2021 Kia K5
MSRP Range: $23,490 - $30,490

Edmunds suggests you pay$23,850
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2021 Kia K5 Review

  • Comfortable and quiet on the highway
  • Strong turbocharged engine in the GT trim level
  • Plenty of available technology features
  • Impressive value
  • Sloping roofline can make it a little tricky to get in and out of the back
  • An all-new replacement for the Kia Optima sedan
  • Part of the first K5 generation introduced for 2021
EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best
The Kia K5 has the style and substance to set it apart from other midsize family sedans. It's incredibly easy to drive and comfortable on longer trips thanks to a great suspension and an exceptionally quiet cabin. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and that's just the beginning of a rich feature list that somehow manages to undercut the competition at every level.
The Kia K5 with its standard 180-horsepower engine won't impress you, but power is more than sufficient for daily use. It matches the Honda Accord in a straight line, taking 8 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from a stop. Stopping from 60 mph requires a few more feet than average, but otherwise braking is easy and smooth.

The K5's aggressive styling might suggest it's sportier than usual, but that's simply not the case. We'd call the steering and handling par for the course. But perhaps what's more important is the K5 is easy to drive. The transmission shifts pretty seamlessly and is responsive to downshifts when you need to perform a pass.
This is a big step forward from the Optima. The only minor annoyance was a slight rattle coming from the panoramic sunroof blind. Otherwise, the K5 is as silent on the highway as some luxury sedans. Seriously. The front seats provide decent comfort over several hours, with a good amount of cushioning and moderate support from the side bolsters. The suspension ably soaks up road imperfections while avoiding feeling overly soft.

We're also impressed with the climate control system that features a unique three-mode auto setting that can limit fan speed. Seat ventilation is available on higher trims.
The K5's interior is thoughtfully designed to be user-friendly. Despite the numerous electronic features, there was no need to consult the owner's manual since all the controls are well labeled and logically placed.

The cabin is relatively spacious too, with a modest amount of headroom but an abundance of legroom. Tall adults should have no problem fitting up front, though. Forward visibility is great thanks to unusually narrow front roof pillars. Rear visibility is squeezed a bit by a tall rear decklid, but it doesn't create any notable obstructions.
The K5 may not look like a tech powerhouse, but it is. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, which is a rarity in any class at the moment. There's also an available wireless charging pad that features a cooling fan and a smart spring-loaded section that keeps your phone in place. The standard system has an 8-inch touchscreen that is easy to use, though it does have a slight delay in responses. This system's physical shortcut buttons are preferred to the upgraded 10.25-inch screen that has capacitive-touch "buttons" that are difficult to locate without looking. Our tester also had a total of four USB charge ports.

The excellent advanced driver aids returned no false alarms. The optional Smart Cruise Control enhances the existing adaptive cruise control by slowing down the K5 when approaching a curve in the road. Collectively, it's one of the best systems in the segment.
Despite the K5's fastback roofline, it's not a hatchback. The traditional trunk has a capacity of 16 cubic feet, which is slightly better than average, and the wide and low opening makes for easy loading of bulky objects. The seatback releases are located in the trunk, making it convenient to load longer items.

The cabin offers plenty of places to store your personal items, including a charging pad, another rubberized phone tray and a big center armrest bin. Fitting a large infant seat should pose no problems, and the anchors are easy to access.
Fuel economy estimates are 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway), matching the efficiency of most other base-engine sedans in this class. These estimates should be accurate after what we saw on our standard 115-mile evaluation loop. Our route is highway-biased but includes a mix of city and mountain roads as well, and we observed an encouraging 33 mpg.
The Kia K5 starts under $25K and holds a slight advantage over most sedans when it comes to dollar-per-feature. The price and feature ratio improves with each successive trim level. There are some things missing from the options list such as genuine leather upholstery (the K5 has simulated leather), an auto-dimming mirror or a head-up display, but we're convinced most will look beyond that. A fully loaded K5 will save a few thousand dollars over a comparable Honda Accord.

The K5 is solidly built to boot, using a good amount of quality interior materials that outshine what's in other sedans in the class. There are still hard plastics present, but they're strategically placed to keep up appearances and away from high-touch areas. Kia's warranty coverage is top-notch with 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain and five years/60,000 miles of basic coverage. Only Hyundai offers more.
The exterior styling is a standout in a traditionally dull sedan class. It rivals the Mazda 6 for presence, though it dials up the sporty aggression factor noticeably. It's one of those cars that you could admire for a few seconds before getting in.

