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Types Of Gas A Kia Sedona Takes (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Kia Sedona Takes (All Generations)

Writing about Kia is almost a daily practice on this blog. Today we will look at what type of gas best suits the Kia Sedona. The Sedona was launched in 2002 in the United States and kept using the name Sedona up until the 2021 model year, after which it was changed to the Carnival. However, the Sedona is available in multiple engine configurations, so it can be confusing what type of gas it needs. Here’s a quick answer:

All model years of the Kia Sedona sold in the United States between 2002 – 2021 take regular, unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher.

However, this doesn’t tell us the whole story. The article below will discuss what kind of gasoline is used for what engine. Furthermore, we’ll discuss different additives that can and can’t be used, what percentage of ethanol is acceptable, and the gas tank size of the different Sedona generations. Read on!

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Infographic on the fuel types for a Kia Sedona.

Regular Or Premium Gasoline For The Kia Sedona?

Whenever regular gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is advised, many car owners start to wonder whether it isn’t a better option overall to still opt for gasoline with a higher octane rating (89 or 91, for example).

However, this is only the case for very specific model years of the Sedona. Specifically, it´s mentioned in the owner’s manual of the 2006 – 2010 Sedona that premium gasoline (91 AKI or higher) can be used if optimum performance is needed (such as when driving in very hot weather or when carrying a heavy load). In all other years of the Sedona, nothing is mentioned about the use of premium gasoline.

Using higher octane gasoline in an engine that isn’t designed for this won’t do any harm. However, it also won’t improve the vehicle’s performance or the durability of the engine and the fuel system. Only cars designed to use premium gasoline can benefit from it.

In the case of the Sedona, as well as other Kia models like the Kia Sportage, Kia Optima, and Kia Sorento, you better stick with 87 octane as a general rule of thumb since this is also the cheapest available fuel for the Sedona.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Kia Sedona Last? (Answered)

What Types Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?

Reformulated Gasoline

First, we need to discuss the use of reformulated and non-reformulated gasoline. Reformulated gasoline is gasoline that is designed to burn cleaner than non-reformulated gasoline. For this reason, it has become widely popular in many regions of the United States, and it has even become mandatory in many states to use this fuel.

Therefore, it’s good to know that all engine configurations in the Kia Sedona are designed to take reformulated and non-reformulated gasoline. Consequently, you don’t have to worry about what gasoline you put in your engine (at least not for this criteria).

However, we have to say that Kia recommends using reformulated gasoline whenever possible. Like other carmakers, Kia realizes that using this type of gasoline is better for the environment. Furthermore, this type of gasoline doesn’t diminish the performance of your engine in any way, shape, or form, and it also carries the same price as non-reformulated gasoline.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85

Secondly, we have to talk about using oxygenated blends of gasoline in the Kia Sedona. Oxygenated blends of gasoline consist of regular gasoline mixed with ethanol or methanol. Ethanol and methanol are both made from bio sources, and, therefore, they burn cleaner. However, not every car is compatible with these kinds of oxygenates.

Kia Sedona, made before 2017, can take gasoline with a maximum of 10% ethanol (also known as E10). From 2017 onwards, Sedona became compatible with 15% ethanol (E15).

For this reason, FlexFuel (also referred to as E85) is strictly forbidden. FlexFuel contains 51 – 83% ethanol, depending on your region and season. FlexFuel will severely damage the engine and fuel system of your Sedona.

The same can be said about the use of methanol in the Sedona. This is strictly forbidden and will damage the engine and fuel system.

Gasoline With Added Materials

Furthermore, we need to talk about gasoline with added materials. Typically, these additives are advertised as octane boosters or fuel system cleaners. However, these types of additives can do more harm than good, as explained in the 2021 owners manual of the Sedona:

Using fuels that contain Silicone (Si), MMT (Manganese, Mn), Ferrocene (Fe), and other metalic additives, may cause vehicle and engine damage or cause misfiring, poor acceleration, engine stalling, catalyst melting, clogging, abnormal corrosion, life cycle reduction, etc. Also, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) may illuminate.


Instead of using additives, Kia recommends using gasoline with all the proper additives mixed into it. Typically, this type of gasoline is sold by TOP TIER retailers, and it’s highly recommended that you use it to keep your engine in optimum condition. Find a TOP TIER retailer in your area at

If TOP TIER gasoline is not available, then Kia does recommend you buy certified additives from their dealers. A bottle of these additives should be used every 7,500 miles (12.000 kilometers) and will help clean the deposits that are left in your engine.

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?

Hearing a slight knocking coming from the engine is an entirely regular occurrence. Especially when the car is performing at peak levels, such as when you’re towing with your Kia Sedona, a slight knocking sound can be heard. However, if this knocking sound becomes very audible and happens right after refilling, you may have more significant problems.

First off, in this case, you’re likely using gasoline with a lower than recommended octane rating. For example, in the Kia Sedona, we would talk about gasoline with an octane rating lower than 87. This will almost always result in an engine knock.

This knocking noise tells you the engine is misfiring because it can’t handle the octane level used. It’s best to stop your car immediately and call your dealer or garage. Your car will need to be drained from its fuel, and the fuel filter will need to be replaced. Continuing to drive will result in severe engine damage.

Also read: 14 Common Problems Of The Kia Sedona

What’s The Fuel Economy Of The Kia Sedona?

Furthermore, we also have to look at the fuel economy of the Kia Sedona. As can be expected, this isn´t great, and that´s simply because minivans are so large that it´s difficult to improve their fuel economy without making it a hybrid. Since Kia never made the Sedona a hybrid, the fuel economy was relatively low throughout the generations.

Third Generation (2015 – 2021)

The third generation of the Kia Sedona used a 3.3L Lambda II V6, which had a combined MPG of 21, a city MPG of 18, and a highway MPG of 24.

Second Generation (2006 – 2014)

The second generation of the Kia Sedona used a 3.8L Lambda V6, which had a combined MPG of 19, a city MPG of 17, and a highway MPG of 23.

First Generation (2002 – 2005)

The first generation of the Kia Sedona used a 3.5L Sigma V6, which had a combined MPG of 16, a city MPG of 14, and a highway MPG of 18.

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of The Kia Sedona?

All model years of the Kia Sedona have a fuel tank capacity of 21 gallons or 80 liters.


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