2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Kia has replaced its old Optima model with the new K5 model. Going along with this change in name, the vehicle has gotten a fresh design with bold exterior elements, and its cabin feels more refined. The K5 is available with all-wheel drive, unlike the Optima.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
There are five trims to choose from with the 2021 Kia K5. The first four all run on the same turbocharged engine, with the top-level GT trim using a larger turbo engine.
The LX and LXS both have 16-inch wheels and heated side mirrors. They have smartphone compatibility and eight-inch touchscreens, along with two-zone climate control and cloth seats. A bonus is that they have several driver-assist systems. One difference is that the LXS has a smart key system that comes along with remote start, push-button start, and a hands-free power-operated trunk. The LXS' illuminated exterior door handles are a nice touch.
Next up is the GT-Line. It's quite sporty, with bold exterior details that include black outside mirrors and a sport black rear spoiler. It has LEDs in its fog lights and rear combination lamps. Another major way in which it has been upgraded has to do with its wheels. This trim sits on 18-inch alloy wheels that have a black finish. The cabin of the GT-Line has been enhanced with a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and cloth and SynTex seating upholstery.
In the EX, the overall feeling is one of sophistication. This car is outfitted with a panoramic sunroof, and the infotainment system comes with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and UVO link remote capability. The cabin feels elegant, thanks to LED lighting, wood-style accent trim, SynTex upholstery. Both front seats have heating and ventilation.
Finally, there's the GT. It's the most powerful K5 available, and Kia has matched that capability with athletic details on its exterior. The GT has sport bucket front seats that make the cabin feel more like one in a race car. It's the only trim to ride on 19-inch wheels and have a quad-tip dual exhaust.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
The GT would be perfect for anyone who really values performance. It's a fast car that's fun to drive, and it certainly looks the part.
However, not everyone needs that kind of capability. All of the other trims are quite reasonable and packed with high-tech programs. That being said, the LX and LXS might feel a little too basic with their manually adjustable seats and standard interior features. The GT-Line and EX offer more in terms of amenities and technology, and either of these would be a good choice.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
The 2021 K5 features an eight-inch touchscreen. The system includes Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. A 12-speaker audio system with Bose components is available on certain trims, as is a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Navigation is another option to consider. The EX is the only trim to have SiriusXM, though this is available on some other trims.
Kia has installed a USB data port and charging outlet in its front console. For convenience, some trims have wireless charging as well as a set of USB charging outlets in the rear console.
How Does It Perform?
Most of the K5 models run on turbocharged 1.6-liter engines. This type of engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine can generate 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, and this is definitely enough capability to make the K5 feel lively.
If anyone feels that the turbo 1.6L isn't enough, there's another option to consider. The GT trim uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. Like the other version, it has four cylinders. Because of its larger size, it's able to create 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, so things are much more impressive with this model. Kia has put in an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission into the GT, and this trim has paddle shifters for a little extra excitement.
It's important to note that the LXS and GT-Line are available with all-wheel drive. This can be useful for some customers, especially those that drive in snowy or icy conditions on occasion.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Every Kia K5 has the ability to monitor the situation and take action if necessary. For example, lane departure warning can alert drivers when they're veering out of their lanes, and lake keeping assist can gently correct their steering. Another standard system is forward collision-avoidance assist, and it comes with pedestrian detection.
The car's rear view monitor can be very helpful when people are backing up. The camera system has dynamic parking guidance to improve precision when making maneuvers in tight spaces. Most trims have blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring, and these systems come with mitigation systems to hopefully prevent accidents from occurring. Automatic high beams, safe exit assist, and driver attention warning are other safety features that the K5 can have.
What's the Interior Like?
Configured as a typical sedan, the K5 has room for five people. Leg room in the front is 46.1 inches. The second row has a decent amount of space with about 35 inches of leg room.
The car starts out with cloth seats. The mid-level option has seats with a combination of cloth and SynTex, and the higher trims feature only SynTex. SynTex is a synthetic material that is durable and looks fairly upscale.
Some trims are further upgraded with rear air vents, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and heated front seats. Only the EX has ventilation in the front seats, though the GT offers this as an option.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The market has many close competitors to the Kia K5. They include the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry.
Note: All Kia K5 lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.