New 2021 Kia Sedona Grand Utility Vehicle: Don’t Call It Minivan!

So we’ll get the nomenclature hype out of the way first. Kia no longer calls its minivan a minivan. Now it’s a Grand Utility Vehicle. Sort of like when some marketing whiz decided that a station wagon would become a Sport Utility Vehicle. There were minor differences between the two, but not enough to really make a difference except from a perception point of view. As for the Kia Sedona, there is virtually no difference between the profile and basic function of its minivan, oh sorry, Grand Utility Vehicle. So, the new 2021 Kia Sedona is a Grand Utility Vehicle; don’t call it a minivan.

The significance of an all-new Sedona is that it is not an SUV or pickup. Is there anything made other than pickups and SUVs? While the segment is definitely shrinking don’t forget that Kia’s three previous Sedonas sold over two million units all told. Somebody is buying Sedonas. And that tells you why Kia would sink a ton of dough into an all-new whatever you call it. 

teaser rendering of the 2021 Kia Sedona minivan
Here’s the teaser Kia is floating around the internet | Kia

The teaser Sedona rendering shows a traditional van profile with Kia’s “tiger nose” front end

The teaser rendering shows what would seem to be a traditional van profile with Kia’s “tiger nose” front end. Combined with the slimmer LED lights it portrays a contemporary blend of the two. If the wheel openings and wheel sizes portrayed in the rendering are accurate it adds some show car character to what is normally a bland presentation. 

Those wheels look like 24-inch monsters. It gives the Sedona a whole separate persona if in reality, they are in proportion to the mass of the body. We’ll see when it debuts but we doubt we’ll be seeing such large rolling stock. 

2021 Kia Sedona body detail
A hard design line runs front to back that ties in the headlights and taillights | Kia

There’s not much in the way of body sculpting to be had. Instead, a hard character line just below the beltline ties the front to the back while hiding the sliding door track. The C-pillar that is indicated looks to be blacked out. That would graphically create a seamless 360-degrees of greenhouse around the upper. If so that would make the top seem like it is floating above the windows.

Whatever platform Kia is using looks to have the front and rear centerlines pushed out

Whatever platform Kia is using looks to have the front and rear centerlines pushed out which does two things. First, it allows for more room inside. And two, it gives a meatier, more aggressive look to the whole package which is a good thing. Along those lines, the new Sedona is also supposed to be slightly wider than the current one. So, overall this new van will be slightly larger in every dimension.

Originally, the new Sedona was to be unveiled in April at the New York Auto Show. That never happened but we can surmise that based on that timeline it would be hitting dealerships in the US before the end of the year. With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on everything and all timelines, we would expect that the US won’t be seeing the new Sedona until sometime in 2021. 

2020 Kia Sedona for comparison | Kia


Kia’s decision to do a new Sedona makes a lot of sense, partially because it seems like it can do no wrong. Kia and Hyundai are hitting on all cylinders right now. They both seem to be building the right vehicles at the right time for the right customers. For that reason even if you’re not in the market for a minivan, or a grand utility vehicle, you might want to take a look at the 2021 Sedona. You might end up leaving the dealership owning one.