2021 Kia K5

#30
in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$23,490 - $30,490
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3.8

Overall Rating

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2021 Kia K5 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: October 12, 2020


Even with the diminishing desirability of sedans, Kia has managed to bring up a compelling example with the 2021 K5. The design language of the Kia screams sportiness and luxury, and the smooth lines make the car a total head-turner. Starting at $23,490 for the base LX trim, prices of the K5 go up till $30,490 for the ultimate EX trim which comes with a more powerful engine and an 8-speed DCT unit. It will be made available for purchase later in November 2020.

See detailed review »

Pros

Plenty of equipment on offer as standard

Stylish and spacious cabin

Easy to use infotainment system

Cons

The base 1.6L engine feels slow to accelerate

Tight rear headroom

What's New?

The car is all-new for 2021.


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Kia K5 Review video
2021 Kia K5 Exterior video

Styles

2021 Kia K5 in Aqua Blue Metallic color
Aqua Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

5.0

Engine And Performance

3.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Interior

4.0

Exterior

3.0

Final Verdict

3.8

3.8

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Kia K5 LX

LX

power
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$23,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $23,490 MSRP (29/32/38) 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5

2021 Kia K5 LXS

LXS

power
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$24,490 - $26,590


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $24,490 MSRP (27/31/37) 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5
LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $26,590 MSRP TBD 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

GT-Line

power
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$25,390 - $29,090


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $25,390 MSRP (27/31/37) 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5
GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,090 MSRP TBD 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5

2021 Kia K5 EX

EX

power
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$27,990 - $30,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,990 MSRP (27/31/37) 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
8-speed automatic w/OD TBD 5
EX 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $30,490 MSRP TBD 180 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4,
TBD TBD 5

Expert Review

3.8

Overall Rating


Hyundai is a name that is well known across the States, and Kia being a sister company to it, their cars share a lot in common. Simply put, they are designed on the same platform mostly. The 2021 Kia K5 starts its life as the rebadged Optima sedan, which was essentially Kia's rendition of Hyundai Sonata in the early 2000s.

So there's no doubt that the K5 will again be one of the well-known and trusted names in the midsized sedan segment. Also for the 2021 model year, Kia has decided to bring the K5 GT to the States later in November. For a price of $30,490, excluding destination charges, the 2021 Kia K5 GT is expected to be purists' paradise.

2021 Kia K5 Heart-Beat Design LED DRLs
2021 Kia K5 GT-Line with Dual Chrome Exhausts

5.0/10
Features

3.0/10
Engine and Performance

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

4.0/10
Interior

3.0/10
Exterior

3.8/10
Final Verdict


2021 Kia K5 Features

5.0/10

The 2021 Kia K5 comes in a total of 4 trim levels - LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX. The prices for the 2021 Kia K5 starts at $23,490 for the base LX trim and go all the way up to $30,490 for the top-of-the-line EX. The model year 2021 is the first time when the Korean automaker has made available the option of AWD drivetrain for the K5. Although the sportiest GT trim will be sans of the AWD drivetrain option and will go on sale later in the year.

Trims

LX

LXS

GT-Line

EX

MSRP (FWD)

$23,490 $24,490 $25,390 $27,990
MSRP (AWD)   $26,590 $29,090 $30,490

Key Features

Electronic Parking Brake w/Auto-hold

Adds/Upgrades to LX Adds/Upgrades to LXS Adds/Upgrades to GT-Line

 

16-inch Alloy Wheels

Remote Engine Start

18-inch Sport Alloy Wheel

Heated and Ventilated Front Seats

 

Keyless Entry

Split-folding Rear Seat w/Center Armrest

Glossy Black Rear Spoiler

Ambient Lighting

 

LED Multi-reflector headlight

Push-button Start

GT Line Front and Rear Bumper

10.25-inch Display w/Navigation

 

Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control

Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist

GT-Line Leather Trim and Flat-bottom Steering Wheel

Bose Premium Sound System

 

 

Blind-spot Collision Avoidance Assist

Power Driver Seat w/Power Lumbar Support

UVO link, SiriusXM

 

 

 

Panoramic Sunroof

Wireless Phone Charger

The LX trim of the K5 starts at $24,455, including a $965 destination charge. It is priced fairly well and is at par among the rivals. It comes with plenty of standard safety features and is also equipped fairly well in terms of comfort and convenience highlights. The LXS is second in the line-up and comes with a few more extra features like push-button start and remote key start, and a few extra safety features like blind-spot collision assist and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.

The GT-Line is the third trim which, in simple words, is a less powerful GT version of the K5. It comes with the same 1.6L engine as the other trims but with the design and features like the sportier GT trim. It gets GT-spec front and rear bumper, a glossy black rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels giving the feel of the GT but at a little less cost. The EX adds more convenience and infotainment features to the K5.

