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2021 Kia K5 arrives with a flourish

2021 Kia K5 arrives with a flourish

The car destined to replace the Optima in the Kia sedan lineup has arrived. The 2021 Kia K5 was announced last week as the official successor to the Optima. The K5 has been the name Kia has used in its global model for a number of years and now the North American market has been brought into line.

That isn’t the only change though.

The 2021 Kia K5 brings a new look, all-wheel drive and an all-new GT model.

2021 Kia K5

The 2021 Kia K5 is the fifth generation of the sedan and the first to carry the name. It’s a mostly new car with a new platform based on its sister car, the Hyundai Sonata. That means the K5 is slightly wider, lower and longer than the Optima. This should be felt in the interior with even more passenger space.

The design is a departure too. The front end is wider and narrower, the tiger grille and lighting looks completely different. A new lower sill and curved hood are more examples. The new front end has a great look, as another journalist mentioned, it ‘glowers’ and that’s a very apt description.

The rest of the shape is very smooth with panel detailing all over, a raked windshield, curved roof, rounded trunk lid and modern rear lighting. An upward canted rear valance exposes a set of exhaust pipes to finish.

It’s a very attractive profile that will help shift this car in significant numbers.

Inside the K5

On the inside, the 2021 Kia K5 is also new. A new flat-bottomed steering wheel is the most obvious. New materials, new dashboard layout, new centre touchscreen and new red trim on the example model are all departures from the Optima.

The K5 has an 8.0 inch touchscreen with the option of upgrading to 10.3 inches. It will feature Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as the newest Kia UVO and Kia Drive Wise.

Kia Drive Wise includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assistance and driver-attention warnings to improve safety. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, navigation-based adaptive cruise control and lane centering assistance.

Under the hood

The current engine options for the 2021 Kia K5 include a 1.6-litre turbo four that produces 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque and a 2.5-litre turbo four with 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Both use an automatic transmission to send power to the front or all wheels. AWD is an option coming later in the year.

The latter engine will be in the GT model and will come with an eight speed dual clutch automatic. It will also come with tuned suspension, 19 inch alloy wheels and Pirelli P Zero tires.

The 2021 Kia K5 will be available in LX, LXS, GT-Line and EX trims with the GT to follow later. Kia has yet to announce pricing but with a release of summer 2020, we don’t have long to wait until we find out.

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