We have fairly low expectations for performance and entertainment in the family sedan class, but the K5 represents itself well enough. Is it fun? Not in this trim, but the K5 GT certainly has potential.

The K5 is Kia's new midsize sedan formerly known as the Optima. For the past two decades, the Optima has offered attractive styling and fairly good value for money. With this redesigned 2021 model, Kia decided to go all-in and give it a new name too. Highlights include bolder styling, new engine and transmission options, and available all-wheel drive. We highly recommend checking out the 2021 Kia K5 against other top midsize sedans such as the Honda Accord, Mazda 6 and related Hyundai Sonata.

Which K5 does Edmunds recommend?

It's rare that we recommend one of the top vehicle trim levels, but the EX is our pick. You get a generous list of standard features, and it's also eligible for some desirable features that you can't get on the lower trim levels.

Kia K5 models

The 2021 Kia K5 is a midsize sedan that is offered in five trim levels: LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX and GT. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional the LXS and GT-Line. Highlight features include:

The base LX trim comes with an appealing mix of features, including:

  • A 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • 16-inch wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless AppleCarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
  • Six-speaker sound system

All K5s also come with these advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Driver attention warning (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)

Adds the following at a very reasonable price:

  • Keyless entry with push-button start and remote ignition
  • 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center armrest
  • Smartphone-based remote monitoring and control
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)
  • Rear passenger safe-exit system (can prevent a rear passenger from opening a door into vehicles approaching from behind)

Similar to the LXS but has:

  • Additional sporty and black exterior treatments
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Foglights
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Cloth and simulated leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • USB ports for the rear passengers

Forgoes the GT-Line's sporty look but adds a dash of luxury with:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Climate control vents for rear passengers
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Wireless smartphone charging pad
  • Rear parking sensors

Ups the K5's performance with features such as:

  • A 290-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • Upgraded brakes
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Most of the GT-Line's styling flourishes
  • Sport front seats

The GT goes without the ventilated seats, satellite radio and rear parking sensors, but you can add them back as options. In general, some features on the upper trim levels are available on lower trims as options.

Other key K5 options to look out for:

  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the K5 and the vehicle in front)
  • Enhanced lane keeping and adaptive cruise control systems
  • Enhanced front and rear collision avoidance system
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen (includes enhanced voice recognition system but reverts to regular wired smartphone integration)
  • Premium 12-speaker Bose sound system
  • Power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • Heated steering wheel

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Kia K5.

5 star reviews: 61%
4 star reviews: 31%
3 star reviews: 8%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.5 stars based on 13 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars, Up grade with missing parts
EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia k5 is indeed a very good looking car.I took the ex k5 for a very good test drive.I own a 2017 optima sxl and it has been a great car.The new k5 looks better is lighter in weight and much quieter interior.Great visibility and fairly comfortable front seats.The ex rode a bit hard but being the first test of this car the tires had 46 lbs of air, so with about 12 lbs less air the ride should be less bouncy.The steering was great and making turns was quick and sporty like.After an enjoyable test ride, there are missing options. no 360 camera on any trim, no heads up display on any trim, although fairly comfortable no real leather on any trim.The 2020 Hyundai Sonata gives better choices in various trims.One note there is a gear shifter in the k5 which I think is a plus.So if one does not care about the extra equipment the Sonata offers the k5 could be a slightly better choice.

4 out of 5 stars, Hello K5, Goodbye Accord
GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

