Auto123 testimonials the 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line.

The Kia K5 arrives to us at a time where by the compact-mid-size sedan classification carries on to hemorrhage gross sales to the compact and mid-size CUV group, but that has not stopped Kia from delivering 1 heck of a fantastic-hunting sedan that arrives with an agile chassis, an equipped powertrain and, over all, a emotion of good quality that you cannot usually count on in the segment.

It seriously does start out with those seems, even though – truly, extra specifically that that, it commences with those headlamps and even extra specifically than that, it commences with the wildly-shaped DRLs established in those headlamps. They are styled to search like an EKG pulse and my oh my, they might just be ample to complete off what is the most unique headlamp assembly you are going to come across today, and they help the K5 search significantly extra premium than its value tag implies. Which, as we’ll shortly see, is the situation for quite a few elements of this wonderful new sedan from Korea.

The large news here is that all other than the major-spec GT come standard with AWD – for some explanation, the GT and its extra powerful motor are caught with entrance-wheel-drive. But AWD at base? That’s a large earn for Kia’s mid-size entry as only Subaru and Nissan can currently make that assert this side of the luxurious companies.

Other standard options include things like a turbo motor fantastic for one hundred eighty hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, 8-velocity automated transmission (there is no handbook, regretably), alloy wheels and LED headlights.

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2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, front

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, entrance

Inside, effectively, let’s just say the interior the K5 has is an appealing get on what mid-size sedan interiors can be.

At to start with glance, it is bought some wonderful detailing: 10.25-inch infotainment exhibit (that shrinks to 8-inch on the bottom two trims, but for some explanation, only the more compact screens are suitable with wi-fi Apple CarPlay), synthetic leather seating, flat-bottom steering wheel and a stunning array of surfaces that selection from fake-woodgrain to a type of billeted steel search. It seems fantastic but there is some detailing that is a small complicated, as if Kia introduced a variety of designers onto the venture, and advised them to “have at it” and they didn’t usually adhere to the “one model of the truth” idiom.

Consider the t-bar change lever, for example. It seems like it belongs in a ‘70s muscle mass car or truck and that’s neat, but it types a bit of a unusual contrast with the infotainment exhibit over, whose graphics search a small like they were being designed by someone who experienced minimize their enamel planning WinAmp skins. Again very little wrong with it, but I’m just not certain it matches.

There is a neat-o characteristic, even though, that allows you to pick out from different “themes” that are not just graphical, but audible as effectively if you pick the “Lively Forest” theme, the car or truck truly pumps calming tropical – at the very least I feel it is tropical – forest seems by the 6-speaker audio technique. “Open-Air Café”, in the meantime, tends to make it experience like you are driving close to in a Starbucks.

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, interior

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, interior

Although it does not wi-fi CarPlay, it does have wi-fi charging, completed by way of an ingenious vertically-mounted charger with a doorway and cooling technique mounted just ahead of the centre armrest. It’s the best spot for your telephone, as you will not be tempted to keep significantly else there.

Sticking with the interior: the 2021 Kia Seltos crossover also will get that ambient seem characteristic and large exhibit, but in addition to that, it will get a large TFT exhibit among the gauges for your excursion personal computer. The more recent, pricier K5? It does not, instead producing do with a more compact, extra conventional-hunting monitor that seems significantly significantly less integrated into the gauge cluster than does the item on the Seltos. It’s not terrible and it demonstrates you all the data you could want, but why not get the new things in the new car or truck?

All that apart, I adore the driver’s seating place in the K5 and the back seats confirm remarkably roomy, even with my tester’s total-size moonroof. That options does have an affect on headroom rather but as very long as you are of no extra than ordinary peak, you should be good.

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, second row of seats

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, next row of seats

Although that driver’s seating place feels proper as shortly as you drop into the seat, there’s also one thing about the way the K5 goes about its organization after you start out transferring that provides the impression that you are in a suitable luxurious sport sedan. There are no creaks or rattles from the various interior bits and surfaces (as different as these are) or the chassis, and the K5 just moves by city emotion thoroughly “as one” and prepared to tackle most any road you can toss at it. It rides exceptionally effectively, it seems good, and you can inform it is responsive even at slow city speeds.

Which, as it happens, is where by you get to sample 1 of the K5’s coolest celebration methods, and that’s a driver aid that truly stops you from producing a terrible remaining flip. If you start out to flip remaining by an intersection and the K5 senses one thing is coming, it will halt you even in advance of you see it. It’s like cross-traffic inform taken to the nth degree.

On the open up road, even though, is where by the K5 seriously commences to clearly show its true colors.

Energy is sent quickly from tip-in, as the effectively-tuned 8-velocity auto does effectively to mitigate any turbo lag. The transmission bangs by gears quickly (specifically in Sport mode, which compliments Normal, Sensible and Snow, all accessible making use of a joystick mounted just behind the change lever) no matter whether on its have or in handbook mode, which is wonderful.

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, three-quarters rear

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, three-quarters rear

Significantly less so is the truth there are no paddle shifters. No paddle shifters in a $35K sports activities sedan? That’s a unusual 1. The higher-spec GT product with its dual-cutch transmission will get them, but this 1 does not. And it should. You can use the shifter, of training course, but if I’m achieving for a shifter – specifically 1 shaped like this — I want to be kicking a clutch at the very same time and banging house a equipment, not flipping a change. If you want to give a car or truck a rapid-shifting auto box, go all the way and snap some paddles to the steering wheel.

That is the only authentic knock I have against the K5’s drive simply because in any other case, it is proper on the cash. The steering response is exceptionally inform and properly feelsome, producing certain that the K5 handles the way its seems advise it should. It tracks true and the AWD technique in addition torque vectoring places the power particularly where by it needs to be to swivel this little one by all method of turns in a stable, self esteem-inspiring way. Confident, it runs out of breath a small at higher speeds as those power figures are not significant, but that does not bother me so significantly as it is fast ample to make the K5 experience particular, and that’s the crucial.

The K5 is a wonderful example of how you can get functionality-sedan dynamics without the affiliated value tag. AWD and turbo power for significantly less – a ton significantly less – than 40 grand? That is a scarce thing and you really do not have to soar by hoops to get it as the K5 is accessible in Kia sellers as you study this.

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, profile

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, profile

Pricing for the 2021 Kia K5
LX: $29,595
EX: $32,595
GT-Line: $35,995
GT: $39,995

We like

Superb seems
AWD at base
Punchy turbo power
    
We like significantly less

No paddle shifters
Inside layout a bit of a mishmash
No handbook possibility

The opposition

Cadillac CT5
Honda Accord
Hyundai Sonata
Mazda6
Nissan Altima
Subaru Legacy
Toyota Camry
Volkswagen Passat

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, rear

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line, rear

Professionals

Buyers

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line pics