 


Also Read:

Is the Hyundai Sonata a better buy than the Kia K5?

The Kia K5 looks elegant and sporty all at once

2021 Kia K5 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

The older Kia models have been known for their unreliability, but over the past few years Kia has been learning and improving consistently. In the present times, Kia stands as one of the most reliable brands in the market. In 2016 it was marked as the #1 brand for reliability by J.D Power report, which is a big achievement for any mainstream manufacturer, given this title which was dominated by the most luxurious brands like Porsche, Lincoln, etc.

Is the Kia K5 Reliable, and how much is its Ownership Costs?

The Kia K5 for 2021 comes with top-notch safety features, and reliability of the K5 is not a thing to worry about. The Kia Optima, for the 2020 model year, scored an overall rating of 80 out of 100 in J.D Power rating. A newer initial quality study, which surveys problems owners have had with their vehicles for the first 90 days, have put Kia at the top, beating all the luxury brands like Lexus, Buick and Infiniti.

Kia has been recognized as “Highest Ranked Mass Market Brand in Initial Quality” for four years in a row by J.D Power. This explains the kind of quality that Kia delivers. The Quality and Reliability rating for the K5/Optima for 2020 stands at 83 out of 100. All this stands a pillar that supports the claim that 2021 Kia K5 is going to be reliable and easy to maintain and won’t disappoint the customer.

The 2021 Kia K5 on average costs about $24,455, as the starting price, but due to the exemption of taxes the people in Montana, Delaware, New Hampshire, Atlanta and Oregon enjoy the lowest prices. As K5 just arrived in the dealerships there is no actual data available on the NHTSA website considering the recalls, but even for the 2020 Kia K5/Optima no recalls have been made, which proves how reliable the K5 would be as a travel companion.

Category

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$874

$905

$936

$969

$1,003

$4,687

Maintenance

$301

$535

$382

$886

$1,318

$3,422

Repairs

$0

$0

$0

$0

$524

$524

Taxes & Fees

$1,280

$93

$93

$93

$93

$1,652

Financing

$1,179

$948

$702

$440

$158

$3,427

Depreciation

$4,709

$1,611

$1,524

$1,788

$1,694

$11,326

Fuel

$1,440

$1,483

$1,528

$1,574

$1,621

$7,646

Real Cost of ownership

$9,783

$5,575

$5,165

$5,750

$6,411

$32,684

The new K5 is also based on a fully new platform, and shares its underpinnings with the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata which is also one of the most reliable cars out in the market. In a span of 5 years, you will have to shell out around $34,000 when you buy a new Kia K5. This is a bit more than what rivals like the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry cost to own.

What is the Warranty offered with the 2021 Kia K5?

Kia and Hyundai are well known for the best warranty packages that they offer with their cars. While no complimentary maintenance is offered in the case of the K5, the Limited warranty and the Powertrain warranty are one of the longest amongst any of the automakers apart from the corporate sibling, Hyundai. The Powertrain warranty is valid for a period of 10 years/100,000 miles, whichever is earlier, which is more than any of the rivals.

Criteria

Period

Limited Warranty

5 Years/60,000 Miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain Warranty

10 Years/100,000 Miles; whichever is earlier

Roadside Assistance

5 Years/60,000 Miles; whichever is earlier

Kia backs the K5 with the Warranty Package that no other manufacturer has to offer and outstands the rivals by a huge margin. Although no complimentary scheduled maintenance is offered, the Powertrain warranty makes sure that there is no need of much repair for the car even if you have to own it for a very long period of time.

What is the Miles Per Dollar cost of the 2021 Kia K5?

If you own a 2020 Kia K5, the amount of money you would have to spend on it in a year stands around $9,893 assuming that you drive it for an approximated 15,000 miles. Based on this data the cost for the maintenance for the first year of ownership stands at a mere $301 for 15,000 miles or $49 for a mile. The cost of fuel for every mile for the Kia is 12$.


Also Read:

A complete coverage of all that is new on the 2021 Kia K5

What is so special about the 2021 Kia K5 GT?

2021 Kia K5 Buying Advice

We would recommend buying either the GT-Line or the EX trim, whichever fulfills your taste. Both of them come with their unique features. The GT-Line comes with the sportier cosmetic changes to the car, along with a few interior changes as well giving the K5 a sportier look. However, if you seek opulence over sportiness, then the EX trim is your go-to choice as it comes with all the creature comforts and technology, as well as the besti-in-class safety features for the price.

Is buying a used Kia K5 a good idea?

