Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - November 6, 2019
Redesign Preview

The Hyundai Sonata just received a wild redesign for 2020, and whenever a Hyundai model makes a change, its mechanical cousin from Kia isn’t far behind. A new image of the upcoming Korea-spec Kia K5, the U.S.-spec Kia Optima’s overseas doppelganger, shows a dramatic Optima overhaul likely isn’t far behind its mechanical cousin from Hyundai.

Nothing is confirmed for the U.S. yet, but the Kia K5 teaser image that recently hit the internet is nothing short of stunning. This new sedan shows off a long hood with a sleek downward slope near the front, much like the 2020 Sonata. It also boasts sharp, heartbeat-shaped LED signature lights, a swoopy coupe-like roofline with a chrome strip tracing it, a stubby backside, and a thin, one-piece taillight bar that angles downward on each side.

Inside, the K5 teaser shows a cabin with a heavy focus on horizontal lines and a wraparound garnish to make the cabin feel wider than it is. Sitting atop the dash is a widescreen infotainment system and a digital gauge cluster. A few notable omissions from this interior image are any visible climate control knobs and a gear shift lever. The latter is explained away with the rotary dial on the center console, but the lack of climate control knobs is likely just a case of the sketch artist leaving them off.

Of course, there are no mechanical details available about this initial concept, but we can look to the Sonata for a possible preview. The Optima’s Hyundai cousin will come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, buyers can get a 1.6-liter turbo four-pot with 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Kia Optima Redesign

Safety ratings and features won’t be confirmed for a while, but Kia has put IIHS testing at the top of its priorities by fitting many of its new models with standard nannies to keep us out of trouble. The current Optima, for example, comes standard with blind-spot monitors, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver-attention warning, and auto high-beam headlights.

All these safety features and top-notch crash-safety ratings earned the 2020 Optima Top Safety Pick+ status, and we’d expect the same on the future model.

Pricing & Release Date

The Korean-spec K5 is slated for a December 2019 release, but there is no word on when or if this will translate to a new-generation Kia Optima. Keep it locked here for updates as they become available.

Pricing is also a long way off, but we expect at least a slight price increase over the current sedan, which ranges from $24,115 to $32,915 (destination fees included).

This midsize sedan will compete with the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Subaru Legacy.

Learn more about the current Optima on sale now »

Pictured: 2021 Optima

2020 Model Available

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