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2021 Kia Sedona Review: Expected Changes, Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

July 13, 2020 at 07:15 AM

The minivans are known to be thorough workhorses that offer practicality as well as supreme comfort to ferry its passengers. But for a new age minivan doing just that is not enough and hence minivans like the Kia Sedona do a lot more than that. In order to keep up with its rivals and the SUV craze, Kia is all set to introduce the 2021 Kia Sedona with some minor but welcome improvements and updates.

The Kia Sedona Minivan was first introduced in 1998 and it is currently in its third generation which sells under different nameplates globally. Since its inception, it has gone through many upgrades and now offers one of the most family-friendly experiences and upmarket cabin. However, even with aggressive pricing and a good amount of performance under its hood it never made to the top on the sales chart. Hence, over the past few years, Kia has done quite a lot to improve the Sedona and is all set to offer the new 2021 Kia Sedona to the American audience early next year.

The Kia Sedona faces quite a tough competition from the best-in-class minivans in its segment but also from its own siblings like the Sorento and new Telluride. Kia had also made a mistake of missing out on many essential safety features on its base models. However, the 2021 model is soon going to be launched in the market with some of the changes in the interior as well as the exterior of the car. It remains to be seen if Kia will be fixing the issues that bug most to the family buyers, like the lack of safety features on the base trim. Hence, let’s find out what Kia will be and will not be fixing with the 2021 Kia Sedona.

What’s New?

  • A bigger infotainment screen and digital cluster in the interior as standard
  • New design for the air condition vents and the steering wheel
  • New LED headlights with the day time lights, redesigned front and rear bumper
  • Red color scheme and the entry-level L trim might be discontinued.

What’s the expected price and release date of the 2021 Kia Sedona?

With the upgrades and addition to the new model, the 2021 Kia Sedona is expected to receive a marginal price rise across its trim lineup. However, the 2021 prices will range differently for the trim you opted for. The base LX model is expected to start from $30,500, the mid-range MX is expected to be around $35,500 and the highest trim SX will cost around $42,620. 

There has been no official news about the launch of the 2021 Kia Sedona but the release is expected to be around the start of 2021  as the production might be delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

What to expect under the hood of the 2021 Kia Sedona?

While cosmetic changes are expected with the 2021 Kia Sedona, it is expected to offer the same engine as the 2020 model. Hence, the 2021 Kia will be equipped with the 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produces 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque as standard drivetrain in all the trims.  It will have an 8-speed automatic transmission and will only be offered with an FWD option. The Kia should probably launch the AWD version as the market is getting more demanding.

The V6 motor of the Sedona is quite a trie and tested powertrain and offers smooth performance. It feels supremely refined when compared to its rivals and offers a decent city as well as highway performance. Even with the full load it does not feel underpowered and can haul around seven passengers and their luggage with ease. It can also cruise over the highway all day long and provides a relaxed character to the minivan. Overall, it is quite a capable engine but offers nothing extraordinary in terms of being a minivan which is no deal-breaker in any way.

In comparison, the Toyota Sienna is the most powerful minivan in the segment with 296 horses and 263 lb.-ft of torque. The Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Pacifica on the other hand have got similar power outputs. while the Kia comes last and might feel underpowered when compared to its rivals.

Models

2021 Kia Sedona (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

2020 Toyota Sienna

MSRP

$30,500-$42,620

$30,690

$33,495

$31,415

Engine

3.3L Regular V6

3.5L Regular V6

3.6L Regular V6

3.5L Regular V6

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

10-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

276 @ 6,000

280 @ 6,000

287 @6,400

296 @6,600

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

248 @ 5,200rpm

262 @4,700

262 @4,000

263 @4,700

0-60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.6 sec

7.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

15.9 sec

15.6 sec

15.3 sec

2020 Figures used for reference

This Kia Sedona is not the fastest minivan here and gets the smallest V-6 engine in this comparison. The Kia does a 0-60 miles per hour catch in 7.6 seconds and a quarter-mile time in under 16 seconds. This also shows that the power output and the throttle response isn’t the most satisfying in this minivan. Toyota being the most powerful van here, completes the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds and a 0-60 MPH mark in 6.9 seconds. The Honda and the Chrysler have significantly similar figures while the Kia stays last in the race. 

How well does the 2021 Kia Sedona Handle?

The 2021 Kia Sedona will get the same ride and handling setup as the 2020 model. The Sedona is well handled on the uneven and patchy roads and in the city, it provides excellent ride quality. There is some amount of body roll through corners which is expected from a minivan but nothing that can unsettle the car easily. The suspension setup of the Sedona manages to soak in most bumps and potholes with ease with only sharp ones filtering in. However, the steering wheel and throttle are less responsive it does the job.

 

Also, taking it to a slightly off-road track will let you be in the regrets. For major driving around in the city as well as on the highway, it remains light, handy but stable. if we talk about maneuverability, the van does not feel long and is easy to turn around in tight spaces. However, the front-wheel-drive makes it under confident and it surely needs the upgrade for the all-wheel drive. Also, the Sedona is the lightest in its class, and that majorly contributes to impressive stopping power. 

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Kia Sedona deliver?

As there will be no changes in terms of the powertrain, we expect the 2021 Kia Sedona to offer the same fuel economy as the 2020 model. It provides an estimated fuel economy of 18,24 and 21 miles per gallon in the city, highway, and combined respectively. These figures are from the 2020 model and will be carried to the 2021 models. Overall, the engine is thirsty and drinks a lot of fuel. The fuel economy isn’t the best in the segment and gives a range of 440 miles with a full tank that has a capacity of 21.1 gallons.

