Kia K5 vs. Hyundai Sonata

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 10, 2020

The all-new Kia K5 is the South Korean automaker’s replacement for the Optima. As such, it’s going to face stiff competition from a lot of competitors, including the Hyundai Sonata.

While the K5 is all new for the 2021 model year, the Sonata was fully redesigned for 2020. Being a part of the same automotive family, the Optima and Sonata have always shared a lot of components, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the K5 and the Sonata.

Beyond being recently updated and competing in the midsize sedan segment, there are quite a few things that separate the two from one another. If you’re looking to see how the new K5 stacks up against the updated Sonata, check out our comparison below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Kia K5 & Hyundai Sonata »

What the K5 Gets Right

The Kia K5 may be the all-new option, but it’s priced almost identically to the Sonata. Pricing for the K5 starts at $24,455 including destination, while the Sonata carries a price tag of $24,330.

The K5 comes similarly equipped to the Sonata with standard features like an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

When it comes to engines, the K5 takes the edge with an available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 290 horsepower. The most powerful engine in the Sonata is the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 191 hp. With nearly 100 more horsepower than the Sonata, the K5’s optional engine provides much more impressive performance.

On the inside, the K5 offers roughly 1 cubic feet more passenger volume, which equates to slightly more front head room, rear head room, and rear leg room. For consumers that are looking for a more spacious vehicle, the K5 proves to be the better option.

What the Sonata Gets Right

The standard engine in the Hyundai Sonata is more powerful than the one found in the Kia K5. As we mentioned, the Sonata starts with 191 hp, while the K5's base engine only offers 180 hp. While the K5 and Sonata are both EPA rated to get 32 miles per gallon combined, the Sonata is available with a hybrid powertrain, which isn’t the case with the K5.

Both come with a similar list of standards safety features, but the Sonata adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go. That feature isn’t available until the GT-Line trim on the K5.

Additionally, the Sonata is available with remote smart parking assist to aid owners in getting in and out of tight spots, Hyundai Digital Key, which allows an owner’s smartphone to act as a key, and a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster. These features give the Sonata a slight edge in the tech department.

Gorgeous Styling or Daring Looks?

As a surprise to no one, the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata are awfully close to one another. Not much separates them and, at the end of the day, it mostly comes down to styling – that’s how close this comparison is.

The Sonata has a gorgeous design and will easily go down as one of the most stylish midsize sedans ever. The K5 has a more daring and bolder design. Which one you like better likely comes down to personal preference.

Our Verdict: Kia K5

This is a close comparison, but the Kia K5 just barely comes out on top. Compared to the Hyundai Sonata, the K5 is a better value option, coming with similar features for only a little more. It also has a more powerful optional engine and available all-wheel drive, which isn’t offered on the Sonata. Add the K5’s more spacious interior into the mix, and it stands out as the better option for the majority of consumers.

Take a closer look at the Kia K5 »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Sonata »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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