A black and a white 2021 Kia Cadenza are passing each other in a tunnel.

Model Makeovers: What to Expect from the 2021 Kia Model Lineup

It’s always exciting to delve into new car models and what to expect in the latest releases, and Kia is no exception. Kia is well-known around the world with its appealing selection of vehicles, ranging from sporty SUVs to lively hybrids. If you’ve learned anything about Kia over the years, its models just keep getting better and better. The Kia models for 2021 are not only impressive, but many feature flashy new designs, upgraded tech, new trim packages, and so much more. Let’s take a look at the 2021 Kia model updates and see what’s new, what’s to be expected, and what models we’re saying good-bye to for the new year.

Kia Models for 2021

Kia has become a household name over the years thanks to its growing lineup of SUVs, sedans, hybrids, and more. With this impressive inventory, the Kia brand has begun to shine. Known for its well-built vehicles, enhanced safety features, and dependable options, Kia has continued to grow and advance. Kia stands tall with its varied selection of vehicles, playing with the big boys when it comes to trendy, stylish, and reliable designs.

One of the main focuses of the Kia brand is affordability, paired with dependability. Its lineup of versatile vehicles includes some of the better-known models, such as the Sorento, Soul, and Sportage, as well as up-and-coming favorites, like the all-new Seltos and the trendy K5. Kia has continued to climb the ranks in recent years, manufacturing cars that just keep getting better, and through intense research and development, the Kia brand of today is a far cry from what it was 30 years prior. So without further ado, let’s talk about all the new and improved 2021 Kia models.

A popular Kia model, A white and a red 2021 Kia Rio are parked in the city.

Stylish Sedans

Take a short trip to the store and count how many Kia sedans you pass along the way. Chances are you’ll be surprised at how many you find! That’s because Kia designs and builds some of the most popular sedans on the road today, featuring a current lineup, which includes the nimble Rio, adventurous Forte, stylish Optima, sporty K5, sleek Stinger, luxurious Cadenza, and timeless K900.

The biggest change in the sedan lineup for 2021 is the retirement of the midsize Optima and its replacement by the K5. This new energetic ride incorporates a sportier interior and exterior design, including options such as a sport steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof. It even adds some serious style with a charcoal headliner, a rear spoiler, and for the first time, an all-wheel drive option. The K5 brings the old Optima into the future with its sleek new design and better options, making it a highly sought-after choice when it comes to sedans.

The other 2021 Kia sedan models are going mostly unchanged. The Forte is fresh off a major update for 2020, while the Stinger is scheduled to get a large refresh for 2022. The only significant update is expected for the 2021 Kia Rio, which will likely receive a small facelift to improve its looks and cabin features.

“Soul”-ful SUVs

The Kia lineup of SUVs and crossovers kicks off with the legendary Soul, the all-new Seltos, dynamic Sportage, eco-friendly Niro, adventurous Sorento, and sturdy Telluride. The SUV family welcomes the Seltos for 2021, which is already turning heads with its specs. Featuring a spacious interior, classy design, and not to mention all the tech you could ever want, this is a beautiful small SUV.

The 2021 Soul adds some impressive upgrades to its LX model, like upgraded safety and driver-assist features, plus a redesigned look inside and out. The Sorento is also going to be sporting an all-new look for 2021, which will feature a more rugged appearance, larger interior cabin space, and, let’s not forget, a new hybrid powertrain option. The Sportage and the Telluride both get a new Nightfall edition, which features sleek black accents throughout the interior and exterior, black badging, black radiator and grille, and a darker overall style.

High-Spirited Hybrids

Kia’s 2021 lineup of alternative-fuel vehicles has shrunk slightly with the loss of the Optima hybrid and now consists of three different versions of the Kia Niro – a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a full battery electric vehicle. However, the Niro is an excellent design, so this isn’t a huge limitation. We also expect to see the lineup grow in the near future with the planned Soul EV and a possible K5 hybrid. Kia is pushing the boundaries of alternative-fuel vehicles, and it is unlikely that these technologies will be confined to a single model for long.

Other 2021 Kia Model Updates

Kia offers a wide variety of vehicles, making it a versatile brand with many popular features in its lineup. Its hatchback option, the Kia Rio, will feature some new style upgrades, as well as tech enhancements, helping it to stand strong as other subcompact competitors fall by the wayside. However, it remains open to question how much longer the Rio will remain a viable product as 2021 marks the discontinuing of its three main rivals – the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Chevy Sonic.

A minivan option is also offered by Kia, the Sedona, which provides the perfect solution for large families or those who need a vehicle with loads of space. Changes to the 2021 model include the discontinuation of the L trim option and some minor color changes. More advanced safety features have also been added, as well as small enhancements such as leather trim seating, 18-inch alloy wheels, and integrated sunshades.

A red and a white 2021 Kia Soul are parked on an open stretch of asphalt.

What are the Best Kia Models?

The Kia brand includes some of the most reliable and safest vehicles on the road. Making its way onto the IIHS list of Top Safety Picks time and time again, Kia occupies some of the top spots on the list with its fine lineup of vehicles. The Kia Forte lands itself on the 2020 list when it comes to top-notch safety, as well as the Kia Soul. The Kia Stinger also found its way onto the list, performing well in front crash prevention tests. Other Kia models that have proven their worth include the Sportage, Sorento, and the Telluride.

The Future of the Kia Brand

There’s no doubt about it, Kia has evolved into a trusted brand with its selection of safe, reliable, and dependable vehicles. Designing and building cars that are not only versatile but functional, Kia has continued to impress with its 2021 selection of models that provide all the features you’re looking for, paired with sleek and stylish looks. When it comes to popular vehicles, Kia’s offerings include some of the most recognizable and prevalent models on the road today.

These designs are also backed by an impressive warranty. All Kia vehicles include a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, as well as 5-year/60,000 basic warranty and a 5-year/100,000 limited anti-perforation warranty, making it one of, if not the best warranty program of any car manufacturer today. Kia has changed the game when it comes to buying a car that is of top quality without overpaying, proving that quality and affordability can be accomplished together.

When it comes to the 2021 Kia models, there’s a lot to look forward to as we welcome all the latest and greatest changes among the brand. With upgraded tech, new designs, and more advanced safety features, the future of the Kia brand shines brightly.