Enter the Kia K5

For years, the Kia Optima was one of the top midsize sedan choices due to its attractive styling and a plethora of tech features. After two decades, Kia not only decided to debut a brand-new design for the Optima, but also rename it. Now known as the K5, the vehicle looks bolder, produces more power, and has an all-wheel-drive option.

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What's New for 2021?

There's nothing new for 2021, since the Kia K5 is a brand-new model. 2021 marks the K5's first model year.


Typically, the Kia K5 has a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) with 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque under its hood. This engine has auto start/stop technology to eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption when at a complete stop by turning off the engine; it is automatically turned back on when you let go of the brake pedal. The 1.6-liter turbo I4 is hitched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly due to the relatively large number of gears. With the standard front-wheel-drive system, the K5 peaks at an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. (There's the option of an all-wheel drive on the LXS and GT-Line, which were above the base-level LX trim, for maximum traction performance, especially on slippery surfaces.)

If you want the closest thing to a speed demon, go for the top-level GT, which has standard all-wheel drive and is headed by a 2.5-liter turbo I4 for an output of 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the eight-speed automatic gearbox gives way to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which uses two separate clutches for odd and even gear sets for faster gear shifts. The dual-clutch transmission comes with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel for more gear shifting convenience.


The Kia K5 is the recipient of several driver-assistance features, which include the following:

  • A rearview camera with dynamic parking distance for monitoring what's behind you when reverse-moving the vehicle.
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection to mitigate an impending front-end crash.
  • Lane departure warning to alert you when you move out of your lane without signaling.
  • Lane keeping assist for applying steering to keep you in your intended lane.
  • Lane following assist for monitoring lane markings to keep you in your intended lane.
  • Driver attention warning for providing alerts when drowsiness is detected.
  • High beam assist to automatically dim the headlights from high to low beams when an approaching vehicle is detected.

In addition, each Kia K5 model gets rear occupant alert. This is a system that provides audible and visual warnings if someone is left in the rear seating area. If a crash occurs, the K5 can deploy any of seven airbags, which consist of a driver's knee airbag, a pair of frontal impact airbags, dual side impact airbags, and two side curtain airbags. If you go with any trim above the base trim, Kia adds a blind-spot monitoring system for avoiding side crashes, with rear cross-traffic alert to watch out for vehicles crossing the path behind you when moving in reverse. Also added is safe exit assist, which warns occupants against exiting the vehicle when an approaching vehicle is detected. The EX, which is the K5's comfort-oriented model, gains reverse parking distance warning.


For infotainment, the Kia K5 combines six speakers, an AM/FM/HD Radio tuner, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, two front USB ports, and an 8-inch touchscreen. Also standard are remote keyless entry for ease of access, a 4.2-inch TFT LCD display for vital driver information, dual-zone automatic climate control for the driver and front passenger to adjust their preferences. Going with the LXS introduces a smart key system (an upgrade from remote keyless entry), remote engine start, push-button engine start, and a hands-free trunk. Kia adds two USB ports for charging mobile devices on the GT-Line or higher. The EX gains a panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging ability, a fifth USB port, UVO link remote connectivity, and a few months of SiriusXM Radio.

Trim Level Breakdown

The Kia K5 is available in the following trim levels:

Kia K5 LX

As the base K5 model, the LX provides standard features such as the following:

  • Six-speaker AM/FM stereo system with HD Radio
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Seven airbags

Kia K5 LXS


The LXS builds on the standard features of the base LX trim with enhancements that include the following:

  • Smart key system with push-button engine start
  • Remote engine start
  • Hands-free trunk
  • Blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Safe exit assist

Kia K5 GT-Line

The GT-Line focuses on highlighting the sportiness of the Kia K5 with gains that include the following:

  • Cloth-and-synthetic leather upholstery
  • 10-way power adjustability on the driver's seat
  • Two rear charging-only USB ports
  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel

Kia K5 EX

The EX pushes the K5 into luxury territory with upgrades such as the following:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • SiriusXM Radio service
  • Wireless phone charging ability
  • UVO link remote connectivity
  • Rear parking sensors

Kia K5 GT


The GT is the performance-maximized variant of the K5. Although priced higher than the comfort and convenience-oriented EX, the GT Line loses EX enhancements like rear parking sensors and UVO link remote connectivity. Ultimately, the GT stands apart with unique enhancements that include:

  • 2.5-liter turbo I4 for 110 more horsepower
  • Front sport bucket seats
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Ready to Learn More?

    Ready to try out the brand-new Kia K5? If you are in the area, call us today at Cape & Islands Kia in South Yarmouth, MA to set up an appointment with one our Kia experts.

    We are proud to serve drivers in Hyannis, Barnstable, Falmouth, MA; Plymouth, MA; and Cape Cod.


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