Semi-active magnetorheological energy absorbers (MREAs) are one type of the most promising actuator for both the vibration and shock control. This paper investigates the frontal crash mitigation performance of semi-active MR impact seat suspensions for ground vehicles. The characteristics of two MREAs, a conventional MREA and an MREA with an internal bypass, with an identical volume, are theoretically evaluated and compared. To explore the control effectiveness of MREAs in the shock control systems, the mechanical model of a 4-degree-of-freedom (4DOF) sliding seat suspension system with MREAs is constructed. An optimal Bingham number control, which is to minimize the crash pulse loads transmitted to occupants by utilizing maximum stroke of the MREAs based on initial velocity of crash pulse, mass, and damping, is proposed and developed to improve the crash mitigation performance of the 4DOF MR sliding seat suspension control systems. The simulated control performances of the mitigation systems based on the MREAs with different functional structures are evaluated, compared, and analyzed. The research results indicate that (1) the constant stroking load velocity range of the MREAs is of significance to evaluate the controllability of the MREAs (i.e., the effectiveness of the semi-active shock control systems), and (2) suboptimal Bingham number control cannot realize “soft landing” (i.e., either an end-stop impact or incomplete utilization of the MREA stroke happens).