This from the NY Times:
Relatively few of today's passenger cars can carry six adults, since most now have two individual front seats instead of the wide benches that used to accommodate three people.
The change is part of the Euro-ization of the American automobile. Bucket seats came to be seen as more sporty, youthful and comfortable, and they left space for a console — usually with a sporty floor shifter — in between.
Bench seats have not completely gone away, since they are still favored by those who often carry several passengers. And many older drivers simply prefer the bench arrangement they've grown accustomed to over several decades.
Most pickup trucks continue to come with bench seats, at least in some versions, but the ranks of bench-seat cars continue to thin. Last year, Toyota dropped the bench-seat option for its redesigned Avalon; the company says that only 9 percent of buyers were choosing the bench.
Here are cars and S.U.V.'s that still offer front bench seats, at least on some versions:Buick LaCrosse, Buick Lucerne ,Cadillac DTS, Chevrolet Impala , Chevrolet Suburban , Chevrolet Tahoe , Ford Crown Victoria , Ford Expedition , GMC Yukon , Lincoln Town Car , Mercury Grand Marquis
Hey, why not get the bench seat? It lets you snog up to the driver AND squeeze more people in. How's that for efficiency?