With breathtaking design and an upscale interior, Kia’s new midsize sedan is a few chassis refinements from rivaling the leaders in its own course.
Kids do not sketch SUVs in study hall, and auto designers do not spend years in college working their way upward to studio supervisor to determine how to draw out a grille and headlights on a potato. The designers understand the fantasy of penning performance automobiles, and while the 2021 Kia K5 is not precisely that, it certainly looks like you.
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“Longer and reduced with a broader track” seems like a Chevy advertisement from the’50s, but these descriptors belong to Kia’s midsize sedan, also. Compared with all the Optima it replaces, the K5 steps two inches more and almost an inch lower and contains an additional 0.8 inch involving the tires.
The proportions and layout return a stunning car that belies its front-drive design, the 24,455 starting cost. We drove a GT-Line model using an asking price of $27,955, but a mechanically indistinguishable EX went into the test monitor, and that is where the figures came out. Aesthetes who find that the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry overly common may not turn up their noses in the K5.
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Shifts are smooth and fast, and the proper gears are known up with no fuss. Low-end torque seems more abundant than its summit of 195 pound-feet in 1500 rpm suggests, and the turbo makes itself felt straight away.
Each of the GT-Line and EX versions possesses exactly the identical suspension tuning since the foundation K5. However, they utilize 18-inch brakes with wider Pirelli all-season tires compared to the entrance trimming’s 16s.
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Sharp impacts expose too little isolation. While maybe not a deal-breaker, it is well worth noting an Accord sops the very same strikes with less coarseness. It is probably the shorter sidewalls of those 18-inch wheels along with the one-size-fits-all pruning would be to blame.
A radically angled windshield adds a sports-car disposition into the driving experience, along with the seating position, is superb. The rear-seat area is ample and comfortable.
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A 10.3-inch touchscreen can be found on several trim levels. However, the GT-Line is accompanied by an 8.0-inch display. Both sprouts from the dashboard and are flanked by bodily buttons, which make switching between works simple.
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The instrument panel includes a BMW-ness for it, and substance quality across the cottage is great. Apple and Android telephone mirroring is wireless in all versions with the conventional 8.0-inch infotainment display, but curiously, you will want a cable should you update to the 10.3-inches.
The K5 inches nearer to the Accord’s capacity to supply regular pleasure. A little bit of suspension tuning to improve isolation and refinement will give it the ways to coincide with its designer appears.
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Specifications 2021 Kia K5 1.6T
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
EX $32,355, GT-Line $27,955 (base price: $24,455)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
98 in3, 1598 cm3
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.0-in vented disc/11.2-in disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero All Season, 235/45R-18 94V M+S
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 193.1 in
Width: 73.2 in
Height: 56.9 in
Passenger volume: 102 ft3
Trunk volume: 16 ft3
Curb weight: 3233 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.0 sec
100 mph: 18.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.4 sec
1/4 mile: 15.5 sec @ 92 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 128 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 25 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 31/27/37 mpg