2021: Year Of The Kia K5
The Kia K5 is poised to take the top spot for Mid-Size Sedan Of The Year.
It is no secret that sales of mid-size sedans have been dropping for years, with more and more opting for the comfort and spaciousness of SUV’s and Crossovers. Several manufacturers, however, have seemingly taken one more big push into the sedan world, bolstering the overall portfolios of their respective brands. In recent years we’ve seen Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota roll out some very competitive body style updates to their sedan lines. Vehicles like the Accord, the Sonata, and the Camry look better than ever before, and may compete with the likes of foreign makers on the low end. However, another brand has dropped jaws when they rolled out their newest contribution to the mid-sized sedan market. The Kia K5.
The Kia K5 is an artfully crafted upgrade to the largely underwhelming Optima. Immediately, the body styling on the sporty K5 is fantastic. Bearing striking resemblance to the profile of the Audi A7, Kia’s introduction of a fastback style trunk on their new star child is a very welcome departure from the status quo. With a front end inspired by the king of Kia - the Stinger GT – GT-Line bumpers, grille, and spoiler make hard not to love what they’ve done with this new iteration. It doesn’t stop there, however. Aggressive LED fog lights and taillights, donning the ever-recognizable amber running lights, make for a standout angry eye in lowlight situations. It is extremely exciting to see these revolutionary upgrades in a brand that, 10 years ago, was considered boring and low end. Not anymore – thanks Kia.
On to performance. The new K5 comes in several available trims: the LX, the LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT (available starting in November). With the base model LX, you can enjoy a 1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder which packs 180 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. This trim comes standard with an 8-Speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, lane keeping assist, and a slew of other capabilities for convenience and comfort. On the high end, the GT trim comes equipped with a 2.5L Turbo 4-Cylinder, producing 290 horses and 311 lb.-ft. of torque. In independent testing, the GT trim did the quarter-mile faster than the BMW 330i, and 0-60 in 5.8s; also faster than the 330i. And as for fuel economy, the EPA estimates the K5 will earn up to 29 mpg city, and 38 mpg highway, rivaling the Toyota Camry for MPG. This GT model is nothing to shake a dipstick at.
Now the fun stuff - Interior. The K5, much like Kia’s Telluride SUV, is uber luxurious and extremely refined. What initially drew me to this interior was its striking similarity to that of the Tesla Model 3. With faux-wood trim adorning the entire length of the dashboard and doors, everything flows elegantly from one section to the next. Coming in a variety of different color-themes and seat trims, there seem to be options for just about everyone. Cloth or SynTex seat material options, paired with both heated and cooled seat adjustment provide a comfortable experience year-round, and an available 10 and a quarter inch touch screen display leave you feeling like your cruising around in luxury. Standard Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay also give this vehicle huge bonus points. As for driving features, Kia’s Smart Cruise Control with Highway Driving Assist maintain speed, acceleration, and deceleration, while simultaneously providing futuristic lane keeping assist on highways. A laundry list of other driver’s safety and accident avoidance features make for an extremely safe driving experience as well.
Overall, the new Kia K5 is an excellent option for anyone looking into mid-sized sedans. Starting at only $23,490, this sporty sedan is spacious, comfortable, quick, and surprisingly aggressive. Edgy body lines, and LED lights provide a feel of caged violence to the exterior, while lavish interior styling and accoutrements deliver on comfort and enjoyment. A fantastic addition to the Kia lineup, and to the automotive world itself.