2021 Kia K5

in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$23,490 - $30,490
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2021 Kia K5 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 10, 2020
Abhinandan Banerjee's image

Abhinandan Banerjee

Content Lead

Even with the diminishing desirability of family sedans, Kia has managed to bring up a compelling example with the 2021 K5. The design language of the Kia screams sportiness and luxuriousness, and the smooth lines make the car a head-turner. Starting with a price tag of $24,455 for the LX trim, the K5 goes up till $31,455 for the GT trim which comes with a more powerful engine and FWD, option to add an AWD system is available for all the trim levels.

See detailed review »


Plenty of equipment on offer as standard

Stylish and spacious cabin

Easy to use infotainment system


The base 1.6L engine feels slow to accelerate

Tight rear headroom

What's New?

The car is all-new for 2021.

Pictures & Videos

2021 Kia K5 Review video
2021 Kia K5 Interior video
2021 Kia K5 Exterior video

Trims and Configurations


2021 Kia K5 LX




Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $23,490 MSRP TBD 1.6 L,

2021 Kia K5 LXS



$24,490 - $26,590

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $24,490 MSRP TBD 1.6 L,
LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $26,590 MSRP TBD 1.6 L,

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line



$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 TBD 1.6 L,
GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,090 MSRP TBD 1.6 L,

2021 Kia K5 EX




Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,990 MSRP TBD 1.6 L,

2021 Kia K5 GT




Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $30,490 MSRP TBD 2.5 L,

Expert Review

Hyundai is a name that is well known across the states and Kia, being a sister company to Hyundai, the cars share a lot in common, and are designed on the same platform mostly. The Kia K5 started out its life as a rebadged Sonata in the early 2000s.

K5 is one of the well known and trusted names in the mid-sized sedan segment and for the 2021 model year, Kia has decided to bring the tradition to the states, re-naming the K5, the Kia K5 which is what the K5 has always been known as in the home-turf.

2021 Kia K5 Front View
2021 Kia K5 Rear View

2021 Kia K5 Features

The 2021 Kia K5 comes in a total of five trim levels, namely - LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT. The prices for the 2021 Kia K5 starts at $24,455 for the base LX trim and goes all the way up to $31,455 for the top of the line GT trim. 

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 sportier GT trim and the AWD drivetrain option are expected to go on sale later in the year.













Key Features

An electronic parking brake with auto-hold

Addition to or replacing the features of LX

Addition to or replacing the features of LXS

Addition to or replacing the features of GT-Line

Addition to or replacing the features of EX


16-inch alloy

Remote engine start

18-inch sport alloy wheel

Heated and ventilated front seats

2.5 L turbo 4-cyl engine


Keyless entry

Split-folding rear seat with center armrest

Glossy Black rear spoiler

Ambient lighting

8-speed quick shift DCT Automatic Transmission


LED multi-Reflector headlight

Push-button start

GT line front and rear bumper

10.25-inch Display w/ navigation

19-inch machined alloy wheel with Pirelli P Zero tires


Dual-zone Automatic Climate control

Rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.

GT line Leather trim and flat-bottom steering wheel

Bose sound system

Sports front seats



Blindspot collision avoidance assist

Power driver seat and power lumbar support

UVO link, Sirius XM

Flat bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters




Panoramic Sunroof

Wireless phone charger.


The LX trim which is the base model of the K5 starts at $24,455 which 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. Comes with the same 1.6 L engine as the other trims, but with the design and features like the sportier GT trim. 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.

2021 Kia K5 Side  View

The EX adds more convenience and infotainment features to the K5. The addition of heated and ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, a 10.25-inch display cluster, Bose sound system and ambient lighting inside the cabin adds to the premium and luxury feel of the K5.

The top trim is the GT which comes with a more powerful 2.5-Liter turbocharged engine which puts out 290 hp giving the K5 some more punch and makes the car a true combination of top-notch luxury and contrasting sportiness. The Kia K5 GT comes at a price tag of $31,455 and is expected to go on sale later in the year.

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 and in the present time 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 a little mainstream manufacturer to be given this title which was dominated by the most luxurious brands like Porsche, Lincoln, Buick, etc.

Reliability and 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 K5 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, Infiniti.

Kia has been ranked as “Highest Ranked Mass Market Brand in Initial Quality” for four years in a row by J.D Power which explains the kind of quality that Kia delivers. The Quality and Reliability rating for the K5 for 2020 stands at 83 out of 100. All this stands a pillar that supports the claim that 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, 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 no recalls have been made, which proves how reliable the K5 would be as a travel companion. The new K5 is also based on a fully new platform and shares its underpinnings with the new Hyundai Sonata which is also one of the most reliable cars out in the market.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5


Tax Credit




























Taxes & Fees




























Real Cost of ownership







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.


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 that are their amongst any of the automakers apart from their 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.



