When purchasing something designed to be used in the long run, such as a BMW, you want to be aware of all the features it has – and possibly doesn’t have. As the driver of your car, you likely don’t spend very much time in the backseat of your car. You don’t want to find yourself in the backseat of your car one day with cargo that won’t fit in your trunk, desperately trying to fold the seats down.
Many BMW vehicles have backseats that can fold down, providing additional cargo space where backseat passengers would typically sit. Cars with this feature usually have a split ratio in which the seats can be folded down, allowing for more customizability. This can allow you to extend your cargo space while leaving room for up to two passengers in the rear.
Vehicles with the ability to fold down the rear seats offer many great benefits by allowing drivers to extend their cargo space in hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs. In this article, we’ll look at this valuable feature, why many modern cars don’t have this feature, and how to ensure your next BMW does.
Maximizing Your Car’s Cargo Space
When you consider the diverse range of vehicles found on the road today – and the many features they’re equipped with – it’s clear that the automotive industry has made strides in its innovation. These many innovations – which were made for the comfort and convenience of the drivers – can be traced back through the history of vehicles.
Take early cars designed for touring, for example. These vehicles were equipped with auxiliary seats, which could provide the drivers of these vehicles with additional passenger seating. Also known as rumble seating, these seats could be folded open to provide additional passenger seating.
Today, many cars still utilize technology that resembles that seen in cars from the 1920s. For example, many larger SUV vehicles offer a hidden third row of seats which are located in the trunk of these vehicles, which can be folded out to provide additional seating. The BMW X5 is one example of a vehicle that is available with a third seating row that can be folded up to provide additional seating or folded down to maximize cargo space.
Most cars, however, do not have the special capacity to support this hidden third row of passenger seating due to limited space in the trunk. For that reason, many cars utilize what can be considered the reverse of the technology discussed above, namely rear passenger seats that can be folded down to provide more cargo space.
Unlike the BMW X5 mentioned above, not all cars have the space for hidden seats that can be folded up for additional seating. Instead, many hatchbacks, sedans, and more compact SUV vehicles are able to provide drivers with extra utility by extending the cargo space when the rear seats are folded inwards.
You are likely familiar with fold-down rear seating in cars, as these seats have many benefits – which you’ll know about if you’ve ever needed to transport something that just simply did not fit into the trunk of your car. What you might be surprised to learn is that this is not a standard feature in most vehicles.
Why Not All BMW Seats Fold Down
With the technology dating back as far as it does, many drivers are under the impression that fold-down backseats are a standard feature in hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs with limited trunk space. After all, these seats and the additional space they reveal when folded down can help truly maximize your ability to transport cargo that doesn’t fit in your trunk.
However, as mentioned earlier in this article, rear seats that fold down are no longer considered a standard feature in vehicles today. The reason for this comes down to the way that the technology featured in cars has evolved, even where your vehicle’s passenger seats are concerned.
In fact, what might surprise you more than many cars not having fold-down seats is that, typically, the more you spend on your car, the less likely you are to have this feature. Therefore, contrary to what consumers have been led to believe, this is not an additional feature you can pay for. In actuality, you might need to pay less for it. Let us explain why!
Technology costs money and, most cars today have plenty of it. For example, many BMWs are fitted with a Rear Seat Entertainment System or two. These cars feature digital displays that can be used to control the entertainment system by passengers in the backseat. Depending on the car, some even offer game console support.
While game console support is perfect for parents on a long road trip with bored kids, it can sometimes mean sacrificing other features that could come in handy down the line. With the technology and luxury amenities that are built into the backseats of cars today, many cars with these features don’t feature seats that can fold down.
At the end of the day, however, there’s no golden rule for which cars are fitted with fold-down seats and which are not. So, how will you know which BMW seats fold down? After all, vehicles are designed for long-term use, so this is an important consideration to make when purchasing your new BMW.
Finding a BMW with Fold-Down Seats
As we mentioned above, whether or not a car has fold-down rear seats comes down to the build of the car and the different features utilized therein. This will ultimately determine whether or not the vehicle has the ability to maximize trunk space with fold-down seats – but how do you determine which BMWs have this highly useful feature?
Luckily, in the age of technology, you can find the answers you seek at the tip of your fingers! By using a website like What Car?, you’ll be able to find helpful reviews about almost any car – including whether or not the car has the ability for the rear seats to fold down.
Websites like this give you the ability to get a complete overview of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. When visiting a dealer or going for a test drive, there are many important considerations that may slip your mind.
After all, you’ll likely never spend much time in the rear passenger seats of your car, so you might forget to check whether or not they fold down. You don’t want to find out your car’s backseat doesn’t fold down when you’ve just bought a bulky piece of furniture from Ikea that’s not going to fit into your trunk no matter how hard you try.
For example, if you were to look at reviews of the BMW 3 series, you’d learn that all models from this series come standard with split fold-down seats. In addition to this, the review mentions that the seats fold down in a 40:20:40 ratio, which is helpful information to have about your back seats.
Many cars have a standard 60:40 split fold-down ratio. This ratio applies to the seats in the back of a car. For the 60:40 ratio, this means that one seat can be folded down, or two seats, or all three seats. This allows you to still seat one person or two people in the rear passenger seats, depending on your configuration, while expanding your cargo space.
This ratio, therefore, can give you more insight into the functionality of a car’s fold-down seats (if they can fold down). The BMW 3 Series 40:20:40 split ratio reveals that you can fold each of the rear seats down individually. This means you have even more customization options than the typical 60:40 split ratio.
By searching reviews of potential cars that you are interested in purchasing, you can find out whether or not the vehicle’s rear seats can fold down and in what ratio they fold down. This will better allow you to plan for the future, especially when you’re making a long-term commitment by purchasing a BMW.
Life is unpredictable, and, at some point, you’ll likely find yourself with a piece of furniture or luggage that simply won’t fit into the trunk of your car. In these instances, having a BMW with rear seats that can be folded down to extend and maximize your vehicle’s cargo space is highly advantageous.
However, not all modern cars have rear seats that can be folded down due to the increased focus on backseat amenities and technology. Therefore, when looking for your next BMW, you want to ensure your car has the features you need in the long run – like seats that can fold down.