns out that there is a fairly large compartment in there which is hidden until you remove some kind of plastic piece. I call it the TCC (Tundra Contraband Compartment) which probably could be used to hold weapons, cash, a flashlight, etc.
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I can't imagine every using the center seat either.. but I also couldnt imagine a scenario where I'd rather have a plastic file folder than something that folds up.. heck what if I park tight and my gf needs to slide out my side.. just lift up the middle.. of say I get a dog and it wants to hang out the window and my GF wants to sit next to me... I just couldnt think of any reasons in my case where the bucket seats really had any advantage..

Thanks for the pointers on the coffee cup spillage.. I'll have to check that out.
I'm with you all the way on the bench seat decision, brother. I've owned buckets and benches in pickups in the past and feel strongly enough about it I would turn down a truck that was perfect in every way except that it had bucket seats. If folks want to pay extra money to get boxed in and loose the extra space then let 'em go for it. The center console on the '07 Tundra bench seat has more space than the console in my '05 Silverado 2500HD had with buckets, not even including Toyota's secret compartment mentioned in earlier post. The cupholders on the fold-down seatback console are standard but the dash-mounted slide out tray (huge with bench seats) has two more with a rubber anti-rattle insert that chocks your cup nicely and can be removed when necessary.

Then again I don't like rear sliding windows like most folks do. After looking at trucks on the lot I don't think Toyota has even ordered a batch of solid rear windows for any of their '07 DCab Tundras. I'll give Toyota it's extra profit scheme on this one because unlike the bucket seats and center shifter, I could live with a slider window.
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I feel a little more grounded knowing that there are others that feel strongly about it.. because for me it was a major sticking point and the reason I ended up ordering a Tundra from scratch or however they end up making with the options the person chooses.. I've got to wait a few months, but I'm excited and the time leading up is gong to be fun.

Has anyone else noticed that the individual captain type seats themselves are slightly different between bucket and the 40/20/40? If you go to and build a Tundra - on the interior screen you can choose your perspective that you want to view the truck from, if you choose top view and flip between them you can see the difference in shape between the 2 seats.. I didn't see this difference when I was looking at them in person but I didn't examine them too closely.

One other thing that I didnt like much was all the plastic.. some peices look like they were slapped together at the last minute and are really square vs some of the rounder peices... also, the fuel guage is like inside of a tunnel and was actually obstructed from my view by the steering wheel.
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I personally wanted buckets. I dont need the extra seat quite simply. The truck is going to be sporty, and I feel the buckets give it a more carish interior feel, and I like the shifter being in the center as opposed to on the column. I also prefer the cup holder placement on the center console. Cant really go wrong, its all just what each person prefers. Ive had benches in the past, and buckets, and just prefer the buckets.
I went through the same "bench vs buckets" struggle that you did. I have a Ram Supercab with the bench and have used it often when both my kids wanted to ride up front with me. But now with my daughter getting ready to go off to college I wondered if I might enjoy the buckets or just save the money and stick with the standard bench.

I ended up ordering the buckets for a couple of reasons. As a UPS driver I have come to depend on our rear vision camera /monitors for backing up. As their safety coordinator I can tell you the decision to install those cut our backing related accidents tremendously. Since I was ordering the long bed I considered the back up camera a must. You cannot get the back up camera without ordering the bucket seats.

Secondly, I was thinking of resale value. I think the buckets with the console shift give the Tundra a sportier, maybe even more luxurious look.

Obviously, each person needs to consider their individual needs and decide.

Hope this helps.
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I ordered a Double Cab Tundra with a bench seat on March 6. My arm isn't long enough to reach my wife if I have bucket seats. ;)
I find bucket seats to be much more comfortable than a bench will ever be. Heated seats almost a limitless amount of seating positions and look.
Depends on your situation. i love the bucket seats, I think they are more comfortable and keep you planted while driving. I love the storage. I love the shifter under my right hand for downshifting/upshifting brings the 5.7 to life. Also I seldom have 4 people in my truck. If you plan on having 5 or more go with the bench. I do agree with the "what was toyota thinking?" with the console killing the back middle seat.
Since I was ordering the long bed I considered the back up camera a must. You cannot get the back up camera without ordering the bucket seats.
Au contraire. Depending on what region your dealer is in this is very doable.

