How To Remove The Middle Seat In A Kia Carnival [Step-By-Step Guide]

The Kia Carnival's best selling point is its flexible seating configuration. It allows you to remove 2nd-row seats either for passenger comfort or larger cargo capacity. So how do you remove these seats? Here's what we learned from our research.

You can remove both outboard seats as well as the center seat in the Kia Carnival's 2nd row through similar procedures:

  1. Fold the seat's backrest.
  2. Unlock the seat from its rail on the floor.
  3. Lift and pull out the seat.

The outboard seats have levers and bars to fold the backrest and unlock the seat from the floor rail. The center seat, in turn, uses straps for the same functions.

Now that we've covered the general procedure, you probably want to know the specific process step by step. Read on for detailed steps as well as other convenient features of the Kia Carnival's flexible seating configuration.

Kia Carnival display. Kia Motors is minority owned by the Hyundai Motor Company - How To Remove The Middle Seat In A Kia Carnival [Step-By-Step Guide]

Are Kia Carnival 2nd-Row Seats Removable?

Although the Kia Carnival only made its nameplate debut in the U.S. back in 2021, it broke all the sales records that its predecessor, the Sedona, made in the U.S. minivan segment. Apart from its bigger size and a more potent powerplant, the Carnival also boasted its flexible seating configuration.

KIA Carnival Test Drive Day

Except for the optional VIP Lounge seats of the SX Prestige trim, all 2nd-row seats of the 2021 and newer Carnival are sliding as well as removable.

Carnival owners can remove one, two, or all three 2nd-row seats to maximize cargo space or to have a more comfortable seating arrangement. Moreover, removing even one 2nd-row seat can make the 3rd-row seats more accessible for passengers.

How To Remove Seats From Kia Carnival

Now that we know that the Kia Carnival's 2nd-row seats are removable, let's discuss the steps on how to do so. Before removing these seats, however, make sure that there are no passengers seated in the 3rd-row seats. This will make the process easier and safer.

To remove the outboard seats, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Unfasten the seatbelt and insert the buckle into a designated pocket between the seatback and the cushion.
  2. Adjust the headrest to its lowest position.
  3. Use the designated lever to slide the seat to its most forward position.
  4. Fold the seatback forward using the designated recliner lever.
  5. Locate and pull the seat removal lever at the bottom rear of the seat.
  6. Lift the seat up from its floor rails and out of the vehicle.

Removing the 2nd-row center seat follows a similar procedure. However, instead of levers, the center seat has straps.

How Do You Put The Middle Seat In A Kia Carnival?

Kia Carnival, close-up of the rear seats. Photography of a modern car on a parking in Novosibirsk

Although having fewer seats is more comfortable for your rear passengers, there may come a time when you need to carry more people. In this case, you may want to reinstall one or more seats that you removed previously.

To reinstall the 2nd-row seats, just follow the steps below:

  1. Carry the seat into the vehicle.
  2. Align the two front hooks at the bottom of the seat with the two white strikers on the floor rail.
  3. Insert the hooks into the rail.
  4. Lift the seat's rear bottom cushion and push the seat firmly down until you hear an audible "click." This means that the hooks have locked with the strikers.
  5. Lower the rear part of the seat onto the floor.
  6. Check if the green circular marker on the side of the cushion frame aligns with its designated circular hole. This will ensure that the seat is perfectly aligned.
  7. Slide the seat forward and backward, and also try lifting the front side of the seat to check if the seat is properly locked onto the floor rail.
  8. Use the reclining lever or strap to bring the seatback to the upright position. Wait for an audible "click" to make sure that the seatback locks are in place.
  9. Return the seatbelt buckle to its proper position.

Check out this video below to help you visualize the steps that we have just discussed:

Can You Remove Rear Seats In Kia Carnival?

Aside from the removable 2nd-row seats, you may be wondering if the 3rd-row seats are also removable.

The 2022 Kia Carnival's 60/40 split 3rd-row seats are not removable. However, they have a fold and stow function.  This configuration allows you to maximize your Carnival's cargo space behind the 2nd row as the stowed rearmost seats are almost completely flush with the floor.

Kia Carnival display. Kia Motors is minority owned by the Hyundai Motor Company.

Here are the steps to fold and stow the Carnival's 3rd-row seats:

  1. Go to the rear of the vehicle and open the tailgate.
  2. Make sure that the seatbacks are in the upright position by pulling on the strap labeled "2" at the rear of the seatbacks.
  3. Adjust the headrests to their lowest position.
  4. Pull on either one of the two stowing levers (labeled "1") located at the rear center of the 60/40 seatbacks.
  5. Gently support the seat while pulling it back and down into the recessed cargo area on the floor.
  6. Once the seat is stowed, gently but firmly push the seat down.
  7. Unfold the flaps near the top of the seatbacks to cover the exposed seat hinges on the floor.

