Kia K5 Research

The Car Connection Kia K5 Overview

A replacement for the former Optima four-door, the Kia K5 sedan arrives for the 2021 model year with a pair of turbo-4 engines, pared of its former plug-in hybrid model.

Slightly bigger than the Optima, the K5 gains available all-wheel drive, as well as a sporty GT edition. A hybrid model may join the lineup.

Read our 2022 Kia K5 review

Sold in LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT versions, the K5's a rival for vehicles like the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and Nissan Altima.

With a longer roofline and more emphatic details, the Kia K5 looks meaner and more tense than the relaxed Optima. It wears a new signature front end, with lights that angle in toward its honeycomb grille in a fairly hawk-like look. It's heavily sculpted down its body sides, and like the Optima, the K5 drapes a metallic band of trim down the roofline to draw attention to the rear end, with its full-width taillights. Base models are shod with 16-inch wheels, but 18-inchers come on the more expensive versions, while GT K5s get 19-inchers.

Base K5 four-doors tap a 180-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo-4 for power. The engine couples to an 8-speed automatic and standard front-wheel drive. GT-Line and EX K5 sedans can be fitted with all-wheel drive. 

The K5 GT leans on a 290-hp turbo-4 for its inspiration. Offered in front-wheel drive with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, Kia quotes a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds, but it feels quicker. 

With a wheelbase 1.8 inches longer than the former Optima, the K5 has more interior space for front-seat passengers, though it's still shy on rear-seat leg room versus competitors, at 35.2 inches. It's up to 16.0 cubic feet of trunk space, however. 

Inside, the K5 adopts a horizontal design theme more like the pricey Stinger and K900 sedans. Trimmed out in GT-Line with textured dash panels and an available red interior, the K5 shines in the expensive models with open-pore woodgrain and metallic speaker grilles. An 8.0-inch touchscreen sits in base editions, while Kia sells an upgraded 10.3-inch screen with navigation as well as a 12.3-inch digital gauge display and an 8.0-inch head-up display.

Every 2021 K5 gets automatic emergency braking, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and 5 years or 60,000 miles of warranty coverage. Adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system are available—as are leather upholstery, Bose audio, and navigation.

The K5 is built in West Point, Georgia. 

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