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2021 Kia K5 GT review: Optima prime

Adore that profile. Craig Cole/Roadshow The 2021 Kia K5 GT proves a undesirable identify are...

Adore that profile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Kia K5 GT proves a undesirable identify are not able to torpedo a fantastic motor vehicle. Positive, Studebaker Dictator, Ford Probe and Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy are all much worse monikers than K5, but this four-door — particularly in pinnacle GT trim — is so pleasant and capable, stylish and swift you will never care what it really is identified as.


  • Torquey, responsive motor
  • Spacious, handsome cabin
  • Artistic bodywork

You should not Like

  • Occasional lane-trying to keep wonkiness
  • Transmission overall performance

Even if it would not automatically stand head and shoulders over the midsize-sedan crowd, the new K5 is in the vicinity of the top rated of its phase in approximately each individual group. This Kia feels fresher than the gracefully getting old Honda Accord, is much extra appealing than the dowdy Subaru Legacy and it really is swankier inside of and out than Toyota’s well known Camry. In limited, the K5 is as well-rounded as a beachball.

Spicing things up, this sedan serves up lots of visual pizzazz. Front and centre, the K5 wears a reimagined variation of Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille. The principal opening is loaded with a geometric mesh pattern and flanked by a pair of leering LED headlamp assemblies with pronounced tails that flow alongside the front fenders. This example’s Sapphire Blue paint is just about the excellent coloration. In profile, the K5 resembles a mashup of Volkswagen’s Arteon and an Audi A7 forward of the A-pillars it really is shockingly similar to the former, aft of them, it really is the latter’s spittin’ graphic.

That gracefully curving roofline terminates in a curt backside which is approximately as intricately created as the car’s front conclude. The trunk lid is shockingly limited, but the opening is lots big, so loading freight should not be an work out in playing cargo Tetris. The house itself steps 16 cubic ft, a whisker a lot less than you get in an Accord but a skosh extra than presented by a Camry. The rear backrests fold flat for toting for a longer time goods, even though the passthrough opening isn’t specifically big.

As with other redesigned Kias, the K5’s interior wows, currently being both style-forward and purposeful. The dashboard is strongly horizontal and deeply sculpted, in addition the elements on display are all of fantastic excellent. The front door panels are wrapped in supple plastics that are handsomely grained, the frosty-silver accents sprinkled all over glance excellent and really don’t lead to frustrating glare in vivid sunlight and the sites where by hard polymers are made use of, none of them reek of pinched pennies. About the only detail I really don’t care for is the piano-black trim, which isn’t all that premium.

Improving usability, the car’s centre stack is ever so somewhat angled towards the driver, so the infotainment screen and weather controls are less complicated to reach. Not like lots of autos these times, the K5 comes with a common mechanical shifter. With a meaty T-manage, this gear selector appears to be like cool and is super enjoyable to use. And so are this car’s seats, which are wrapped in a respectable-emotion leatherette materials (real cow hides are not out there, at the very least not on the seating surfaces). The front chairs get the work completed and there is a stunning total of house in the again. Lanky passengers will have lots of room for their heads and legs in this Kia.

Two infotainment methods are out there, 1 with an eight-inch display and an uplevel supplying with a 10.3-inch touchscreen. Curiously, both multimedia arrays aid Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle, even though only the foundation system provides wi-fi connectivity for these smartphone-mirroring methods. If you opt for the big screen — which is charming and comes with embedded navigation — make absolutely sure to bring a charging cable.

When it comes to usability, Kia’s most recent infotainment system is a winner. The upgraded system on the 10.3-inch screen is not only dead straightforward to use and blazingly responsive — by no means stuttering or lagging — it really is easy on the eyes, far too. Property-screen icons glance like very little purple neon indications and the radio tuner is exhibited as a series of nixie tubes for a contact of whimsy, a little something we could all use a very little extra of these times.

Differentiating them from lesser K5s, sporty GT versions function a burly 2.five-liter turbocharged motor. As potent as a fistful of fentanyl tablets, this four-cylinder firebreather provides 290 horsepower and 311 pound-ft of torque to the front wheels, much extra of every single than the foundation one.6-liter turbo supplies. Why all-wheel travel is only out there with the lesser motor is anyone’s guess, but as you might think about, the K5 GT has no hassle squealing its tires when you give it the spurs. This sedan pulls ferociously from about 2,250 rpm on up, even though it really is lots punchy down below that velocity. In use, some powertrain vibration can be felt in the cabin (recall, 2.five liters is a big four-cylinder), but the motor is silent and typically well-mannered.

The K5’s interior is stylish and properly organized.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Earning the most of that mountain of torque is an eight-velocity dual-clutch automated transmission. After the K5 is rolling, this gearbox shifts imperceptibly and about as immediately as a brain synapse, encouraging the motor vehicle strike sixty mph in as very little as five.eight seconds. The overall performance right here is remarkable, besides at minimal speeds. Sadly, as with approximately all dual-clutch transmissions, using off from a standstill is by no means as sleek as with a torque converter. At occasions, faint but noticeable judders can be felt and while creeping alongside at idle, such as in significant visitors, the motor vehicle appears to surge, to transfer inconsistently as you modulate the velocity, a little something that receives frustrating.

At the pump, hope 24 mpg all-around city and 32 mpg on highway drives. Blended, the 2021 Kia K5 GT need to return 27 mpg.

Aside from that all-you-can-take in buffet of torque, there is nothing at all specifically magical about the way this sedan drives. Dynamically, it really is entirely competent, with center-of-the-street steering, brake-pedal sense and chassis overall performance. A number of driving modes are offered, but definitely, they only alter the steering pounds and transmission change plan. This example’s experience is unquestionably on the agency facet, no question enhanced (or degraded?) by its 19-inch wheels wrapped in reasonably minimal-profile 245/forty Pirelli P Zero all-time tires. The K5 GT isn’t rigid plenty of to shatter spines or lead to heads to toss when you strike more substantial bumps, but you unquestionably sense the street.

When it comes to driver aids, this Kia provides lots. Characteristics like forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-trying to keep aid, lane-departure warning, a driver attention observe and automated significant beams are conventional throughout the K5 range. Quite typical stuff. By natural means, all kinds of other amenities are offered, far too, from rear cross-visitors notify and adaptive cruise regulate to parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring. For the most component, these technologies get the job done correctly, even though the automated significant beams can be a bit spastic and the lane-centering system does strange things in particular corners. Even though navigating moderate turns, the system will annoyingly and alternatively forcefully tug at the steering wheel, fighting your grip as you get the job done to hold the motor vehicle on your intended line. On straight asphalt and by way of lesser corners the lane-centering function functions superbly, it just receives a very little wonky when pushed.

The K5 has an just about Audi-like rear conclude.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

As it sits, the K5 GT I’m screening right here checks out for $35,705 including $965 in shipping and delivery charges. A $95 cargo protector and $a hundred and fifty five in carpeted floor mats pad the foundation rate, as does the $four,000 GT1 Offer. This pricey insert-on involves a bunch of amenities like the more substantial touchscreen, a premium Bose audio system, energy front seats with heating and ventilation in addition a slew of security tech. Nevertheless, this motor vehicle is fairly priced thinking of how nice it feels and immediately it moves.

In spite of its questionable identify, the 2021 Kia K5 GT is 1 of the most pleasant mainstream sedans you can get currently, particularly if you want a little something with a sporting edge and a lot of energy. Of class, if K5 would not float your boat, you can always phone this motor vehicle what it is: brilliant.