The 2021 Kia Sedona Is the Worst Minivan Thanks to 1 Big Flaw

For a while, the minivan was a dying vehicle. As more drivers fell in love with SUVs, minivan sales declined. Though they aren’t as common as they once were, their sales have steadied as consumers have discovered that minivans, like the Kia Sedona, provide perks that SUVs don’t.

Minivans offer better versatility, seat arrangements, and storage space, making them a popular choice for families and pet owners. However, a big flaw keeps the 2021 Kia Sedona from being the ideal minivan.

The 2021 Kia Sedona’s benefits

Most reviewers agree the 2021 Kia Sedona is a good eight-seat minivan. Car and Driver calls it “a handsomely styled van and a compelling value.”

Right away, you’ll notice the 2021 Kia Sedona doesn’t look like every other minivan on the road. Kia seems to have turned to SUVs for design inspiration. And the best thing about the boxier look is that you’ll get to enjoy the convenience and practicality of a minivan but without the stereotypical uncool look.

The Sedona also packs plenty of power thanks to its 3.3-liter V6, which Car and Driver calls “silky-smooth.” Though you probably won’t take the Sedona on off-road adventures or haul a massive boat with it, the engine provides enough power to pass slow-moving cars adeptly, accelerate quickly, and handle snowdrifts and deeper mud easily.

Autotrader says the 2021 Sedona’s digital dash displays are easy to see, so you can quickly find what you’re looking for without having to take your eyes off the road for too long. Plus, the Sedona comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment center that’s also easy to use. And top-trim levels get an 8.0-inch touchscreen.

The Sedona also boasts an attractive warranty. When you purchase one, you benefit from a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. 

Arguably the best thing about the Sedona is its affordable price, starting at only $30,400. The Sedona has built its brand around the fact that it’s well-made and well-priced.

The bad news

Though the 2021 Kia Sedona is a decent minivan, there are also a few reasons why you should avoid it.

Among its flaws is poor fuel economy, at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, MotorTrend notes. Many consumers looking for a minivan are budget-conscious. They tend to think about the future. Though the 2021 Sedona’s reasonable MSRP is appealing, its fuel economy negates the lower purchase price. The longer you keep the Sedona, the more you’ll spend on fuel.

But arguably, the biggest problem is interior space. The Sedona ranks last on MotorTrend‘s “The Best Minivans to Buy in 2021” thanks in part to its tight third row. Consumer Reports agrees about the subpar back seats. It knocks the “narrow” third row, saying it “has room for adults, but fitting three across won’t be fun. The seat is rather hard, with a low bottom cushion that reduces thigh support for grown-ups.”

MotorTrend adds, “One of the Kia Sedona’s main shortcomings is the way the second and third rows operate when you need to move them around. They’re bulky to stow and limit the minivan’s flexibility.”

And Autotrader points out the Sedona would be more competitive if it offered more interior space, improved fuel efficiency, and provided a hybrid powertrain.

Should you buy a 2021 Kia Sedona?


Avoid the Last-Place 2021 Kia Sedona and Wait for the 2022 Model

The 2021 Kia Sedona comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX. Features on the $30,400 base-model LX include stain-resistant fabric, dual power side doors, 12 cup holders, and the aforementioned 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The highest trim starts at $41,500, but you shouldn’t spend that much money on a Sedona. Stick with the lower trim levels for better value. In fact, Car and Driver suggests the mid-level EX for the best balance of features and value for under $35,000.

However, you might be better off looking at the hybrid Toyota Sienna if you want better fuel economy. And if you can wait a few more months, consider the Sedona’s replacement, the 2022 Kia Carnival. It promises to offer “more cargo space … and a 290-hp V6 engine with an eight-speed transmission,” Car and Driver reports.