If you are in a more western region (wonderful wide-open country controlled by God and the "real" Toyota) they use the "letter" code vehicle options. So you could get whatever package you want (such as G with bench seats). Then you merely add accessory option 5J (backup camera) and bada bing, you have it.

If you are in the independent distributor region controlled by "the family" such as South East States or Gulf States Region then you are in a whole world of hurt altogether. To see what I mean go to the site and build your truck with two different zip codes. Why not use 88005 for one and 79901 for the other (first is NM and second is in TX and they are 40 miles distance apart but separated by an "iron curtain" and can't talk to each other). You will see that the 88005 gives you all the real good stuff as Toyota intended and things are fairly logical without a lot of fluff. You will see that 79901 gives you something that looks like a completely different web site with completely different vehicle options. That's because 79901 is in a region that Toyota lets an independent syndicate control -- many of the options offered are aftermarket and presented as factory (like the rear-seat DVD system and "extra mile" wheels and unfamiliar security systems). This same 79901 zip code build will force you think you have to buy the NAV radio and pinstripes in order to get a backup camera, all the while not without mentioning the 5J camera accessory option as offered by Toyota. The more I visit the build site and compare regions the more ridiculous the whole thing seems.

If you are in one of these iron-curtain Toyota regions and your salesman told you that you couldn't get backup camera without bucket seats he's probably working within the constraints of what his distributor will allow him to do and not necessarily within what Toyota's offerings truly are. To allow you all things possilbe would get him a set of concrete sneakers and a nice place at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico with the fishies.

Here's what you can do in this case. You add the backup camera to your vehicle yourself ($270 complete kit from It includes a whole new tailgate handle mechanism and bezel. If you have Nav you are good to go. If you don't have Nav you also need to add the rearview monitor that snaps into the overhead console in place of the sunglasses holder behind the rearview mirror ($301.50). If you can turn a screwdriver (righty tighty, lefty loosey) it will take you about an hour of time and two beers. I know this works on an SR-5 and I don't know if DX models are pre-wired for everything like the SR-5.

Here is how you add your backup camera kit to your Tundra:

Remove the tailgate access cover (#30 Torx if I remember right). Locate the push/pull rods leading from the handle mechanism to the tailgate side latches. Remove the plastic rod end clips from the rods and the rods from the handle mechanism. Remove the two screws holding the tailgate handle assembly to the tailgate. Repeat these steps in reverse replacing the original tailgate handle mechanism/bezel with the new complete assembly included in the kit. Route the new camera wire loom through the tailgate and out a grommet in the bottom of the tailgate, then through a kit-included plastic wire loom tiedown and another grommet in the bottom of the bed just to the right and above the hole for the spare tire drop-down mechanism. Then plug the camera's wire loom into the factory-ready connector located behind the spare tire, replace the tailgate access cover and you're good to go. Future tailgate removal requires the disconnection of the connector and one grommet and you're back to standard procedure. As previously mentioned, if you have the factory JBL NAV radio up front you're done.

If you don't have the factory Nav radio to display the rearview output upon, then you will have the next step of installing the rearview monitor in the overhead console. This is fairly straightforward and entails removal of the sunglasses door in the console immediately behind the rearview mirror. Then the rearview monitor wire connector is plugged into the Toyota factory plug inside the console and the new monitor with color-matched bezel is snapped into place where the sunglass holder was.

I won't let any dealer or distributor tell me what "available" options I can or can't have and neither should you. As a further example I installed OEM fog lights even though two dealers and a Toyota parts supplier told me it was impossible and a safety issue from Toyota's standpoint. More likely they want to make the maximum profit off the installation of such items and use "safety" as an excuse to leave those two black holes in your bumper to remind the world you were too pinche to play their game and should have paid them for a package of other crap just to get them.

