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

The Kia Sedona occupies the last place in MotorTrend’s 2021 minivan rankings. But there’s still a lot to love about this family hauler. The folks at MotorTrend appreciate its upscale cabin, great ride quality, and user-friendly infotainment system.

However, it’s not as large as its rivals, a huge detriment for any minivan owner. If you want to buy a Kia Sedona, you might be better off waiting until the redesigned model drops next year. Here’s a rundown of the 2021 Kia Sedona and why it’s due a makeover.

The Kia Sedona’s disappointing powertrain

According to Kia, the 2021 Sedona gets its power from a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and exclusively front-wheel drive. MotorTrend says the engine accelerates quickly and allows the Sedona to merge with ease.

However, the engine isn’t very efficient compared to its rivals. It’s rated for 21 mpg combined. By comparison, the hybrid-only 2021 Toyota Sienna is rated for a whopping 35 mpg city/highway. The Kia Sedona doesn’t offer a hybrid version.

Its subpar interior space

Minivans typically offer more generous accommodations than a compact or midsize SUV, which their owners appreciate. The Kia Sedona has 34 cubic feet of storage space with every seat in use. A total of 142 cubic feet of storage is available with the second and third rows folded, made easier by the Slide-n-Stow seats. Interior storage nooks are also plentiful, including 12 cupholders.

That’s still a lot of space, but it isn’t the best in its class. The Honda Odyssey offers a total of 158 cubic feet of storage space with both passenger rows folded away. The Kia Sedona also doesn’t have the most spacious third row, which might be inconvenient for a growing family. 

Is the 2021 Kia Sedona a good value?

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The Kia Sedona is far from the worst family hauler, but it’s not the best deal. Though it comes with base technology like smartphone integration, you’ll have to pay extra for advanced safety features.

Besides the upfront MSRP starting at $30,400, you’ll also have to consider the Sedona’s cost to own. Lower fuel economy contributes to more gas, which minivan owners use abundantly while shuttling family members to various functions and appointments. Given that the 2021 Kia Sedona costs only a little less than better rivals, even its good traits can’t justify the price.

The 2022 Sedona: Longer, wider, stronger

According to Car and Driver, the redesigned Kia Sedona available in European markets might reach the States later this year. Though we don’t have an official confirmation from the automaker yet, the new model appears on the EPA‘s website. It also appears the Sedona will be rebranded the Carnival, its name in overseas markets.

Car and Driver speculates that a more powerful engine, potentially producing 290 hp, might be on tap for 2022. A turbodiesel is also offered in overseas markets, but it’s unlikely the U.S. will get that option. If the EPA’s entry is to be believed, the Carnival’s fuel economy will rise to 22 mpg combined. 

The redesigned Sedona will also boast a longer wheelbase, meaning more space for cargo and third-row passengers. If the redesigned Sedona proves popular among consumers, we could even see the Carnival Hi Limousine in U.S. markets. This luxe minivan seats up to 11 passengers and comes with a lounge area and a large LCD infotainment screen. The Kia Sedona’s sales have seen a steady decline, so a revamp could be the solution to boost its appeal.