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For 2021, Kia is bringing the new K5 to the market. This mid-sized sedan is sporty and sleek, with an aerodynamic shape and advanced components under the hood. A few notable things about the Kia K5 is that it has available all-wheel drive and two turbocharged engines to choose from. Like many other new Kias, the K5 has advanced technology for entertainment, convenience, and safety purposes.
For a sedan, the K5 has a nice blend of features, one of them being a comfortably-sized cabin. Leg room in the front is a generous 46.1 inches. In the back, rear-seat passengers can spread out only a little bit with 35.2 inches of leg room. Since the trunk has a volume of 16 cubic feet, there's plenty of space for luggage, groceries, or other items.
There are five trims of the 2021 Kia K5. The LX is the base model, and the GT is the highest trim available. As one moves up in trim, there are some noticeable differences, mainly in terms of extra amenities. Some people are going to end up treating themselves to more luxury components, while others are going to be happy with the basics. This guide will provide potential customers with a better idea of which trims would be ideal for them.
Compare the 2021 Kia K5 LX vs LXS Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
The LX and LXS are actually pretty close in price, so one would assume that the differences between them are minimal. The first thing that might stand out, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, is that the LXS is offered in six exterior colors and two interior color schemes. In contrast, the LX only has four exterior color choices and is is limited to a black interior scheme. With the LXS, there is the addition of a beige interior color scheme as well as gold and dark grey for the exterior paint.
Another exterior difference is that the LXS is the only one out of these two trims that has illuminated door handles. The other difference in terms of exterior features, which is that the LXS has a Smart Trunk, could be important to some. A Smart Trunk opens by itself once someone is standing behind the trunk with the Smart Key in hand (or in a pocket). It makes sense to mention that now the LXS comes with a Smart Key with remote start and push-button start while the LX has a less advanced remote keyless entry system.
On the inside of the K5, the LX and LXS have somewhat similar features. They both have six-way adjustable driver's seats and passenger's seats, cloth seat trim, vanity mirrors that can be illuminated, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. In addition, they have the same infotainment package with standard Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system. The infotainment system is run through an eight-inch touchscreen, and there are controls conveniently mounted onto the steering wheel.
Where the LXS stands apart from the LX is in its available technology components. The LXS gives people the option to get SiriusXM Satellite Radio, two USB charging outlets in the back, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and heated front seats.
Both of these trims run on 1.6-liter turbocharged engines with four cylinders. This type of engine is capable of producing 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is paired with the engine, and the all-wheel-drive system that was previously mentioned is available starting with the LXS.
The LX ends up being a little more efficient, in part because it has a idle stop-and-go function to help it save gas. An LX can achieve an estimated 29/38 (city/highway) miles per gallon; the LXS front-wheel-drive trim can earn an estimated 27/37 miles per gallon. The all-wheel drive version can get up to 26/34 miles per gallon.
when looking at the two trims from a safety perspective, they do very well. They come a with forward collision-avoidance assist system that can detect the presence of pedestrians, a driver attention warning system that will alert you if you're not looking in the right place or the vehicle in front of you has begun to move from a still position, and high beam assist. The two trims have rear view monitors, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist, but only the LXS has blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Compare the 2021 Kia K5 LXS vs GT-Line Trims. What is the Difference?
The GT-Line is distinct from the LXS in several ways. First, it offers the choice of a blue exterior paint color and a grey/red interior color scheme. It also has special GT styling, which includes gloss black accents, sportier 18-inch wheels, and a different type of front grille. Like the LXS (and LX), the GT-Line has power-adjustable side mirrors that are heated. Unlike the LXS, the GT-Line has LED turn signal indicators mounted in those mirrors, along with a black spoiler, LED front fog lights, LED rear combination lamp, and an available panoramic sunroof.
When sitting inside the GT-Line, perhaps the first things that jump out are that the seats are a cloth and synthetic leather and that the leather-wrapped steering wheel is a sport version with a flat bottom. Full synthetic leather is available for the GT-Line's seat trim. The GT-Line has a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat that comes with power lumbar support, and like the LXS, it has available heated front seats.