After driving a Civic EX for 4 years and upgrading to an Accord Coupe, the K5 was a huge leap! When I arrived at the dealership and they saw I was looking to trade my Accord they seemed a bit surprised. They were also very eager to bring me to the Kia side! Truth be told, I had some serious reservations as the Kia had always been a "throw away car". I certainly hadn't set my expectations too high as I arrived at the dealer. I went in knowing I wanted to look at the K5 GT Line in Passion Red. After a rather lengthy test drive on all different types of roadways I had to eat crow. The K5 was a game changer. I was sold! I asked to look at the Stinger and the K5 EX but much to my surprise the K5 GT Line was much more appealing overall. As I finalized the purchase I was informed that I buying the first K5 GT Line. And almost 6 weeks later I have yet to see any K5 driving around. It's actually nice to pull up to a stop light and not be one of the 8 Accords at the intersection. The K5 truly turns heads as everyone is trying to figure out what it is. I have been approached several times by people asking "is that really a Kia???" As for the car itself, the amount of options for the price point is incredible. Overall, the car is a great ride. Rides smooth at any speed, easy to handle, exceptional acceleration especially in the sport mode, the seats are both comfortable and offer great support. The instrument cluster flows beautifully and the cockpit design with the 8 inch display angled slightly towards the driver is perfect. Very well thought out. The knobs on the stereo and the climate control are solid and an ideal size. The touchscreen is very reactive and easy to navigate. The wireless Apple Car Play is a HUGE plus. The flat bottom steering wheel is strange at first but easy to control. The steering wheel is a nice size and thickness with a nice smooth leather surface. All of the driver assistance features are easily customizable from a button on the steering wheel. The keyless entry is very user friendly. The remote start with the climate setting is a huge plus for the car! As for the appearance from the outside, the car gives the appearance of a hatchback with a huge trunk. The floating roof line really defines the car. The passion red color is brilliant and rich looking without being overly bright. It's a very distinct color. The headlights and fog lights are stylish and very functional. The lighting bolt design front turn signals stand out from all others. The rear LED lights across the entire trunk deck add a stylish and sophisticated touch. The concealed faux dual outlet exhaust also adds uniqueness to the car. The black wheels compliment the Passion Red so nicely. A few cons to the car, the approach lights in the door handle could be a little brighter. The child safety locks on the rear doors are a bit odd in that they require a key or a screwdriver to engage. The front seats could sit a little lower. The audio system is very weak. Needs a lot of improvement. The gear shifter is plastic when a nice leather wrap would have been better. Almost 6 weeks into the car and the only issue I have had so far is that the trunk will unlatch but not raise to the open position every time. Defeats the purpose of the very convenient automatic trunk on approach. The dealer has agreed to fix it when I take the car for its first service. So overall, the K5 is an incredible car with lots to offer at a very affordable price point. It offers style and sophistication with a unique appearance. It certainly stands out from all the other cookie cutter cars in its class. I am always approached with "I cannot believe you traded a Honda for a Kia!!!" Once they see the car they can better appreciate the switch. And as a Honda owner for many years, I can honestly say that so far I have no complaints about the switch. The Kia is as good, if not even better than the Accord. If this Kia is reliable and holds up for five years as good as the Accord, I may just become a loyal Kia owner. So for anyone in the market for a mid sized sedan the K5 should definitely be on your list to consider. It's certainly worth checking out. You wont be disappointed!!!

5 out of 5 stars, Fun To Drive
LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

I commute everyday and needed a car thats good on gas, but switches lanes fast. The K5 LXS was perfect for me! Even when its not on sport mode, it accelerates fast, sounds pretty bad ass and its not even the GT. I've had a few cars tail gate me to see what the heck it is lol. Looks amazing and drives fantastic! Good job Kia.

5 out of 5 stars, Will Not Disappoint
K5 Guy,
GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The Kia K5 drives smooth with nearly seamless shifting. The car looks mean on the outside and absolutely beautiful on the inside. 10/10 highly recommend! Super satisfied with my purchase.

