Kia just introduced the 2021 Kia K5, a next-generation midsize sedan set to replace the Kia Optima in the South Korean automaker’s lineup.
The all-new 2021 Kia K5 is based on the equally all-new third-generation N3 platform. The K5 is longer, wider, and lower than the outgoing Optima, with an extra 2 inches in overall length, an extra inch in overall width, an extra 1.8 inches in wheelbase width, and an overall height that’s 0.8 inches lower.
The 2021 Kia K5 takes after the Kia Stinger in terms of styling, with the brand’s signature “Tiger Face” fascia and a fastback profile. Chrome trim bits add extra flash, and there’s optional LED lighting. Wheel sizing includes 16-inch, 18-inch, and 19-inch designs
Interior highlights include an “Aircraft-type” shift knob, as well as either an 8-inch or 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen. There’s also a full suite of safety features on offer. Upholstery options include red leatherette, and there’s high-end interior trim materials like satin chrome metallic or wood. A flat-bottom steering wheel is equipped on sportier trims.
Providing motivation is a new turbocharged engine lineup, with two powerplants to choose from. The most powerful option is a 2.5L four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, which is capable of propelling the new 2021 Kia K5 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. There’s also a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
Routing the muscle is a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, while an eight-speed “wet” dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional. There’s also the option for AWD with the turbocharged 1.6L engine.
The 2021 Kia K5 will be produced in West Point, Georgia, and goes on sale this summer. Four trims are offered at launch, including the LS, LXS, GT-Line, and EX. The performance-oriented GT will see late availability in the fall.
Does the new K5 look like a worthy rival for the Chevrolet Malibu? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Malibu news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.