The Kia K5/Optima retains its value well, with very little depreciation during the first three years of ownership. This model also has one of the highest resale value of any car in its class, especially if it has been driven less than 15,000 miles per year. For the first year of ownership, they lose about $5,000, which is about the same as the rivals.

The best model years of the Optima to buy are the newest, that is, from 2017 to 2019 model years. These have had the least amount of issues with them. All the previous models have had their fair share of issues and have tampered with the reputation of the K5. The newest models also have the least depreciation value and have proved to be more reliable than the previous models.

2021 Kia K5 Engine and Performance

3.0/10

The 2021 Kia K5 will come with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard. It produces 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive with an option of an all-wheel drivetrain on the mid-tier variants.

That 1.6-liter engine is good to zoom around the city and provides decent acceleration, but on the highway it seems to lack in terms of power and takes a little extra effort and time to execute a pass. However, Kia does have a cure for this. The 2.5-liter engine that will be available in a few month's time in the GT will produce 290 horses and 311 lb-ft of torque.

Models

2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

MSRP

$23,490 $24,270 $24,245 $21,500

Engine

1.6L Turbocharged Inline-4 1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

CVT

8-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic

Power

180hp@5,500rpm 192hp@5,500rpm 203hp@6,600rpm 186hp@6,000rpm

Torque

195lb-ft@1,500rpm 192lb-ft@1,600rpm 184lb-ft@5,000rpm 186lb-ft@4,000rpm

It will allow the K5 to accelerate pastthe 60 MPH from a standstill in 5.8 seconds. In comparison, Toyota Camry is the most powerful and produces the most horsepower from the naturally aspirated V6 engine but the Kia produces the most amount of torque, tha too at much lower RPMs, thanks to the turbocharged engine.

How impressive is the Acceleration and Braking Performance of the 2021 Kia K5?

As already mentioned, the 2.5-liter engine of the K5 GT will make it sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.8 seconds. This is made possible with the help of the turbocharged and more powerful engine mated to the eight-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox which is developed in-house by Kia.

Speaking of the standard 1.6L turbocharged four-pot, this standard powertrain makes the K5 sprint from 0-60 MPH in a laggy 8 seconds. Front-wheel-drive is standard but, as of now, only the LXS and GT-Line can be had with AWD. There is no option of AWD for the 2021 Kia K5 GT. It could be available in the foreseeable future, let's hope.

Models

2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

0-60 MPH

8.0 sec

6.6 sec 7.6 sec 8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.1 sec 15.7 sec 16.0 sec

Top Speed

152 MPH

135 MPH

135 MPH

131 MPH

60-0 MPH

124 ft

122 ft

122 ft

122 ft

With a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds, the Honda Accord is the fastest to sprint, and the fastest to stop too with a distance of 122 ft when braking from 60 MPH. Kia stands at par with the Mazda 3 but has the highest top speed, and with the 2.5-liter engine, it can surely outrun the rival and just whizz past them.

2021 Kia K5 Fuel Economy

4.0/10

Fuel efficiency is surely given importance to this time in the K5. The previous year Optima delivered unimpressive fuel economy but it has surely been corrected and improved for the current year. The EPA estimates the 1.6L front-wheel-drive K5 will earn up to 29 MPG for city and 38 MPG on highway. Kia surely performs much better this year and also gives a tough fight to the competitors.

Models

2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

MPG (City)

29

30

29

26

MPG (Highway)

38

38

41

35

MPG (Combined)

32

33

34

30

Fuel Capacity

14.8 gallons

14.8 gallons

14.5 gallons

13.2 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

429/562/474 miles 444/562/48 miles 421/595/493 miles 343/462/396 miles

The Camry again wins with the highest fuel economy but the slightly larger fuel tank of the Kia helps it to run for longer distances in the city. Mazda 3 sedan has the least impressive figures and the smallest fuel tank making it the least efficient car among the rivals.


Also Read

Here's all the news from Kia to get you all caught up

Check out these other cars from Kia you can buy

2021 Kia K5 Interior

4.0/10

Inside the K5 you can easily seat up to 5 people. The cabin of the K5 looks astonishing and is designed to be sophisticated, while being pretty straight forward. The seats come wrapped in synthetic leather, and so does the steering wheel. The cabin is also filled with materials like wood trim on the dash and doors which makes it even more attractive. The dazzling 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with high resolution, and customizable theme adds to the beauty of the cabin.

The cabin of the K5 is quite spacious and is well insulated, so it does not let the engine sound enter the cabin. The least you could hear is just a low small engine hymn. Space inside the cabin does not make one think they are sitting in some cramped coach as even the rear seats have ample legroom and can easily fit 3 average-sized adults. The front seat seems high even at the lowest position, which is comfortable for the driver.

