2021 Honda Odyssey vs. 2021 Kia Sedona
FWhile the automotive landscape continues to tilt toward the dominance of the SUV, there are still legions of buyers out there who still think that a minivan is a perfect choice as a daily family hauler. For many years, there’s been one minivan that consistently rises to the top of the charts: The Honda Odyssey. In fact, Motor Trend recently rated the 2021 Odyssey as the #1 choice for the best minivan.
Nonetheless, automakers are still trying to topple the Odyssey from its #1 ranking with little success. Let’s compare the 2021 Honda Odyssey and the 2021 Kia Sedona to see which minivan comes out ahead.
Sporty Sophistication vs Boxy and Boring
Put the Odyssey and Sedona side-by-side and it's clear which minivan captures more admiring glances. The recently redesigned Odyssey features an updated front end with a string of LED headlights bisecting a trim front grille emblazoned with Honda’s signature logo. The sloping hood flows gracefully up through the roofline, giving the Odyssey a sleek, aerodynamic look. Sculpted creases give the Odyssey’s silhouette an athletic appearance. Available LED fog lights and new 19-inch wheels enhance the Odyssey’s sporty flair.
On the other hand, the Sedona looks downright frumpy by comparison. That’s not surprising, since the Sedona hasn’t had a makeover for several years. As Aaron Cole, managing editor of thecarconnection.com notes: “The 2021 Kia Sedona looks like the box it came in.” He adds, “...Sedona hasn’t changed much in the last few years and it shows. Aside from its slightly pinched grille, Kia’s van doesn’t much look like a Kia at all.”
Interior Comfort & Convenience
Odyssey Plays the Winning Hand
One of the Honda Odyssey’s strongest suits is its outstanding interior that gets kudos for unmatched comfort, spaciousness, versatility, quality materials, and convenience. The Odyssey aces the Sedona in just about every category, offering more passenger room, more cargo room, and more innovative features than its Korean rival.
For example, there are the Odyssey’s class-exclusive Magic Slide® 2nd-row seats. You can configure them in a variety of ways. They can move backward, forwards, and even side-to-side if you need a little more separation between squabbling siblings. You can also easily remove the seats to increase the Odyssey’s cargo-carrying capacity to near epic proportions. By comparison, you can’t remove the 2nd-row seats in the Sedona, which dramatically affects its versatility and cargo capacity.
Then there’s the ingenious HondaVac®. Exclusive to Honda, this built-in vacuum includes a long hose that lets you effortlessly clean up all the crumbs -- the aftermath of a long family road trip -- to keep the Odyssey’s spacious cabin looking clean and like-new.
Instead of thoughtful and cleverly designed innovations like these, the Kia Sedona gives you a less versatile and less spacious cabin crafted from inferior materials. Instead, you get an utterly dowdy interior, with base-level cloth upholstery in high-up trims. In his review of the 2021 Sedona, thecarconnection.com’s Aaron Cole goes so far as to say, “We recommend leather interior – or a different vehicle.”
The Odyssey’s quiet interior offers more space to stretch out and enjoy the ride. You can also carry more stuff – from backpacks and luggage to groceries and golf clubs – in the Odyssey.
|2021 Honda Odyssey LX||2021 Kia Sedona LX|
|3rd – Row Legroom||38.1 inches||34.8 inches|
|2nd – Row Headroom||39.5 inches||39.4 inches|
|Front Headroom||40.7 inches||39.8 inches|
|3rd- Row Shoulder Room||60 inches||59.4 inches|
|Cargo Capacity||144.9 cubic feet*||142 cubic feet|
Performance & Fuel Economy
Powering Past the Sedona
With 280 hp @ 6000 RPM* and 262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 RPM*, you can count on the 2021 Honda Odyssey to deliver potent performance thanks to its muscular, yet silky smooth, 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine. It’s more than enough power to get in the passing lane, allowing you to make it to school drop-offs before all the other minivan-y parents. The inclusion of a specialty Snow Mode doesn’t hurt, either.
The Sedona’s 3.3-liter V6 engine doesn’t quite measure up. Its lackluster powerplant churns out just 276 hp @ 6000 RPM and only 248 lb.- ft. of torque @ 5,200 RPM, which can make a difference when you want to get ahead of the crowd in a hurry.
The Odyssey also achieves a solid EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway for a combined 22 mpg*. The Sedona only manages to achieve a less-than-stellar EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway for a combined 21 mpg overall.
|2021 Honda Odyssey LX||2021 Kia Sedona LX|
|Horsepower (SAE net)||280 hp @ 6000 RPM||276 hp @ 6000 RPM|
|Torque (SAE net)||262 lb. - ft @ 4700 RPM||248 lb. – ft. @5200 RPM|
|19 / 28 / 22||18 / 24 / 21|
Tech & Safety Features
Honda Innovation is Miles Ahead
The innovators at Honda have engineered a minivan that’s tops in tech and safety when compared to the competition. A case in point is Honda’s exclusive, available CabinWatch® and CabinTalk® system that lets you view what’s going on in the rear, as well as communicate with rear-seat passengers through the vehicle’s audio speakers or audio headphones. Additionally, the Odyssey also offers its exclusive CabinControl® that lets passengers control such features as temperature and audio playlists with their smartphones.
Even in the base LX model, the 2021 Odyssey comes well-equipped with an array of standard Honda Sensing safety features that put it miles ahead of the Sedona LX model. These include Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Lane-Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Rear Seat Reminder is also new to the Odyssey lineup.
You’ll have to step up to the Sedona’s pricier trim levels to get some of these advanced safety technologies -- which, by now, should really be standard fare in a vehicle that routinely houses kids. C'est la vie.
The Odyssey’s Still #1
When comparing the 2021 Honda Odyssey and the 2021 Kia Sedona, the Odyssey outclasses the Sedona in just about every category. But we wouldn’t expect anything less from one of the most accommodating minivans in America.
Horsepower (SAE net) 280 hp @ 6000 RPM
Torque (SAE net) 262 lb. - ft @ 4700 RPM
Cargo volume based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard.
19 city/28 highway/22 combined mpg rating. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.