Aye caramba! What was this thread about again? Asientos, right?
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You are right about the regional variations in options availability. I had no problem with ordering the bucket seats, so it didn't bother me that they linked the back up camera to them. By the way, in the mid-Atlantic region you can only get the back up camera / monitor as a dealer installed accessory.

My real frustration came when they told me I can't have tow mirrors in this part of the country. Get this! I have ordered their SR5 5.7L 6AT with the long bed. The tow package is standard on that model. This baby is designed as the ultimate tow vehicle. But, since I also ordered the JBL sound system without the NAV (the EJ option) I can't have tow mirrors. I have gone all the way to Toyota corporate on this one and they just won't allow it.

Sometimes logic and common sense have nothing to do with business.
Hey get this guys!

jliltd, helped me find the exact truck I wanted - because he had ordered it's twin from the same dealership.. but, I can't get it! WHY?

Apparently, if I buy the truck from a dealer in New Mexico, I won't be able to register it in California! The sales manager at the dealership in Mexico has family in California and he sold them a Toyota which they had to return - because they couldnt register it in California... anyone know of any legal loopholes?

EDIT: OK i've found more information.. This is from the DMV for California on registration..

Before Buying a Vehicle From Out of State—Be Sure You Can Register It in California (FFVR 29)
It says that the new car must be 50 state emission approved... the Tundra is 50 state approved right? I think this dealership may be confused...
Hey get this guys!

jliltd, helped me find the exact truck I wanted - because he had ordered it's twin from the same dealership.. but, I can't get it! WHY?

Apparently, if I buy the truck from a dealer in New Mexico, I won't be able to register it in California! The sales manager at the dealership in Mexico has family in California and he sold them a Toyota which they had to return - because they couldnt register it in California... anyone know of any legal loopholes?

EDIT: OK i've found more information.. This is from the DMV for California on registration..

Before Buying a Vehicle From Out of State—Be Sure You Can Register It in California (FFVR 29)
It says that the new car must be 50 state emission approved... the Tundra is 50 state approved right? I think this dealership may be confused...
is it an emissions thing? I would have thought that if you pay the state sales tax all would be well?
I wouldn't own a truck with the buckets. I like a truck so I can stretch out in it, I don't want to be all cramped up with a console filling up my foot room. Also, floor shifters belong in ford escorts, not trucks. Give me the bench any day, it ain't a truck if it's got those stupid bucket seats.
I beg to differ. In today's world you can have it all. That means a truck with the luxury buckets. As a couple of people have stated that already have their 07's the truck rides and feels like a Lexus. To me the buckets are more comfortable and give the truck a much more sporty look as does the shifter in the middle. You have to remember many of the people driving these things today are not true "truckers". They are people using them as people haulers for their daily commute and using the true truck qualities only occasionally. Hats off to Toyota for giving people the choice between the buckets and the bench, that way to each his own.:tu:

What's the difference between the bench and bucket seats as far as their dimensions and or comfort level? What I saw and noticed was that they were more similiar than different..
Just my 2 cents worth... I Truly hated the "Captains Chairs" in the 1st Gen Tundras and did not buy an 06' DC because none of the dealers had the DC with a bench seat. My 07' DC was ordered with the bucket seats. I wanted the huge console and sport shifter. I also have an 05' Avalon Touring and the sport shifter is a life saver in traffic to keep your foot off the brakes all the time. I am a coffeeholic and having two big wells for java mugs is a major plus for me. The big console has a 12v power port so I can charge ipod or cell phone out of sight. It also is big enough to hide stuff when I park at work. The power drivers seat is really nice. You can tweak the seat to exactly what is comfortable at the moment. The console lid slides, just like the Avalon, so you can adjust the rest for your right arm. I agree with the others that the bucket seats will enhance the resale of the truck. You will love the 07' Tundra no matter the seat configuration. Good luck and enjoy!
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