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2021 Kia K5 video

2021 Kia K5 Test and Review: Goodbye, Kia Optima ― the New Kia K5 Is Here!

2021 Kia K5 Test and Review: Goodbye, Kia Optima ― the New Kia K5 Is Here!

MARK TAKAHASHI: Looks may not be everything. But when it comes to cars, it certainly helps. The rather dull, midsize family sedan class has had some bright spots-- one of them being the Kia Optima. Sadly, the Optima has been discontinued. But the good news it's been replaced by this, the all new 2021 Kia K5. When the 2021 Kia K5 goes on sale this summer, it'll be offered in five trim levels. We expect prices to remain about the same as the Optima. So expect to pay about $25,000 to start. But from there, it doesn't climb that much. The EX trim, which is the more luxurious version, starts under $28,000. Meanwhile, the higher performing GT is only just over $30,000. That's a huge bargain. The big departure for Kia is actually at the very top of the range with the K5 GT, which represents a performance-oriented variant. What we have here is the very well appointed EX trim and the sporty-looking GT line. Powering both of these is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 180 horsepower and 195 pound feet of torque. That's about average for the class, comparable to other top-ranked sedans like the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, as well as the related Hyundai sonata. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only choice, and it sends power to the front wheels. For the first time, all-wheel drive will be available. But it's only going to be offered with the LX-S and the GT-line trim. That'll make it competitive against the few other all-wheel drive choices that include the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Dodge Charger. Estimates put fuel economy right at 31 miles per gallon for most of the lineup. The base model, which is slightly lighter, achieves 32 miles per gallon. Those are pretty much right in line with other sedans like the Accord and Camry. As I said, at the top, the Kia Optima set itself apart from the dull sedans in the class with style. And the K5 continues that tradition with even more aggression. Upfront, I really like the grill. It's incorporating the double-tab Kia motif really well in the grill as well as at the top of the windscreen. And the shape of it, well, it's kind of dished out, concave, almost like a Maserati GranTurismo. It also has this cool Z-shaped lightning bolt accent light and what appears to be functioning scoops right down below. Now, down the side there's not a whole lot to talk about surface wise. But there is one detail that kind of bugs me. It's this chrome strip that starts here, travels all the way back around the glass, and up the other side. It seems just a little out of place for an otherwise tidy design. And if it were mine, I'd probably do some kind of darker vinyl wrap for that. Down here, though, we have what appears to be just an authentic little cut out vent and some LED tail lights. Overall, though, it's the silhouette that sets the K5 apart from the rest. And in a lot of ways, it reminds me of a Kia Stinger, at least a baby Kia Stinger, and that's a good thing. By now, it should be pretty obvious I liked the way the K5 looks. Of course, looks aren't everything. So let's go for a drive. For the drive, I am hopping into the GT line instead of the EX, primarily because it's blue, and it shows up a lot better on camera. Mechanically, they're the same. So these driver impressions apply to both. This is a standard automatic transmission, not a dual clutch and definitely not a continuously variable transmission, CVT. Those tend to have some rather pregnant pauses before you start getting some power. This is a lot more responsive. And because of that, it probably feels a little quicker than it is. At our test track, it went from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds, which isn't exactly setting the world on fire. But it is pretty average for a base engine in this class. It's right in line with the top right on the court, which also did 0 to 60 in 8 seconds. While we're at the test track, the braking also showed that it came to a stop from 60 miles an hour in 127 feet. Generally, we think anything with a braking distance under 120 for the class is about average. So it took just a little bit longer for it to come to a stop. When you do get into the brakes, it does feel confident. There's the right amount of pedal effort where it doesn't feel mushy. But at the same time, it's not too stiff or it's hard to modulate. All in all, it comes to a stop pretty well and controllably when you're panic stopping. When it comes to handling, I'm giving this a better than average rating because, well, it feels OK when you're pushing it through the curves or when you need to swerve out of the way. I did take it for a few laps at the test track yesterday. And yes, I know it's not a performance vehicle. But it gave me a little bit of an indication of what maybe the potential can be pulled from this for the GT. And I have to say, I was somewhat impressed. It handled really well for a base engine sedan. And that's not with any sticky tires or suspension or anything else. I'm on one of my favorite twisty roads in LA right now. And it feels confident. When you tip it into a turn, the body roll is there. But it's well managed. Here's a nice first-gear turn. There's a lot of tire hell. But also what do you expect? It's a family sedan. I realize that most family sedan shoppers don't really care about handling performance. But I will say that even those shoppers can notice a difference between a car that is well sorted out or one that is kind of soft and not suited to taking turns. Overall, driveability, I'm going to give it a pretty high score because it's just easy to drive. On my three-hour evaluation loop last night, I felt no fatigue. It was just easier to