How To Pull Up The Carnival's 3rd-Row Seats

Kia Carnival, close-up of the rear seats. Photography of a modern car on a parking in Novosibirsk

To return the 3rd-row seats to their usable position, just do the steps in reverse:

  1. Fold the flaps near the top of the seatbacks.
  2. Pull up on the stowing lever and bring up the seat from the recessed cargo area.
  3. Once the seat is up, release the lever and push the seat forward.
  4. Make sure to push forward firmly until the seat clicks into place. This sound comes from the seat legs' front hooks locking into the floor anchors.
  5. Try to move the seat forward and backward to check if the seat has indeed locked properly. You may also try to lift the front part of the seat up.
  6. Pull on the strap labeled "2" to pull the seatbacks into the upright position. Release the strap and let the seatback lock into place.

View the video below on how to fold and stow the Kia Carnival's 3rd-row seats:

Kia Carnival VIP Lounge Seats

The Kia Carnival's SX Prestige trim offers an option for the VIP Lounge seats for the 2nd row. These seats cannot be readily removed from the vehicle—and for good reason. These VIP seats come with a host of electronic comfort features listed below:

  • Forward and backward slide adjustment
  • Right and left sideward slide adjustment
  • One-touch power reclining
  • Power leg rests
  • Seat heating and ventilation

Check out this short promotional video about the Kia Carnival's 2nd-row VIP Lounge seating:

How Much Luggage Can You Fit In A Kia Carnival?

In terms of cargo capacity, the Kia Carnival is a segment leader. The Korean brand's MPV provides more luggage space than its strongest competitors, including the Toyota Sienna, the Honda Odyssey, and the Chrysler Pacifica.

We've compiled the cargo capacities of each MPV below.

Kia Carnival Cargo Capacity

  • Behind 3rd row - 40.2 cubic feet
  • 3rd row stowed/folded - 86.9 cubic feet
  • 2nd row folded/removed - 145.1 cubic feet

Toyota Sienna Cargo Capacity

  • Behind 3rd row - 33.5 cubic feet
  • 3rd row stowed/folded - 72.5 cubic feet
  • 2nd row folded/removed - 101 cubic feet

Honda Odyssey Cargo Capacity

  • Behind 3rd row - between 32.8 and 38.6 cubic feet (depending on the trim)
  • 3rd row stowed/folded - between 86.6 and 92.3 cubic feet
  • 2nd row folded/removed - between 140.7 and 158 cubic feet

Chrysler Pacifica Cargo Capacity

  • Behind 3rd row - 32.3 cubic feet
  • 3rd row stowed/folded - 87.5 cubic feet
  • 2nd row folded/removed - 140.5 cubic feet

Can You Turn Kia Carnival Seats Around?

By default, the Kia Carnival's 2nd-row seats are all reversible. This means that these seats can be mounted so that they face towards the 3rd-row seats and the rear of the vehicle.

The rear-facing 2nd-row seat can be a great configuration for passengers who want to have a conference at the back of the vehicle. Unfortunately, Kia disabled this reversible function for the U.S. market. As of this article's writing, the feature is only available in other markets such as Australia.

Check out Kia's promotional video below about the rear-facing 2nd-row configuration:

It's possible to do a minor modification to the American-spec Carnival to enable the rear-facing 2nd-row seat feature. Check out the next video on how to do this modification yourself. However, please note that we do not recommend any action that may void your warranty.

Can The Kia Carnival Seat 11 People?

Because of the Carnival's overall length and interior capacity, Kia designers squeezed in the 4th row of seats for some markets. This MPV variant is called the Kia Grand Carnival, and it is available in some Asian countries and a few other markets outside North America.

How Much Is A Brand New 2022 Kia Carnival?

If you came across this article as part of your pre-purchase research, we'll help you take one small step further in your online car window shopping. Here are the starting prices of the different trims of the 2022 Kia Carnival in the U.S.:

  • LX - $ 32,900
  • LX Seat Package - $ 34,900
  • EX - $ 38,400
  • SX - $ 41,600
  • SX Prestige - $ 46,000

Wrapping Up

Kia Carnival display. Kia Motors is minority owned by the Hyundai Motor Company

Any of the Kia Carnival's 2nd-row seats can be removed by folding the seatbacks flat and using the seat removal lever or strap at the bottom rear of the seat. Reinstalling a seat is also straightforward, but the seat should align and lock properly with the floor rail's mechanism.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you figure out the convenient features of the Kia Carnival's flexible 2nd-row seat configuration.

To learn more about vehicle cabin space, check out these other great articles:

Does Toyota Highlander Have 3rd Row Seating [And How Many Seats]?

Does Subaru Forester Have Heated Seats?

How To Watch Netflix In A Chevy Tahoe

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