Is the Kia Carnival Seat Package Worth It?

The Kia Carnival Seat Package offers an extra seat, plus more flexibility and comfort in the seating options available.
Written by James Ellaby
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
For around $2,000 above starting price, the Kia Carnival Seat package helps turn this stylish minivan into an even bigger stylish minivan as well as adding extra levels of comfort and sophistication.
  • The Kia Carnival’s Seat Package takes this vehicle from seven seats to eight.
  • It also converts the middle seat in the second row to a free-mode seat, so you can slide, fold, or remove it.
  • The package also comes with features like a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

What is the Kia Carnival Seat package?

The Kia Carnival Seat package is an optional package available on the Kia Carnival LX model, with the main appeal being that it takes the total number of seats available up from seven to eight, making it ideal for larger families.
But there’s more to it than just one extra seat—that would be an underwhelming package. It also features a second-row center free mode seat to offer more flexibility, letting you slide, fold and even remove it to free up more cabin space.

What’s included

Here are the main attractions of the Kia Carnival Seat package:
  • Extra seat for 8 passengers
  • Free mode second-row seat
  • Heated front seats
  • SynTex seating
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel and Gearshift Knob

What it does

Of course, the main thing this package does is add the extra seat, so if seven seats aren’t enough for your needs, the Seat package would be essential to make this minivan the right fit for you.
The free mode seat is also useful for the flexibility it brings, especially if the eighth seat isn’t going to be used all of the time and you want to have more options for layouts. It can be folded to act as a center table or removed altogether.
The Seat package also offers upgrades to the seats from the standard LX options. This includes SynTex seating, which is both more durable and comfortable, offering the luxurious feel of leather while being much easier to maintain and keep clean.
The leather-wrapped seating wheel and gear shift knob add a bit more of a touch of luxury. And in the winter months, these seats can be even more comfortable with the help of heated front seats.

How much is a Kia Carnival Seat package?

The starting MSRP for the Kia Carnival Seat package is $35,100, which is $2,000 more than the standard LX price. It’s certainly not the most expensive package you can get for the Carnival—that’s the SX Prestige, which offers dual sunroofs, leather seat trim, Bose Premium Audio System, and more for $46,200 and up.
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Is the Seat package worth it?

If you need a minivan that fits eight people on a regular basis and have your heart set on the Kia Carnival, then the Seat package will certainly be worth the extra $2,000. It’s a relatively small price to pay for more high-end seating with heated front seats, as well as the flexibility that the package brings.
If you don’t need the extra seat, you may find that the added benefits aren’t quite worth the extra money.

Seat package vs. EX

If you have a bit more money to play with and want to upgrade your Kia Carnival beyond the Seat package, you could choose to spend $38,600 for the EX trim. For an extra $3,500, you’ll have the option of adding the features from the Seat package, along with:
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen display
  • In-cabin camera and intercom
  • Smart power tailgate
  • Tri-zone auto climate control
  • Wireless phone charger and wifi hotspot
  • Auto emergency braking
  • Smart cruise control

Seat package vs. SX

If you want to go even higher up the scale of upgrades, the Carnival SX is available from $41,800 and adds the following features to the EX:
  • Roof rails
  • Surround-view and blind-spot monitors
  • 12.3-inch dual panoramic displays
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Memory driver’s seat
  • Power front passenger seat
  • Rear seat entertainment package
This trim offers next-level upgrades for the seats as well as safety features like rear parking collision avoidance assist. The SX Prestige version brings in dual sunroofs, LED lights, leather seat trim, and more for $46,200.

The bottom line

The Seat package is only essential for Kia Carnival drivers who have the absolute need for the extra seat. Otherwise it offers ‘nice to have’ features that don’t necessarily add up to the extra $2,000. But if you do need eight people in your Carnival and want to also benefit from some extra bells and whistles, it is certainly a cheaper option than the other available trims.
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