while away all the miles. And at the end, I achieved 33 mpg. That was our 115-mile evaluation loop. That includes a lot of highway. At least we can say that we've confirmed its fuel economy estimates. During that drive, these seats gave me the right amount of cushioning and support. I didn't feel any hard points. I didn't feel like I needed to shift my position just to get a little relief. No, these felt really good. When it comes to ride comfort, well, I think they did a really good job there, too. They struck a nice balance between having that confident handling but still having enough compliance in the suspension to soak up all the bumps in the road. There is a section in LA on the 405 freeway going southbound right out of West LA with some pretty severe seams in the concrete. It really gives those tires a good slapping when you're at highway speeds, just whap, whap, whap. And they're pretty much erased when I was driving it at highway speeds yesterday. So that's pretty impressive. Also helping comfort is how quiet it is on the inside. You hear the engine when you're accelerating. Otherwise, it just kind of blends and goes away. Road noise is really well attenuated as is wind noise. And I hear a few creaks here and there coming from the big sunroof, but it's really nothing to ding it for. I'm also going to award some points for visibility. This is one of the thinner A pillars I've come across in the class or, actually, in a lot of vehicles out today. It's well-placed It's a little bit thinner. And it's well contoured so that I don't have to look around that A pillar in a left turn. Where visibility is OK, the deck lid back there above the rear seats, it kind of narrows your view. But you're still seeing all the important stuff. If anything, it's just chopping off the grill of a car that's following behind you. It's also really easy to maneuver, the K5. I have a rather tight parking stall in my apartment. It was easy to just zip it in and out of that section. After logging some evaluation miles last night as well as taking this little canyon drive now, I'm coming to the realization that I'm running out of things to complain about on the Kia K5. For regular viewers of this channel, you might realize that that's not my natural state. So far, I have really minor nitpicks. And I've said in other videos that, if you hear me nitpicking a car, that probably means I really like it. And I really like this K5. The question is, can it unseat the top-rated Honda Accord? Let's look at the argument. The K5 costs less with similarly equipped vehicles. It hits 0-60 in the exact same time, gets almost the same fuel economy. It's as comfortable as quiet. I think the K5 looks a little better. Of course, that's subjective. So I'm not going to weigh that too much. It's easy to drive. And also when I was on the evaluation drive, I wasn't irritated by the advanced safety features. They were well tuned. So I didn't get any false alarms. And also the adaptive cruise control was really good. Not just really good, I'm going to say excellent. You know why? Because is even better than the system that's in the Mercedes-Benz. Did I just compare the Kia K5 against a Mercedes-Benz? Yes, other Mark, I did. OK, hear me out. On the evaluation drive, there's this long stretch on a sweeping downhill canyon. And in adaptive cruise control, yes, it maintained the gap to the car in front. That's expected. But on that steep downhill, it maintained its speed within one or two miles per hour. And also when you're going into a curve, it automatically starts dropping the speed. But it does it very gracefully. And it does it to a level that make sense. In the Mercedes, when that system is active and you're about to head into a turn, it drops the boat anchor. It gets onto the brakes. And it just putts through the turn. This one, it drives pretty much like a normal human should. Also the lane keep assist was really will tuned, too. I didn't feel like I had to fight the wheel when it made a mistake. Sure, it happens every now and then, where maybe a line comes into your lane that it mistakes for one of the lane markings. Sure, that happened once. But it took very little effort to correct it. In some other cars, I feel like after I wrestled the wheel loose from the computer. So advantage Kia, again. And this doesn't mean that I don't want the K5 to be the top-rated family sedan in its class. I'm just a little concerned that I like it so much. So far, I really only have three nitpicks. And man, are they minor. The first is that chrome strip on the exterior that circles the car. Not my taste, but you know what? If I were to buy one of these-- and I would, if I needed it-- I'd just get some vinyl wrap tape and cover it up. It's pretty easy. They sell scraps on eBay for cheap. [SIGHS] Nitpick number two-- the shifter. They should have covered it in leather instead of that cheapo vinyl. And it's that sore thumb that just sticks out, almost literally like a sore thumb. But I can fix that at home, too. I mean, go to Goodwill, get a leather jacket or something, cut a square out of it. And glue it to this. Problem solved. And the last nitpick-- this piano black on top of the infotainment screen tends to reflect sunlight into your eyes if you're driving into the sun, towards the sun. Obviously, you're not driving in the sun. It's like 100 million miles away. And my fix for that would just be a strip of black gaffer tape. Well, it sounds like I can fix all of the little nitpicks I have with the K5 with about $7. All the goodness that I like about this K5 points to some pretty strong potential for that GT. And that GT, well, that's going to be a different beast. It's getting a 2.5-liter turbo-charged four cylinder that puts out 290 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque. That's a big jump from this, which is already good, more than adequate, for sure. I am intrigued. There's a lot more I want to talk about