2021 Kia K5
Today Kia revealed its next-generation midsize sedan with a bold design and a new name — Kia K5 — replacing the outgoing Optima. The new K5 design draws obvious inspiration from the high-performance Stinger sport sedan with two turbocharged engine choices, new 8-speed transmissions and available all-wheel drive. The K5 goes on sale this summer in four trim levels: LX, LXS, GT-Line and EX, with the K5 GT set to join the lineup in the fall.
The 2021 Kia K5 has a bold front end with sharp angles that represent a new interpretation of Kia’s so-called tiger face with a wide, thin grille that extends into the headlights. The side profile reveals a low, fast roofline highlighted by chrome trim that runs from the base of the A-pillar and follows the flow of the roof before wrapping around the rear window. The headlights feature Heart Beat daytime running lights and the taillights — with available LED accents — cover the width of the decklid. The K5’s fastback design gets accentuated by gloss black trim on the rear window. New wheel designs are offered in 16-, 18- and 19-inch sizes with Pirelli P-Zero tires paired with the 18- and 19-inch wheels.
The 2021 Kia K5 is built on Kia’s new N3 platform that will also be used for future Kia models; it allows the K5 to be longer, lower and wider than the outgoing Optima. Compared to its predecessor, the K5 is 2.0 inches longer, 0.8 inches lower and 1.0-inch wider. The overall structure is stiffer and the suspension is tuned for stability and sporty, responsive handling. Improved sound deadening materials contribute to improved interior quietness over the Optima, and an acoustic laminated windshield is standard for all K5 trim levels.
Under the Hood
The standard engine for the 2021 Kia K5 is a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine producing 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 8-speed automatic for the LX, LXS, GT-Line and EX trim levels. All-wheel drive will be available as an option later in 2020 for the K5 LXS and GT-Line. The all-wheel-drive system is a front-wheel-drive based — which is a first for Kia — and an electro-hydraulic system engages the all-wheel drive and delivers torque to the rear wheels. Normal, Smart, Sport and Custom drive modes are offered, and Snow mode is part of the all-wheel-drive system.
Kia K5 GT
The top performance version of the K5, the GT will be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine producing 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 8-speed wet dual clutch transmission for fast, precise shifts. According to Kia specifications, the K5 GT will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The K5 GT also adds a Sport+ mode to the drive mode selection.
A new infotainment display in the 2021 Kia K5 angles toward the driver and extends in toward the instrument cluster for a driver-focused design. A variety of premium and sporty upholstery options are available depending on trim level, including red leatherette seating surfaces. Interior trim includes satin-chrome metallic and wood-like finishes. A panoramic sunroof is offered and both GT-Line and GT feature a flat-bottom sport steering wheel.
The Kia K5 receives a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen or an available 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen with split-screen functionality. The 10.25-inch screen offers an available server-based navigation system with real-time traffic, multi-connection Bluetooth wireless connectivity to connect two phones at the same time, and UVO telematics with connected user profiles. For the first time Kia offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An available wireless smartphone drop-in design keeps a phone secure and offers increased charge rate and a cooling fan. Natural language voice-recognition software is available, and new smart key functions include remote engine start and climate control that can automatically set cabin temperature, as well as hands-free trunk access.
Kia DRIVE WiSE
The 2021 Kia K5 features the Kia DRIVE WiSE (Kia’s branded name) suite of advanced driver-assistance systems including standard forward collision-avoidance assist, standard driver attention warning and standard lane-following assist. Additional available blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, navigation-based smart cruise control — curve, highway driving assist and safe exit assist.
The 2021 Kia K5 sedan goes on sale in summer 2020 and the GT variant will be available in fall 2020.