Buyer's Guide

2021 Kia K5
Select a Different Model (7 Available): EX Sedan
Zero to 60 $ 7.8 seconds
Fuel Economy 27 / 37 mpg
Horsepower 180@5,500
Torque 195@1,500
See All Specs
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2021 Kia K5 MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Quiet and well-appointed interior
  • Smooth base powertrain

Cons

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto not available with larger 10.3-inch screen
  • AWD available only with the base engine

Kia's midsize sedan has ditched the Optima name in favor of its Korean domestic market moniker, the K5. The latest generation of Kia's popular sedan sports the brand's latest styling direction complete with cool patterns and a grille that now stretches below part of the headlights. Under that sleek profile is the new N3 platform that also underpins the new-for-2020 Hyundai Sonata. Unlike its Hyundai sibling, however, the 2021 Kia K5 will offer AWD in addition to standard FWD. Like the outgoing Optima, the 2021 Kia K5 will be built in Georgia alongside the Telluride.

Looking for info on the Kia Optima? Check out our 2020 Optima midsize sedan page here.

What's New

  • Kia's new midsize sedan has been renamed to K5 (from Optima) and rides on a new platform
  • A performance-oriented GT model tops the lineup

What We Think

The 2021 Kia K5 marks a massive step forward for the brand's midsize sedan. When we drove an early prototype, we found that the base powertrain alone is a step up from the outgoing Optima. Kia's new 1.6-liter turbo-four provides drama-free acceleration regardless of the drive mode you choose. Complementing the engine is a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Jumping inside the 2021 Kia K5, you're greeted with a well-built interior featuring good materials and great sound insulation. Little road noise entered the cabin in the prototypes we drove, even at high speeds.

Powertrains and Fuel Economy

The 2021 Kia K5 will offer two turbocharged engines. The LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX models are powered by a 1.6-liter turbo I-4 with 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. EPA fuel economy ratings for the base 1.6-liter are 29/38 mpg city/highway for FWD models with engine stop-start and 27/37 mpg without that tech.

Should you want more power than theh 180-hp standard engine, the performance-oriented 2021 Kia K5 GT features a 2.5-liter turbo-four with 290 hp and 311 lb-ft. The K5 GT mates that turbo-four to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Safety

All 2021 Kia K5 models have driver attention warning, forward collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, and lane keeping assist with centering function standard. Higher trims expand the list of driver assistance features with pedestrian detection, cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and highway driving assist, which improves lane keeping assist's centering function when in adaptive cruise control.

Technology

All 2021 K5 models get Kia's latest infotainment system with the latest artificial intelligence, allowing it to recognize natural speech. Lower trims feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen while higher-end trims get a larger 10.3-inch unit. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android are standard only on lower-end models with the smaller touchscreen. Other available tech features include wireless charging a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and built-in navigation.

Key Competitors

2021 KIA K5 SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 1.6 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 8 Speed Automatic
Trim
EX Sedan
Class
Passenger Car
Horsepower
180@5,500
Standard MPG
27/37
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
100,000
Full Warranty Miles
60,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
120
Full Warranty Months
60
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 2.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 75, 84 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 02-01-2021
$400 Kia announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible military personnel. 02-01-2021
$750 Kia announces a Competitive Bonus Program on select models. 02-01-2021
$750 Kia announces an Owner Loyalty Program on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 02-01-2021