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.

Miles Per Dollar

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 $49 for a mile. The cost of fuel for every mile for the Kia is 12$.

2021 Kia K5 Buying Advice

We would recommend buying either the GT-Line or the EX trim whichever fulfills your taste as both of them come with their unique features. The GT-Line comes with the sportier cosmetic changes to the car 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 best in class safety features for the price

Is buying a used Kia K5 a good idea?

The Kia K5 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 K5 to buy are the newest that is from 2017 till 2019 which have 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

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

2021 Kia K5 Engine

The 1.6-liter engine is good to zoom around the city and provides decent acceleration, on the highway this engine 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 2.0-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.


2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3







1.6-L Turbocharged Inline-4

1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5-L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.5-L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4







8-speed automatic


8-speed automatic

6-speed automatic


180 hp @ 5,500 RPM

192 @ 5,500 RPM

203 @ 6,600 RPM

186 @ 6,000 RPM


195 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

138 lb-ft @ 4,200 RPM

186 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

180 lb-ft @ 6,000 RPM

While Toyota is the most powerful and produces the most horsepower from the naturally aspirated engine, the Kia produces the most amount of torque at lower RPM thanks to the turbocharged engine.

2021 Kia K5 Acceleration and Braking Performance

The 2.5-liter engine of the K5 GT will make it sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.8 seconds, this happens with the help of the turbocharged more powerful engine which is mated to the eight-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox which is developed in house by Kia. However, speaking of the standard 1.6L turbocharged 4-pot mill, this standard powertrain makes the K5 sprint from 0-60 mph in a laggy 8 seconds.

2021 Kia K5 Accelerate 0-60 MPH Just In 8 Sec.

Front-wheel drive is available for the GT but there is no option for the All-wheel drive to be available in the GT as of now but is sure to be made available in the foreseeable future.


2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

0-60 MPH

8.0 seconds

7.6 seconds

7.5 seconds

8.0 seconds


16.3 seconds

15.9 seconds

15.8 seconds

16.2 seconds


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 7.5 seconds, the Camry is the fastest to sprint and the fastest to stop too with a stopping distance of 122 ft. 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

Fuel efficiency is surely well-given importance this time in the K5. The previous year K5 had a very less fuel economy, but it has surely been corrected and improved for the current year and Kia made sure to correct the mistakes. 

The EPA estimates the 1.6-L 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.


2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Capacity

14.8 gallons

14.8 gallons

14.5 gallons

12.7 gallons

Range (City/Highway/Combined)





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 has the least impressive figures and the smallest fuel tank making it the least efficient car among the rivals.

2021 Kia K5 Interior

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 and the dazzling 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with high resolution, and customizable theme adds to the beauty of the cabin.

2021 Kia K5 Front Seat

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 midsize sedan 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.


2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

Seating Capacity





Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/ Leg Room, in inches)





Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)





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 making it one of the most spacious cars in the segment and the trunk space stands at 16 cubic feet which is equal to what is available in the Honda and have plenty of space for luggage.

How’s the 2021 Kia K5’s infotainment system?

K5 comes with a standard 8.0-inch or an optional 10.25 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. 

2021 Kia K5 Infotainment System

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 Exterior

Known for the “tiger-faced” front end, Kia still carries the same design language with a few tweaks in order to modernize the front and the back end. 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.

2021 Kia K5 Three Quarter View

The K5 uses LED headlights and taillights, with unique ‘Heart-Beat’ 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 and wider than the previous-gen model and this helped the designers to make some interesting design changes, as well as give the car lower center of gravity all thanks to the new N3 platform which the new K5 underpins.


2021 Kia K5

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Mazda 3

Curb Weight

3,115 lbs

3131 lbs

3241 lbs

2899 lbs
















Ground Clearance










The K5 is the longest and has the largest wheelbase but the height is a bit short and so is the ground clearance, this makes the car have a lower center of gravity. Mazda 3 is the tallest of them all and has the highest ground clearance as well.

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. The mid-size sedan comes with a host of safety features as standard as well as a few optional driver assistance features. Standard key safety features include

  • Standard lane-departure and lane-keep assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring and Rear-cross traffic alert
  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated braking system.
  • Remote activated perimeter/approach lights
  • Manual adjustable front head restraints
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Side-impact bars
  • Electronic stability
  • Break-resistant glass
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Four-wheel ABS brakes
  • Traction control
  • 4 ABS channels
  • Panic alarm
  • 7 airbags

2021 Kia K5 Competition

2021 Kia K5 vs Honda Accord

Both, the Accord and K5 are the best choice 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, with the more generous warranty package.

 2021 Honda Accord

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.

2021 Toyota Camry

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 Mazda 3

2021 Kia K5 Final Verdict

The Kia 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 K5 delivers a truly upscale experience at a very accessible price.