The Kia K5 GT is superior to the BMW 330i, and here's the data to prove it!

This is quite the comparison I know, but hear me out.

9w ago

BMW claims to build the Ultimate Driving Machine, and many people on the Internet believe that to be true. In that same vein, many people on the Internet still think that Kia is a terrible company, and that a Kia is automotive sacrilege. These two vehicles were never meant to meet, and yet, looking at pricing for Kia's latest crop of vehicles, one could make a claim that Kia is aiming further and further upmarket, while maintaining their reputation for reliability and value for money. The Drive has a full review of both of these vehicles, where they compare both of these on an even playing field, but since I am not The Drive, I will not be so "even" because the K5 GT is a great car, and I wouldn't be caught dead in a BMW. So with that out of the way, let's begin.

Round 1: Pricing

This one is a no brainer, the Kia is going to win, by a long shot. The K5 GT starts from $30,490, and fully kitted out, the K5 GT stickers for $37,505. The 330i starts at $41,250 and fully kitted out, the 330i comes in at $58,825. Sure a claim could be argued that the Bimmer has more features than the Kia, but are those features really worth $11,000 to $17,000? Sure the K5 might be less refined, but again, it can't be worth that much money, right?

Round 2: Features

When packed to the gills, the K5 comes with a 10-way power drivers seat with 2-way lumbar control, forward collision avoidance assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functions, lane keeping assist and rear cross traffic alert. All of that comes in the $4,000 GT1 Package, which is disappointing since most mass-market sedans are including some of those safety features as standard, but I digress.

The 330i has 4-way lumbar control, a heads-up display, BMW's Gesture Control, and the company's new Laserlights in the Executive Package. The tricky part of the Executive Package, is that you have to get the Driver's Assistance Package along with it for an additional $700, bringing the total option package to $5,100. If you option the Premium Package for $3,200 it also forces your hand to get the Driver's Assistance Package. Even the bare bones Convenience Pack which is $900 forces you to option in parking sensors for an extra $200.

Even with the BMW kitted out with the $5,100 top-shelf pack, you'd still have to shell out another $1,700 for the Driving Assistance Professional Package which includes all of the same safety features as the K5, in fact, the only things that really stood out to me on the BMW were the heated rear seats, which were an extra $350 on top of everything else, and the heads-up display.

It should also be mentioned that the K5 GT's five color options are all standard. the only standard colors on the 330i are black and white, and neither of them are metallic. To add a metallic paint to the 330i costs $550, and since none of you are going to special order either of these cars, that's $550 that BMW dealers are going to make, every single time.

Round 3: Engines

It's another win for the K5 here too. the K5 GT's 2.5-liter, 290 horsepower engine puts out a whopping 35 more horses than the 330i's 2.0-liter. The K5's engine also has more torque, at 311 lb-ft versus the 330i's 295 lb-ft. Of course, the 3-Series range goes above and beyond this with the 340i and the M3, but you're in a whole other price bracket at that point. So how do these bad boys actually handle?

Round 4: Performance Specs

Despite costing a whole lot more, and being rear-wheel-drive, the 330i is 0.2 seconds slower to 60 miles per hour, handled 0.2g worse on a skidpad, and was 0.2 seconds slower through the quarter mile than the K5 GT. All of this testing data is available in the article by The Drive, which cites that the testing was done by Automotive Marketing Consultants Incorporated. Cut a long-story short, it's because BMW puts 225 millimeter tires on the 330i, while the K5 GT uses 245's.

As a person who upgraded from 205s to 225s, the change in steering is monumental. Fatter tires and a bigger engine that puts out more power, that's sort of a no-brainer right?

Round 5: Day-To-Day Livability

While I will say that the BMW will likely attract more buyers for the same ridiculous reasons I mentioned beforehand, it does pose the question, is it all worth it? At the end of the day, how many people are going to see your 330i and say "Wow! That person is really successful!", I'll tell you. It's the same number of people that are going to see K5 GT and say "Wow, that person really spent their money on a Kia?" Maybe one.

BMW offers a 4-year/50,000 mile Ultimate Care Warranty which includes oil changes, air filter changes, etc. The K5 GT comes with Kia's 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. While Kia doesn't offer 4 years of maintenance like BMW does, ask yourself if all of that adds up to somewhere around $10,000 and then come back to this article. Go ahead, I'll wait. Alright cool.

The Takeaway

It's simple. The K5 GT wins. It won from the beginning. This was fun for me, I got to stir the pot, I got to tell a great underdog story, and ultimately, I basically gave you the means of telling every 330i owner that you come across that they could've bought a project car, and a reliable daily driver for the price of their car. Go forth and dunk on them, my fellow drivers. It's time that other people see Kia as a brand that is beyond capable of hanging out with the legends, while also dominating other mass market brands. Of course, if it was my money, I would save another $12,000 and get a car with more power than both of these, all-wheel-drive, and just a few years older, this 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir.

Knowing what you do now, would you still buy the 330i over the K5 GT? Would you take the Kia over the BMW? Or would you take the Buick, like me? Comment Below!

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Comments (16)

  • Kia stepped up their games years ago when they bought a styling department. Since then they are killing it in the industry. More value for less money. I see more Kia's than any other brand - I live in SW VA. People are poor here and Kia fits the bill. A new Kia can be had for the price of a good used Toyota. Less in some cases. They make solid cars and that is difficult to argue against. Same with their sister company Hyundai. They are rockin these days as well.

      2 months ago
  • Anyone who still thinks that kia only makes unreliable shitboxes needs to grow up, and face reality: kia is a good car brand that makes reliable, quality vehicles. They are nothing like they used to be.

      2 months ago
    • I was a sales rep that drove 40-45 K per year. I drove Corollas until 2010 when I took the plunge and bought an Optima. Result...more comfort, nearly same mpg, many more features, unbelievable reliability. Since retiring have “gifted”...

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        2 months ago
    • This is an interesting comment. My moms family has been a Meec family for 50 years, and my aunt recently bought an Audi. She had just had enough with overpriced interior fit and finish.

        2 months ago
  • Good for Kia, but this is really a knock on BMW. The 3 has grown fat, it’s underpowered, and it’s a bit numb. I’m certain BMW could make a better car if they weren’t busy raping grills.

      2 months ago
  • It looks worse, so no, it isn't.

      2 months ago
  • I don't know much about the Kia cars but I have read quite a bit about the Stinger and I definitely like what I have read. It is a darned sharp looking car.

      2 months ago