In the GT-Line, there are a few more available safety elements. This trim can come with a more advanced forward collision-avoidance assist mechanism that can detect cyclists and other vehicles that are turning at intersections. It can also come with smart cruise control, which can slow the car down before a curve and take stop-and-go traffic into account, and highway driving assist, which lets the car drive almost independently in terms of steering, acceleration, and deceleration.
Compare the 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line vs EX - What is the Difference?
Moving from the GT-Line to the EX takes people in the direction of more luxury. The EX has a standard panoramic sunroof. The sunroof has a power sunshade that can be quickly moved into place when it's too hot and sunny outside. Both trims have 18-inch wheels, but the EX has ones that have a gray machine finish while the GT-Line's wheels have a sport black finish.
In the EX, there are rear air conditioning vents that back-seat passengers will really appreciate when the car is first starting up. Plus, there is LED interior lighting that can add to the sophistication of the cabin. The EX's seats are a synthetic leather that's easy to clean and looks upscale. The front seats in the EX are heated and ventilated as well.
The infotainment package in the EX is a step up from the one found in the GT-Line. Wireless charging becomes standard at the EX level, as is having a USB charging outlet in the center console. This outlet would be in addition to the other front USB charging outlet and the two in the rear. In the EX, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and UVO Link connectivity are standard. Both the EX and GT-Line provide the opportunity to get navigation and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, but only the EX has an available 12-speaker audio system with Bose technology.
The EX is the only trim out of these two that has a parking distance warning for when someone is traveling in reverse. In the EX, there's an available parking collision-avoidance assist system that can not only alert drivers to potential issues, but also hit the brakes in an effort to avoid a collision.
Notably, all-wheel drive isn't an option on the EX. This may be a deal-breaker for some customers who think that they'll be occasionally driving in adverse conditions.
Compare the 2021 Kia K5 EX vs GT Trims. What is the Difference?
Sitting at the top of the lineup, the GT is a significant upgrade over the other trims, at least when examining its performance. It's the only 2021 Kia K5 trim to run on a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, as opposed to a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. With its greater size and multi-port injection, this engine can output 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The amount of power a driver will feel is impressive, and it will certainly make for a more exciting drive around town.
The transmission used in the GT is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and there are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to add to the sports car vibe. Even the suspension is more finely tuned in the GT to make the car more agile, and the brake calipers are of a higher quality when compared with the EX's components. Again, though, all-wheel drive is not an option on the GT.
For the most part, the safety elements in the GT are the same as what's seen in the EX. While the EX has the standard parking distance warning system, the GT only has this feature as an option, and it doesn't have the EX's available parking collision-avoidance assist system.
Both the GT and EX have heated steering wheels as available features. The GT has an available leather-wrapped gear shifter, and its accent graphics are slightly different than those found in the more elegant EX. The GT has heated front seats, but the ventilation component is available rather than being standard. Like the EX, the GT has an available driver's seat memory system that will get the seat into place in just a few seconds. One other difference in seating is that the GT has sport bucket front seats, which have deep bolstering and GT embossing.
In a few ways, the GT can be differentiated from the EX in its appearance. It's the only trim to have a quad-tip dual exhaust and 19-inch alloy wheels. Like the GT-Line, the GT has front LED fog lights, the option to get full LED headlights, and a rear spoiler.
When looking at the cars from a technological perspective, the EX actually has more to offer than the GT. For example, SiriusXM Satellite Radio is an option on the GT but standard on the EX; likewise, UVO Link remote connectivity is standard on the EX and only available on the GT.
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Which Trim to Choose?
For those considering the 2021 Kia K5, there's a lot to appreciate. The car is definitely stylish, and it feels youthful and spirited. When deciding on trim, the first thing to think about would be one's preferred engine. The GT comes with nearly 300 horsepower, and this point is sure to leave an impression with performance-minded drivers. For most people, though, the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in the other trims would be sufficient.
Since the GT-Line and EX are towards the top of the lineup but aren't incredibly expensive, these would be smart choices. With the available upgrades, they can both come with multiple charging outlets, wireless charging, and larger touchscreens.
These two Kia K5 trims seem to be designed for people with different preferences, as the GT-Line is more edgy and the EX is more sophisticated. The EX would be the better buy for those who want a slightly nicer cabin, with heated front seats and wood accent trim. The GT-Line is great for drivers who want to be able to zip around town in style.