when it comes to the interior. So for that, I'm going to stop driving. And I'm going to jump back into the EX, which has a few more features that I wanted to point out. Just like the exterior design of the K5, I'm a fan of the interior design, too. First off, the dash has this broad horizontal look to it, which sort of reminds me of some luxury sedans from Europe. But obviously, materials quality isn't anywhere near as nice. But for the class, it is still quite good. All of the points you'd normally touch are well padded. Everything below, lets say, your elbows is harder plastic, which is also pretty much typical for any mid-sized family sedan like this. Right at the top of the dash is a big touchscreen, which is right where I want it. It keeps it in my sight lines and reduces distraction while I'm driving. The responses are relatively quick. There's a little bit of delay when you touch a button. But it does work well. And it's super easy to read, especially when you're driving. Right underneath that big screen are some horizontal vents that do a really good job of dispersing either hot or cold air. So on a hot day like this, it cools down the cabin pretty quickly. But there is a kicker. This automatic climate control has three settings that coincide with fan speed. So if your preference is a slightly quieter air conditioning unit, you can have that yet still enjoy automatic climate control. Right here in the center console it's something I didn't expect to like as much as I do, which is this gear selector. It's this big beefy thing that sort of reminds me of the throttle on a airplane. But I do have one knock against it. It's not wrapped in leather like the steering wheel is. And the vinyl texturing here looks a little cheap. Maybe for the next model year, they can wrap that in leather, too. Other secondary controls right on the center console remind me of the Stinger in a really good way. These seat climate controls for heating or ventilation kind of rock up and down just like the Stinger does with the drive mode knob right in the middle. Just behind that is a wireless charging pad. Now, besides just having a wireless charging pad, there is this little spring-loaded door here that holds your phone secure while you're driving. So it's not rattling around. And it's not going to shift out of place and stop charging either. That's a really nice touch to me, which says, to me, that they're paying a lot more attention to the details. The center armrest bin is pretty well sized. You can fit a lot of stuff in there, which contrasts a little bit to the pockets in the doors. Now, they're wide enough. But the arm rest itself kind of blocks any vertical space that you might want for a water bottle. So that might get a ding there. But the cup holders are really well sized. They'll easily hold a big gulp, extra large, if that's your thing. Another thing I wasn't expecting was this really nice wood trim. I'm not sure if it's genuine wood. But if it's not, that's probably the most convincing imitation I've come across yet. There is an overabundance of piano black surfaces in the interior. But that's pretty typical for any car you're getting in these days. As a family sedan, of course, rear seats are vitally important. So let's go take a look. Despite losing 4/10ths of an inch in headroom back here, I still fit without a problem. I'm 5 foot 10", too, so that means, yeah, you can get an average adult to fit back here comfortably. I have plenty of room for my feet as well as a ton of knee room. So as much space as there is, I'm thinking it's probably not a problem to put a rear-facing infant seat back here without affecting the front passengers much. Materials' quality isn't as nice in the backseat as it is up front. But that's not unusual for the class. We've got some hard plastics up here. But your elbow touch points are still well padded. I do have a nice padded center armrest right here as well as to USB charge ports right down on the bottom. I also have some nice vents here that you can direct towards the passengers. They're a little weak but still better than nothing. Despite appearances, the K5 isn't a hatchback. It has a regular trunk and a pretty decent trunk, too. 16 cubic feet of cargo space is on the high end for the class. Helping matters is the rather wide and tall opening, which helps get bulky items in, also helping these little pull tabs here that release the rear seat backs. Overall, I give the K5 high marks for practicality in addition to all that style. I like the way the K5 looks. I think it's as attractive as the Mazda 6, which is currently rated number two in its class. It drives as was the Honda Accord, which is the number one pick in this class. In terms of performance, it matches the Honda Accord. But it's slightly less expensive if it's similarly equipped. Hmm. And there's still room at the top for the GT. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new winner. I have to crunch a whole lot of numbers to verify. But at the very least, this is going to be in the top three with that Accord and the Mazda 6. Wow, I mean, my nitpicks are so minor that I feel dumb just for even bringing them up. Yikes. I was convinced that this K5 was going to be better than the outgoing Optima. That's an easy leap. I just didn't expect to be this good. Man, good on you, Kia. You've done it again. You surprised us with the Telluride. And that's been number one for two years in Edmonds' rankings. I feel like, with the product schedule and not a lot of other new sedans coming out, if this is, indeed, the number one sedan, it'll probably hold it for a few years. We just finished shooting. And I came in with another nitpick. When I want to skip a song, I have to hit this lever down on the steering wheel instead of up. How am I supposed to adapt to such inconsistency in the universe? Actually, no, I love the car. It's great. It still holds true. So see you next time! Ciao!

