Farewell Optima, hello K5. Kia has officially changed the name of its mid-sized sedan, to the more sporty sounding alpha-numeric K5. The shakeup also heralds in an all turbo-charged lineup of trim levels, as well as the first-ever AWD option and an optional eight-speed dual clutch transmission.
Thanks to those turbos, the base model 1.6L inline-four will get 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t to shabby. After a GT upgrade, the K5 could come with that eight-speed transmission and a 2.5L four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.
To match the performance boost, Kia have also given the lineup a nice redesign. It’s still reserved in ways, but has the Optima’s characteristic chrome strip above the doors. The grille keeps with the Kia design language, but is flanked on wither side by signature LED lights, which Kia have given a heart beat pattern for daylight running. There are also 16, 18, and 19 inch alloy wheel options, depending on the trim and powertrain you go for.
There are smart features aplenty as well, Kia has Drive Wise, which provides automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping, and pedestrian detection. All of those seem regular-degular on a 2021 model, but for some additional money, they’ll give you rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise-control, and land centering.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can both be utilized on the 8″ or optional 10.3″ screen. The interior is sufficiently stylish, leaning on “fighter pilot” designs for its aggressive looks. It’s surprisingly spacious with plenty of room for your whole family or crew.
K5s will be hitting dealerships this summer. Their LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX will come first, but the top-dog GT won’t be out for some months. They haven’t announced pricing yet, but expect it to run the gamut from current Optima pricing (~$24k) to around the price of their Stinger GT (~$34k).
As to the AWD variants of the K5, they won’t be immediately available, but should drop around the end of 2020.