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Kia Carnival Space And Seating Review: 7, 8, 9-Seater Explained In Pics

Modified On Jan 24, 2020 04:55 PM By Nabeel for Kia Carnival

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The Kia Carnival comes in 3 variants and 4 seating configurations. If you are wondering which one is right for you, here's all the information you need to pick the right one

Kia Carnival

The Carnival truly deserves to be the Kia flagship in the country. After the success of the Seltos, it now raises the bar of expectations from the brand. We recently drove the top Limousine variant which comes exclusively in the 7-seater VIP configuration. You can check out our detailed first drive review of the MPV here or watch the video review below. What we will tell you in this article is exactly how the seating configurations differ, and, also, what they’re like to use, individually. Lets have a close look at them one by one.


Seating layout available

Premium (base)

7 / 8-Seater

Prestige (mid)

7 / 9-Seater

Limousine (top)

7-Seater VIP

Basic 7-Seater 

Variants: Premium (base) and Prestige (mid)

Available in the bottom two variants, this 7-seater configuration comes with a 2+2+3 arrangement. The middle two passengers get comfortable captain seats and the last row passengers get a bench. The captain seats on offer will have fabric upholstery in the base variant and artificial leather upholstery in the mid variant. 

The captain seats are well cushioned and comfortable. While they are narrower than the ones on the top Limousine variant, these are still wide enough to accommodate most frames. They can slide to open more legroom and even recline to become more comfortable. You get armrests and adjustable headrests as well. These seats are even at a good height from the floor and hence there is ample underthigh support too.

To get in the last row, Kia has engineered a very innovative solution. The middle row seats don't fold or tumble. Rather, they stand up and move forward. This happens with just a pull of a lever on the side of the seats. It opens up a lot of room for the passengers to get in, making for an easy ingress and egress. 

This third row is possibly the most comfortable third row we have ever sat in! It's not too low - which means while you do sit knees up, the underthigh support is not absent. It's cushioned well and you can recline it for more comfort. All rear seat passengers get adjustable headrests and three-point seatbelts. And again, it absolutely beats all other MPVs in India in terms of cabin width. Three passengers (yes, adults), can get comfortable here. You even get cup holders on both sides, your own set of AC vents -- and if you choose the mid Prestige variant, a 12V socket. 

The boot in the 7-seater configuration is plenty big and deep, and is rated at 540 litres (Innova gets 300 litres behind the 3rd row). It can easily swallow medium-sized bags and aircraft handbag suitcases. The third row can fold down with a 60:40 split, opening more room. The party trick, however, is the seats folding back into the boot, creating a flat floor, which opens up about 1624 litres of space! Plenty for vacations or even business use (you could fit a washing machine here!). 


Variant: Premium (base)

In this configuration, you have a 2+3+3 arrangement. The middle row comprises two captain seats without their armrests. The space between them is filled by a small seat which can be removed if required (without any tools). This arrangement creates a comfortable bench to seat three, especially considering the Carnival’s width. If you are seating just two here, the middle seat folds to become a large armrest with cupholders. Leg, knee and headroom are ample for all heights. The third row and the boot are exactly the same as the 7-seater. The seats fold up easily for ingress - just like the 7-seater. 


Variant: Prestige (mid)

This is the variant that most potential customers in the commercial space have their eyes glued on. It gets a 2+2+2+3 seating arrangement. The second and third row get captain seats. These are not the same seats as seen in the ones above. They are smaller - both narrower and with a shorter seat base. They are planted closer to the ground as well, which compromises on underthigh support. This reduces the comfort offered as compared to the other configurations. However, standalone, they still offer a decent amount of support. The seats are dressed in faux leather and do feel premium. They can slide to open up more room for the passengers as well.

There is enough space between the left and the right seats to walk in between. This makes getting into various rows easy. The most important part however is the last row. I am 5’6” tall, and if I slide the second row for just enough knee room, and do the same for the third row as well, I can just about fit in the last row. But this means knee and leg room is compromised for all the passengers. Luckily, all the seat rows allow you to tuck your feet underneath the seats ahead, so you are not cramped. But even if one of the passengers is a 6-footer, you won't be able to seat 4 passengers (adults) one behind the other. Also, the last row passenger is too close to the rear windscreen, and cannot recline the backrest at all. And to call this a true 9-seater, you will have to seat 3 at the last row, which is going to be extremely tight. In fact, we can call this a 9-seater only if that includes at least 2 children, or short adults.  

There is another problem with this 4-row seating. The last row leaves absolutely no room for luggage. However, if you fold the last row, it opens up a flat boot floor and becomes a near perfect 6-seat transporter.

7-Seater VIP

Variant: Limousine (top)

If you are looking for a personal car, this is where your heart and eyes should be. Offered in a 7-seater layout, the Limousine is the flagship variant of the Kia Carnival. The captain seats in the middle row are massive and super comfortable. The headrest, contouring and the armrest are all tasked with putting you to sleep. The cushioning is a little firm and the seats are dressed in Nappa Leather. These seats can slide front and back to open more legroom, as well as side to side for better ingress for the rear passengers. The coolest trick however is the legrest which unfolds from the seat base to make the seat ultra comfortable. The only limitation is that even with the seats pushed all the way back, you can't fully stretch your legs as they hit the front seats. Nevertheless, they are still the best second on offer at this price. The third row and boot experience is the same as the 8-seater.

To know more about the features, drive and ride quality of the Carnival, read our first drive review. You can also watch it here.

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