The Kia Optima has had a long life as Kia’s semi-upscale midsize sedan, but the 2021 Kia K5 will soon take over the massive responsibility of competing for the right to shuttle the average American family to and from soccer practices, family BBQs, and playdates. Kia recently previewed the 2021 K5, and here’s what we know so far.
Other than the midsize sedan classification, the 2021 Kia K5 will share very little with the Optima in the design department. This clean-sheet design will include a wider tiger-nose grille, striking headlights with zigzag turn signals and accent lights, a coupe-like roofline, a full-width taillight bar, and sharp quad-exit exhaust tips. The K5 will ride atop Kia’s new N3 platform, which will make it 2 inches longer, 1 inch wider and 0.8 inches lower than the Optima. The wheelbase will also grow by 1.8 inches.
Inside, the 2021 K5 will also be all-new, but it won’t be as striking as the exterior design. Inside, it’ll boast an available flat-bottom steering wheel, an abundance of horizontal lines, tasteful metallic accents, and a large infotainment interface connected to the gauge cluster. It’ll also feature a sportier look in certain trims with its two-tone color options.
Tech will be plentiful inside the 2021 Kia K5. It’s available features will include an 8- or 10.25-inch touchscreen with split-screen functionality, server-based navigation, a Bose 12-speaker audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, natural voice recognition, ambient sound system, and much more.
The 2021 Kia K5 will have two powertrain options. The LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX trims will include a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine cranking out 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. In the GT trim, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will deliver 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque for a 5.8-second 0-60 time. Both engines will pair with a standard eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. The 1.6-liter engine will have optional all-wheel drive.
There are no crash-test results for the 2021 K5, but Kia announced it’ll have a long list of standard safety tech. This list will include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, driver attention warning, active lane-keep assist, and more. Buyers will be able to add optional forward left-turn collision avoidance, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, rear parking collision avoidance, navigation-based adaptive cruise control, and more.