The new 2021 Kia K5 replaces the Optima in the midsize sedan class, and it makes a strong debut with sharp styling. The question is: Can it unseat the Honda Accord, the Edmunds Top Rated Sedan?

Features & Specs

GT-Line 4dr Sedan features & specs
GT-Line 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A
MPG 27 city / 37 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower180 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
EX 4dr Sedan features & specs
EX 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A
MPG 27 city / 37 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower180 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
LXS 4dr Sedan features & specs
LXS 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A
MPG 27 city / 37 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower180 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
LX 4dr Sedan features & specs
LX 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A
MPG 29 city / 38 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower180 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2021 Kia K5 features & specs


Our experts’ favorite K5 safety features:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
Warns if a frontal collision is imminent and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
Warns if a vehicle is lurking in your blind spot and will apply the brakes if you continue to move into the occupied lane to avoid contact.
Lane Keeping Assist
Alerts the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of its marked lane and keeps the car centered within those markings.

Kia K5 vs. the competition

Kia K5 vs. Honda Accord

The K5 and the Accord are two of our top-rated midsize sedans. They're both excellent choices. Really, you can't go wrong with either one. The Kia does hold a price advantage by a few hundred dollars in base trim and a few thousand at the top of the lineup. Then there's Kia's more generous warranty.

Compare Kia K5 & Honda Accord features

Kia K5 vs. Mazda 6

The Mazda 6 is regarded by many as one of the best-looking sedans in its class, but the K5 is certainly capable of turning heads too. We also credit the Mazda for its sporty handling. That handling, though, does detract from ride comfort. As with most cars in the class, the K5 offers more features for the money.

Compare Kia K5 & Mazda 6 features

Kia K5 vs. Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata is all-new for 2020 and it ranks highly in its class. Its styling tends to be somewhat polarizing, but if you find it attractive, it has many of the features and attributes of the K5. That should come as no surprise since they're practically siblings that share a basic platform and many mechanical elements.

Compare Kia K5 & Hyundai Sonata features
Kia K5 for sale

Related K5 Articles


Is the Kia K5 a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 K5 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.3 out of 10. You probably care about Kia K5 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the K5 gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg to 32 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the K5 has 16.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia K5. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Kia K5?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Kia K5:

  • An all-new replacement for the Kia Optima sedan
  • Part of the first K5 generation introduced for 2021
Learn more

Is the Kia K5 reliable?

To determine whether the Kia K5 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the K5. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the K5's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Kia K5 a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Kia K5 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 K5 and gave it a 8.3 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 K5 is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Kia K5?

The least-expensive 2021 Kia K5 is the 2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $23,490.

Other versions include:

  • GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $25,390
  • EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $27,990
  • LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $24,490
  • LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $23,490
  • GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $29,090
  • LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $26,590
  • GT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 8AM) which starts at $30,490
Learn more

What are the different models of Kia K5?

If you're interested in the Kia K5, the next question is, which K5 model is right for you? K5 variants include GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A). For a full list of K5 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Kia K5

2021 Kia K5 Overview

The 2021 Kia K5 is offered in the following submodels: K5 Sedan. Available styles include GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and GT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 8AM).

What do people think of the 2021 Kia K5?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Kia K5 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 K5 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 K5.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Kia K5 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 K5 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Kia K5?

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,630. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $1,270 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,270 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,360.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 4.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 20 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia K5 EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $29,410. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $1,272 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,272 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $28,138.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 4.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 52 2021 Kia K5 EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,810. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $1,137 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,137 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $25,673.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 4.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 26 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,910. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $1,017 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,017 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $24,893.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 3.9% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 24 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,610. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $789 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $789 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $23,821.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 3.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 10 2021 Kia K5 LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,105. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $1,155 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,155 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $26,950.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 4.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 8 2021 Kia K5 LXS 4dr Sedan AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Kia K5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Kia K5 for sale near. There are currently 414 new 2021 K5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,610 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Kia K5. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $5,843 on a used or CPO 2021 K5 available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Kia K5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia K5 for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,313.

Find a new Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,550.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Kia K5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials