2021 Kia Telluride vs. Sedona: What Do You Value Most?

Kia presents some of the most enticing vehicles on the market today. If you’re particularly interested in Kia’s most family-friendly options, you may find yourself thinking over the trendy Telluride or the classic Sedona. Which vehicle is best for your family?

What the 2021 Kia Sedona has to offer 

A Kia Carnival (Korean Kia Sedona) sits in a driveway in this front quarter view of the gray minivan.
The 2021 Kia Carnival is the Korean version of the Kia Sedona | Kia

Kia’s Sedona is a safe minivan with a unique sense of style. Unlike some of its competitors, the Sedona has a sleeker shape that makes it look more like an SUV and less like a traditional van. On top of its contemporary elegance, we also recognize the Sedona for its velvety smooth ride quality.

The Sedona is available in four different trim levels. Each trim is powered by the same 276-hp 3.3-liter V6 engine linked to an eight-speed automatic. This minivan offers plenty of power, and it accelerates pretty quickly too. The main downside to the Sedona is that it’s below-average when it comes to fuel economy. It has an EPA rating of 21 mpg; rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna have better ratings. 

The tan interior of the 2021 Kia Sedona is seen from the front to the back.
2021 Kia Sedona interior | Kia

On the inside, the Sedona pleases with its lovely cabin. The Sedona can seat up to eight people, and even adults will be happy in the third-row. Additionally, this van gets more upscale as you climb trim levels.

What the 2021 Kia Telluride has to offer 

2021 Telluride Nightfall Edition Black driving by an office building
2021 Telluride Nightfall Edition Black | Kia

In a relatively short period, the Telluride has taken the midsize SUV world by storm. Kia first introduced this award-winning model for 2020. For 2021, the most significant update for the Telluride is the Nightfall Edition package, which adds distinct black finishings.

As with the Sedona, the Telluride has just one powertrain. All Tellurides have a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic. Critics praise the Telluride for its poised handling and smoothness on the road. Unlike the Sedona, the Telluride is available with all-wheel-drive. Furthermore, the Telluride has a slight advantage regarding fuel economy. 

The Kia Telluride SX trim boasts a serene and upscale cabin complete with leather and high-tech.
Kia Telluride SX interior | Kia

In addition to its exceptional driving experience, the Telluride has a luxury-focused interior. It can seat up to eight passengers. Plus, the Telluride boasts lots of in-car technology. 

SUV vs. minivan?

A Kia Sedona on display at an auto show
The 2020 Kia Sedona | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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Deciding between the Sedona and Telluride comes down to one common question: SUV or minivan? You may prefer a  minivan over an SUV for convenience features such as sliding doors and more interior space. For instance, the Sedona is a better choice if you need more passenger room and cargo space than the Telluride. 

The Sedona also comes with infotainment gadgets that make driving more enjoyable, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the Telluride is more impressive when it comes to in-car tech. Not only does the Telluride come standard with modern infotainment features, but it also comes with more advanced safety equipment. Standard safety functions on the Telluride include adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitoring. 

The 2020 Telluride is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Kia Telluride | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2020 Kia Telluride Is the Smarter Buy Over the Hyundai Palisade Says Consumer Reports

A new Sedona starts at $30,400; a new Telluride begins at $31,990. If you value comfort and advanced tech, the Telluride is the better choice. On the other hand, the Sedona is a solid choice for simplicity and convenience.