Physically, the Carens isn’t the biggest of seven-seat MPVs, and that can be felt inside the cabin. If you’re only using the first two rows, it’s excellent. The middle row of seats has lots of head- and leg-room, and because the three seats are individual chairs that can be slid and reclined independently of one another, five people will travel really comfortably. The perfectly flat rear footwell helps on that score, too, and you still have a large (if not brilliantly shaped) boot to put everyone’s stuff in.
However, pull those two extra seats up out of the boot floor, and your cargo space reduces to a degree where only a couple of lightly stuffed grocery bags will fit. Getting in and out of these chairs can be tricky, too, due to the small aperture you need to climb through, but more of a problem is the restricted space around the seats once you’re in. Head-room is too tight for anyone even approaching adulthood, and even though the middle chairs can be slid forward to give more leg-room to those in the rearmost seats, there isn’t enough space to go around and everyone is left feeling rather uncomfortable. In short, the third-row seats only have enough room for children, and only on rare occasions. With that in mind, it’s also worth noting the rearmost chairs don’t have Isofix child seat mounting points (only the outer chairs in the middle row and the front passenger seat do). However, the news is better if you’re using your car as a cargo-carrier. All the rear seats fold down quickly and easily, and the load area you get in two-seat mode is both massive and perfectly flat.