Models

2021 Kia Sedona (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

2020 Toyota Sienna

MPG (City)

18

19

19

19

MPG (Highway)

24

28

28

26

MPG (Combined)

21

22

22

21

Fuel Capacity

21.1

19.5

19.0

19.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined)

380/506/443

371/546/429

361/532/418

380/520/399

2020 Figures used for reference

If fuel efficiency is your prime concern then the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Pacifica will keep you the happiest. However, the Odyssey goes a little further by providing a bigger fuel tank. Where the Kia Sedona is unbeatable is in terms of the fuel tank capacity which is the best in its class. This makes this minivan one of the best options if you plan to use your van only for long-highway trips.

What to expect from the 2021 Kia Sedona’s interior?

2021 will be having a redesigned interior that conveys luxury and a style statement in the minivan segment. Kia has announced that there will be some changes to the interior but has not yet disclosed the specifics. However, as per the rumors, the dashboard and the overall interior ergonomics will be changed completely. The smart power liftgate, comfortable and adjustable second and third-row seats, dual-screen infotainment rear screens, and many more are going to be awaited features for the upcoming van. In terms of storage spaces, you will get two glove boxes, one center storage area, and cup holders. The third row too has got two cup holders and a small storage area. 

The seats of the current mode have fine leather quality upholstery with diamond embroidery. The dashboard is also carried out in a futuristic look with the buttons and knobs being handy to use. Due to the interior update, the second row and third row might have more legroom and headroom. The current model also offers space in which one can easily have long tours in. The car can seat up to 7 people in the utmost comfort and offers the best in class seat support, especially in the second row while the last row is best suited for kids.

Models

2021 Kia Sedona (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

2020 Toyota Sienna

Seating Capacity

7

7

7

7

First Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.8/63.9/40.9

40.7/63.1/40.9

40.1/63.8/41.1

41.0/65.0/40.5

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.4/63.1/41.1

39.5/61.6/40.9

39.6/63.0/39.0

39.7/64.6/37.6

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.9/59.4/38.4

38.4/59.2/38.1

38.7/59.2/36.5

38.3/61.1/36.3

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

33.9

38.6

32.3

39.1

2020 Figures used for reference

In comparison, Toyota has more space on offer than all the three vans. The Kia, Honda, and Chrysler have the same amount of space to offer in all the three rows. In the Sedona, there is not a lot of room for the cargo as standard but it can be further extended by pulling down the third and second row. The Kia has standard 33.9 cubic feet of space for the cargo but the maximum cargo capacity can be extended to 142 cubic feet. On the other hand, the Sienna has 39.1 cubic feet of space which is the largest in the category. 

2021 Kia Sedona: Infotainment and Connectivity

With the Sedona, Kia offers the most modern infotainment system that is easy to use and has a great interface. The 2021 model will have a wider infotainment screen with standard functions such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and navigation. In the 2020 model, it has a 10-speaker system with an optional Harman Kardon sound system and subwoofers. 

There is a dual infotainment screen in the second row that has a built-in DVD player and smartphone connectivity for the entertainment purpose of the passenger. On the safety front, it will get features such as automatic braking, tire-pressure monitoring, seat-mounted airbags, and rollover mitigation system.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Kia Sedona?

Most of the looks for the Sedona shall remain unchanged from 2020 to 2021 model. It is not the most presenting van however, the descent looks will only do the regular job. The 2021 Kia Sedona should come better in the respective overall styling. The LED fog lights and daylights are one of the major updates for the 2021 model. The Kia Sedona isn’t ugly by any means but it is neither impressive. Its looks appear a bit dated especially when you compare it to the rest of Kia’s cars. 

It dawns a typical minivan look with the front being the most aggressive with the typical Kia front grille. For the 2021 mode, a redesigned front as well as the rear bumper is in works and shall make the van look sharper. The Sedona has hardly changed since its introduction of the current generation in 2015, but its simple design and boxy shape renders a clean and a more accepting look for a minivan.

Models

2021 Kia Sedona (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

2020 Toyota Sienna

Curb Weight

4411 lbs

4354 lbs

4330 lbs

4430 lbs

Length

202"

203.2"

203.8"

200.6"

Width

78.4"

78.5"

79.6"

78.1"

Height

68.5"

68.3"

69.9"

68.9"

Ground Clearance

6.7"

N/A

5.1"

6.5"

Wheelbase

122"

118.1"

121.6"

119.3"

2020 Figures used for reference

The Kia Sedona offers the longest wheelbase in its class while the Chrysler Pacifica is the longest van here. If you are looking for more road presence then the Pacifica is your best but it offers the lease ground clearance in this comparison. The Sienna on the other hand is the smallest minivan here.

Will the 2021 Kia Sedona be worth it?

The Kia Sedona will offer many new changes for the 2021 model year. While the van is not said to be best for a large family, it still performs well and offers a healthy features list. The base and mid trims are fairly priced as well but the highest trim has got a premium pricing tag of more than $40,000 which might not be a sensible choice for all. However, with the new improvements being made to the 2021 model, the Sedona is sure to gain a bit more traction in the US market. Hence, if you want a reliable, spacious, and feature-loaded minivan, you cannot go wrong with the Kia Sedona.

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