A grey 2021 Kia Sedona is driving past a blurred city at dusk.

A Grand Utility Vehicle: The 2021 Kia Sedona

The 2021 Kia Sedona, known as the Carnival overseas, intends to be a luxury car masquerading as a minivan. From its slick trim outside to its sumptuous interior, the Sedona is built for comfort and usefulness. Manufactured in South Korea for worldwide distribution, the car has an international appeal in its design and functions.


Performance for the Sedona reflects its use as a powerful yet responsive car that drives smoothly on paved roads. With sufficiently brisk acceleration, the Kia is a good family car. The Kia as a vehicle is not made for rough byways, but daily driving scenarios. The engine available in the overseas and American market for the 2021 Kia Sedona is a 3.3-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The vehicle has a front-wheel drivetrain with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The mileage for the Sedona is an estimated 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway.


The security features depend on what trim level you buy and the vehicle market. Some assistive technologies offered with the 2021 Kia Sedona are Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Highway Driving Assist with a rearview monitor, Driver Attention Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Surround View Monitor, and Safe Exit Assist, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) that has car, pedestrian, and cyclist detection.

For the standard LX package, the Sedona offers front and rear parking sensors. These sensors are for alerting you to obstacles that you may not see behind or in front of the vehicle when you are parking. Blind-spot monitoring helps you avoid accidents if another vehicle in the next lane is in your blind spot. Vehicles about to cross your vehicle’s path can be a safety hazard, and a rear cross-traffic alert can warn you and help you to avoid accidents in vehicle crossing situations.

For the higher levels, there are extra safety features. The EX Premium package, for example, offers forward collision mitigation warning you of an impending accident. This function will apply the brakes in some scenarios. The Sedona EX package has an alert to caution you if your vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. Adaptive cruise control maintains a distance you set between the Sedona and the car in front. Besides the EX premium package features included, the SX offers the safety factor of its 360-degree camera system that gives you the ability to see tight parking situations with an overview of the Sedona and its surroundings. LED headlights brighten the road before you, keeping you visible and safe on the road at night.

A silver 2021 Kia Sedona is parked in front of a rounded building.

Interior Trim

The 2021 Kia Sedona is not only a functional vehicle but stylish as well. The vehicle interior offers premium fabrics for the cabin with different interior trims for each car level. A dark graphite leather is standard for the EX trim, while dark graphite cloth and camel leather are available for the base LX trim. The Sedona comes in three trims, the standard LX, the more expensive EX, and the top upgrade of the SX. The LX interior offers a 7-inch touchscreen with a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration. The ability to connect to smartphones through Bluetooth and Kia Live services is available.

The EX is offered as the standard EX , or you can add-on to give it a premium style. The standard Sedona EX interior offers a leather-wrapped steering wheel with heated front seats, leather upholstery. Three charge-only USB ports and a wireless charging pad is available. The EX also offers tri-zone automatic climate control, driver memory settings, a four-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, and a power-adjustable passenger’s seat. Add-on power for the EX interior is a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

The SX is the luxury version of the Sedona. The interior trims include the premium features of the EX version with a heated steering wheel with ventilated front seats. The entertainment and navigation system is an 8-inch touchscreen for the navigation system with voice recognition and an eight-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. The infotainment screen itself is 12.3-inch forming a digital gauge cluster under a single plate of glass, giving the unit a clean look. Climate and radio controls are dedicated buttons, not a haptic-feedback system. The middle unit panel folds into a central console with its shift-by-wire rotary knob resting between cup holders.


A 2021 Sedona vehicle body that has more space has greater room for people and cargo. The interior size depends on where Kia sells the Sedona. Market differences include seating arrangements featuring three or four rows accommodating seven, nine, or eleven people. Amenities vary by international market and vehicle size. For example, the second-row passengers in the seven-passenger design have Premium Relaxation one-touch business-class seats that feature adjustable back-, arm, and leg-rests.

In many trim configurations, the Sedona shows technological advancement with USB outlets on the front seatbacks and nets that hold electronic devices. A handy storage drawer on the rear console helps to organize the rear passenger seats. The trims offer features that are useful, not merely infotainment focused.

As a safety feature, front passengers can view rear passengers without turning their heads. A Rear Passenger View & Talk feature offers a camera feed through the dashboard screen. Why raise your voice to be heard in the back seats when an amplifier can get the message across with rear seat speakers? While front seat drivers have access to speaking with those seated in the rear seats, back seat passengers can issue voice commands to control the infotainment system. This control is possible if the front seat engages the infotainment system for the vehicle. Driver control is always foremost for vehicle safety, and the infotainment options are no exception.

The tan interior of a 2021 Kia Sedona is shown from the side.

Exterior Design

With its new visual and decorative features, the 2021 Kia Sedona has many practical features. The exterior of the car has a more upscale SUV look with a longer hood and an A-pillar that offsets a reduced front overhang. A form exclusive to the Sedona, the “Tiger Nose” grille has large-pore diagonal mesh within a chrome band incorporating slim headlights and LED running lights. The character lines of the straight shoulder and lower character lines connect pronounced wheel arches. Black A- and B-pillars create what the company calls an “island roof,” with an L-shaped C-pillar creating a contrasting flourish between the upper and the body.

At the rear of the vehicle, a red-light bar running the full width of the back mimics the slim front illumination. The Kia body sits on a midsize platform with a wider wheelbase and is wider with the overall length of the vehicle extending by 1.6 inches and the width by 0.4 inches. The greater length and width combine to make more room in the vehicle. Depending on the market, this means extra space for either up to nine or eleven passengers. The vehicle liftover height was lowered an inch to make loading easier. Added to this is a power tailgate and power-sliding doors, the exterior gives drivers and passengers better access to storage.

For the various trim levels, the Kia Sedona has different features. The standard LX includes 17-inch alloy wheels, while the EX includes 18-inch wheels, roof rails, and automatic headlights. The EX has automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, and remote-controlled sliding rear doors completing the EX standard trim. The EX also offers heated and power-folding mirrors, chrome exterior trim, sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A noise-reducing windshield helps make the ride quieter and less distracting while you drive. The SX luxury package includes the EX add-on features, such as the noise-reducing windshield.

All in all, the 2021 Kia Sedona is a great car to consider for your next purchase.