Changes announced for the 2021 Kia lineup include the all-new K5 midsize sedan, the all-new Seltos small crossover and a redesigned version of the Sorento SUV. Unlike many other manufacturers, Kia is not upgrading its vehicles to a new model year at a specific time, so information on changes to some 2021 models is not yet available, as you will see below. .
The Kia Cadenza is a full-size sedan that sells at low volumes. While it should continue for 2021, the Cadenza could come to an end. When asked about the changes for the 2021 model year, a Kia product spokesperson had no specific information to share.
The Kia Forte compact car gets additional standard features for 2021. The optional GT-Line Premium Package adds a 10-way power driver’s seat, while the Forte EX adds standard navigation with an integrated modem, a high-end Harman Kardon audio system, an electric sunroof and wireless smartphone charging. The blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning systems are standard on GT trims, but in cars equipped with the dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). GT models with manual transmission receive standard Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires for 2021.
Billed as Kia’s most powerful midsize sedan, the 2021 K5 replaces the venerable Optima nameplate. The new K5 marks the next step in Kia’s move to develop a performance image, an effort that began with the introduction of the Stinger, the company’s grand touring performance sedan.
Longer, wider and lower than the outgoing Optima, the K5 has a range of fully turbocharged engines, including a new 2.5-liter powertrain that produces 290 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard across the range, while a performance-ready 8-speed “wet” DCT is available. All-wheel drive is also on the option list.
If you’ve never heard of the Kia K900 before, you’re not alone. This is Kia’s full-size luxury sedan, priced at around $ 60,000. As you might expect, it sells in small numbers, and it’s always a question of whether or not it will return in any given model year. This is also true for 2021.
The Kia Niro will return for the 2021 model year, but no information on changes or new packaging has been provided as we prepared this article for release.
The 5-door hatchback subcompact and the Kia Rio 4-door sedan are expected to return for 2021, but no information on what changes was available from the automaker at the time of this article’s publication.
The 2021 Kia Sedona minivan is a carryover model with no changes to features or specifications. Kia has, however, removed a few elements from the Sedona lineup. The base L trim level is gone, leaving the LX, EX and SX versions of the pickup. The Venetian Red paint color is also being canceled and the Sedona LX is no longer available with a Camel Beige interior color. A replacement could arrive in 2022, bearing the Carnival name.
Perfectly positioned between small and compact crossover SUVs, the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a stylish yet affordable new model in one of the best-selling segments of the market. Like other Kiases, the Seltos is dripping with value and comes in LX, S, EX and SX Turbo trim levels. Most Seltos models have a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 146 horsepower, but the turbocharged 175-horsepower 1.6-liter delivers consistent and satisfying torque. An all-wheel drive system is an option, and the Seltos is available with Kia’s latest infotainment and advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems.
Kia completely redesigns the 2021 Sorento for the new model year. It grows and offers a long list of updated convenience, infotainment and security technologies. Several new powertrains and a new X-Line trim level offer higher ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles and an improved all-wheel drive system.
Most versions of the Sorento will have a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower. As an upgrade, a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder delivers 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft. of torque, and it uses a sophisticated 8-speed wet DCT to power the wheels. A new Sorento Hybrid also makes its debut, featuring a turbo-hybrid powertrain based on a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. It provides 227 hp, 258 lb-ft. of torque, and an expected 37 mpg in combined driving. It only comes with front wheel drive.
In 2021, a new plug-in hybrid electric version of the Sorento arrives, with 261 hp and around 30 miles of pure electric range.
Kia has indefinitely canceled its plan to market a next-generation Soul EV in the US market. Otherwise, the automaker is making minimal changes to the 2021 Soul. All versions of this versatile 5-door vehicle come standard with a rear-seat recall system. The Soul X-Line and GT-Line versions come with new shock valves for better ride quality, while the EX and Turbo versions now have a new key fob with a remote start button. Remote start is also available via the UVO telematics system. Revised badges on the Turbo model complete the changes.
The new Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium packages are the big news for the 2021 Sportage compact SUV. These replace the Sunroof and Premium trim level S packages from last year, and as you may already have guessed, they include piano black trim on the front bumper, rocker panels, front and rear skid plates and fog lights, as well as an 18-inch alloy wheels with blacked-out center hubcaps. The exclusive Kia Sportage badges on the tailgate combine the look.
The 2021 Stinger sport sedan is virtually intact from the 2020 model year. A red interior is now standard with Panthera Gray paint on Stinger GT models.
A new Nightfall Edition package is the big change to the 2021 Telluride 3-row midsize SUV. Offered only with all-wheel drive and EX trim with the Premium package or the SX trim with the Prestige package, it gives the Kia Telluride the popular blackened exterior look. Kia upgrades the old 4-pin tow harness to a 7-pin configuration in all trim levels, and the key fob adds a new remote engine start button.
Kia Motors America is the source of information in this article. It was correct on December 12, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the car manufacturer’s website or your local dealership.