Models

2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.2/58.0/46.1

39.5/58.3/42.3

38.3/57.7/42.1

38.0/55.7/42.3

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.8/56.1/35.2

37.3/56.5/40.4

38.0/55.8/38.0

37.3/53.5/35.1

Kia has the most space in all of the lot in the front and is not shy even at the back. With ample of headroom all over, it is one of the most spacious cars in the segment, and the trunk space of 16 cubic-feet is much closer to what is available in the Honda Accord. So the car has plenty of space for luggage.

How indulging is the 2021 Kia K5’s Infotainment system?

K5 comes with standard 8.0-inch touchscreen, or an optional 10.25-inch infotainment screen which is enclosed in a large piano-black bezel. Volume knob and physical buttons are present on the steering wheel for both the system and the rest of the controls are touch-sensitive, which at times can prove to be a bit distracting. 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are available for the smaller screen, but in the larger screen setup, a corded connection is required to use these features. The bigger unit does have a few stand-out features, like having customizable profiles and the ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. A 12-speaker Bose audio system is also available in the K5 for the people who want the best auditory experience.

2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan cockpit area
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan cockpit area
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan center console
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan front seats
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan rear seats
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan infotainment screen
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan cargo area

2021 Kia K5 Exterior

3.0/10

Known for the “tiger-faced” front-end, Kia still carries the same design language with a few tweaks in order to modernize the sedan. The front grille is wide and thin, which extends to the headlights and hood. Thanks to the fastback styling, the side silhouette also looks amazing and is inspired by the Kia Stinger.

The K5 uses LED headlights and taillights, with unique ‘Heart-Beat’ LED daytime running lights. The GT-Line and GT trims have shark-skin inspired mesh design for the front grille and chrome exhaust tips. The 2021 K5 is longer than the previous-gen model and this helped the designers to make some interesting design changes.

Models

2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

Curb Weight

N/A

3,131 lbs

3,241 lbs

3,071 lbs

Length

193.1"

192.2”

192.1”

183.5"

Width

73.2"

73.3”

72.4”

70.7”

Height

56.9”

57.1”

56.9”

56.9"

Ground Clearance

N/A

5.5”

5.7”

5.5"

Wheelbase

112.2”

111.4”

111.2”

107.3"

The new N3 platform has also allowed for lower center of gravity, resulting in more composure. The K5 is the longest overall and also has the largest wheelbase but is shorter in height when compared to the Accord. Such proportions make the car look a lot sleeker than the rest.

2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan wheel
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan wheel
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan front view
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan three quarter view
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan right side view
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan headlamp
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan rear three quarter view
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan front driving view
2021 Kia K5 basic Sedan headlamp and grille

2021 Kia K5 Safety

2021 Kia K5 has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). So it does not have a safety score as of now. Yet from how the Optima performs in those tests, it is a given that the car will be extremely safe. The midsize sedan comes with a host of safety features as standard as well as a few optional driver assistance features. Key safety features include:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist w/Pedestrian Detection
  • Driver Attention Warning w/Lead Vehicle Departure Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Follow Assist
  • High Beam Assist
  • Rear-view Monitor w/Dynamic Parking Guidance
  • 9 Airbags

2021 Kia K5 Competition

2021 Kia K5 vs Honda Accord

Both Accord and K5 are the best choices and stand as the top-rated cars in the segment. You can’t go wrong in choosing either one. Kia does hold a price advantage by a few hundred dollars in the low trims and a few thousand dollars in the higher trims, especially with the more generous warranty package.

2021 Kia K5 vs Toyota Camry

Toyota gives the customer a choice of three engine options, whereas the K5 comes with just two engine options. The Camry features a more elegant design, whereas the K5 gives a sportier sedan vibe. Camry still looks more dynamic and stands as a better deal due to its extremely efficient yet fairly powerful V6.

2021 Kia K5 vs Mazda 3

Both cars are good looking and dynamic. The Mazda, however, has more sporty handling, which is good for driving but does detract from ride comfort. Kia on the other hand offers more features for the money.

2021 Kia K5 Final Verdict

3.8/10

The Kia K5 has the style and substance to set it apart from all the other selling midsize sedans. It is very comfortable on long trips and is easy to drive as well, all thanks to the great suspension and exceptionally quiet cabin. The most noticeable point is the rich feature list that manages to undercut the competition on every level. In short, the 2021 Kia K5 delivers a truly upscale experience at a very accessible price.


Also Read:

A used Kia Optima can be yours for $5,902

Or get yourself this preowned Kia for just $4,000


 

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