The Mid-Size Sedan, Evolved: Introducing the 2021 Kia K5
While American automakers close the curtains on their sedan models in favor of new and improved SUVs, the Kia is doubling down on the traditional car. No longer content to update the respected Optima, and determined to “give it everything” to compete in the US market, there’s an all-new model coming to Kia dealerships in NJ and beyond: the 2021 Kia K5.
The K5 is an impressive machine. While it may not technically be a luxury car, it comes close. Inside, you will find a comfortable interior with high-quality materials, distinctive technological features, and an easy, quiet driving experience that collectively invigorate your daily commutes and extended road trips. First though, you have to get in, which means you need to stop staring at it.
Affordable Never Looked So Good
To call the Kia K5, a striking vehicle does it a disservice. Kia’s “tiger face” design concept is presented with proportions that are aggressive without being overdone. A shark skin-inspired grille wraps around the front corners and tapers off under the headlights. LED turn signals follow the line of the grille, then dramatically double back and up to follow the line of the hood in a shape that is as unique as it is entrancing. A stamped hood and aerodynamic body lines are highlighted by a fastback silhouette that reminds you of significantly more expensive performance cars. At the rear, even the taillights are unique, with a dashed pattern running from side to side instead of a solid light bar, making the K5 unmistakable from every angle.
“Alright, I believe you, it looks good,” you say, “but what about the ‘affordable’ part?” The base LX trim starts at $23,490, while the powerful top-trim GT model begins at $30,490. That’s significantly cheaper than similarly-equipped Accord and Camry models and offers the best dollar-per-feature value in the segment. Kia’s 10 year/100,000 mile warranty is also better than most in the industry, so your investment is safe for a very long time.
Once you’ve stopped drooling over the exterior – it’s okay, we’ll wait – and climbed inside, you’ll be greeted by a large touchscreen, extending seamlessly from the instrument cluster and angled your way. You’ll see a logical, driver-oriented layout and solid, high-quality materials throughout the interior – there’s little evidence of cost-saving measures in the cabin. Upgraded seat options include 10-way power adjustment for the driver and synthetic leather with front seat heating and ventilation. Settle in – there’s plenty of space for getting comfy, and the available panoramic sunroof helps you get the lighting just right.
Fire up the engine and get yourself “plugged in” before you hit the road for a test drive. We put “plugged in” in quotes because you probably won’t need any actual plugs. Available wireless charging, with a slot for holding the phone securely, keeps your battery at 100%, and standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto seamlessly connects your phone to your car.
The standard 8” screen includes shortcut buttons for those who prefer a tactile experience, and the available 10.25” screen features split-screen functionality. One last thing while you’re still parked – set the automatic dual-zone climate control to your liking. The automatic operation comes with three settings for fan speed, doing away with the initial gale-force conditioning characteristic of other automatic systems. It’s just one more way that Kia has reimagined the midsize sedan with the driver in mind.
Boring Doesn’t Fly Around Here
The 2021 Kia K5 is offered with a pair of turbocharged engines. The standard engine is a 1.8L making 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, but the top GT trim gets a 2.5L that puts down 290 hp and a best-in-class 311 lb-ft of torque. That high torque at low rpm gives every K5 a satisfyingly sporty jump off the line – so much so that Kia showcased the performance capabilities of its new sedan in a live-broadcast “Triple Threat Stunt.” This impressive display saw the new K5 drift and fly through the air off ramps, emphatically declaring the presence of Kia’s all-new sedan and showcases its ability as a driver’s car.
The standard turbocharged engine is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission with smooth gear shifts and multiple drive modes to optimized performance. These include normal, smart, sport, and custom, with Sport+ available on GT trim, and all-wheel drive models getting an additional snow setting. That’s right – an all-wheel drive system is available for uncompromising bad-weather performance in wintry climates. The GT trim gets a higher spec 8-speed dual clutch transmission for even sharper performance.
Altogether the system delivers a combined fuel efficiency of up to 32 mpg, so gas stops will be few and far between. It’s a good thing, then that the inside is such a nice place to be. The seats are comfortable and supportive for long drives, the suspension easily masks road flaws without feeling too soft, and easy handling makes the K5 a delight to drive. Interior road noise compares with luxury sedans thanks to good insulation, and a “Sounds of Nature” ambiance package played through 12 Bose speakers can fully immerse the occupants in settings far away from the highway.
This is where the driver assistance technologies built into the 2021 Kia K5 have a chance to shine. Forward Collision Assist with emergency braking and pedestrian detection are standard, and an upgraded version even offers the ability to apply the brakes during sharp turns. Lane keep assist is standard, while Rear Cross Traffic Alert and blind-spot monitoring are found on all but the base trim. One unique safety feature is Safe Exit: an alert to warn exiting passengers and lock their doors if hazardous oncoming traffic is detected.
Besides this, the available navigation package features real-time traffic updates, so you’ll always be on the quickest route, and the Kia Drive Wise smart adaptive cruise control is one of the most advanced on the market. Not only does it adjust speed to maintain a set following distance, it includes “stop and go” capability, and its Highway Driving Assist technology will even read and respond to data from the navigation system. It’ll slow down when the navigation shows that there’s a curve coming up or a highway exit approaching, better-simulating the behavior of a driver responding to the road for a smoother and safer driving experience.
A Design Worth Driving
Whether your plans include a daily commute or carpool to the big cities, weekend getaways to the beaches and state forests, or just getting around town, the brand-new 2021 Kia K5 may be just the car for you. With powerful and efficient engines, a comfortable interior equipped with several unique features, and an exterior exuding the image of a crouching tiger, the K5 is not your average sedan. To learn more or take one of these vehicles for a test drive, just pay a visit to Raceway Kia of Freehold. Our experienced team serves all of Monmouth County with the goal of earning your business through transparency, expertise, and the dedication to “give it everything” for our customers. You can always count on us for a car shopping and ownership experience that’s never boring or disappointing, much like the new K5.