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December 23, 2019

Kia Comes Up with a Sexy Executive Sedan in the All-New 2021 K5

The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Mazda6 better take note—Kia’s new design-driven K5 mid-sized sedan is ready for primetime. Marketing a new era for the Korean automaker, the K5 aims to capture some attention with its striking exterior, driver-focused interior, and new powertrain options including the availability of all-wheel drive for the first time.

Set to launch in global markets in the first half of 2020 (it’s currently unknown if new Kia distributor Ayala Automotive will offer it), the K5 (aka the Optima) has a fastback silhouette. And since it’s a collaborative effort by Kia’s design studios in North America, Europe, and South Korea, it marks a greater leap forward between generations than any of its predecessors.

Similar to the Seltos, the K5’s tiger nose grille integrates its LED headlights into the grille giving it an aggressive face. In profile, the body narrows slightly midpoint—inspired by the ‘coke bottle’ shape of the high-performance Stinger. Of course, the K5’s proportions are key to its sportier attitude. While the height of the vehicle has been cut by 20 mm (to 1,445 mm), the car’s overall length has been extended by 50 mm (to 4,905 mm), its width by 25 mm (to 1,860 mm), and its wheelbase by 45 mm (to 2,850 mm). Finally, at the back, it boasts a new lighting signature—LED lights that span the width of the rear deck. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 19 inches.

For the interior, the K5 introduces Kia’s new design language which will be adopted to across other models. Replacing the infotainment screen integrated into the surface of the previous-generation’s dashboard, the new car sports a wide infotainment display which is physically attached to the instrument cluster in front of the driver. In certain models, the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen sits alongside Kia’s new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, displaying information clearly just below the driver’s line of sight over the road ahead.

The K5 boasts of a wide range of interior options—a choice between single- and two-tone color schemes; mood lighting; wireless phone charging; and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

Of note, it is the first Kia to come available with the new Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which enables drivers to move their car autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob. This is designed to make it easier to get in and out of the car in tight parking spaces, or if another driver parks too close to access any of the doors.

Under the hood, it gets Kia’s new Smartstream powertrains which delivers greater efficiency and refinement than ever before.

The base engine is a normally-aspirated 2.0-liter MPI engine making 152 horsepower and 192 Nm of torque; a 2.0-liter with Continuously-Variable Valve Lift that bumps up the power to 160 horsepower and 196 Nm of torque; a 2.5-liter direct injection with 194 horsepower and 246 Nm of torque; a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct injection engine with 180 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque; and finally, a turbocharged 2.5-liter with 290 horsepower and 422 Nm of torque.

All engines are paired as standard with six- or eight-speed automatic transmissions, while the turbocharged 2.5-liter comes with Kia’s new 8-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT). Designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic, the 8DCT enhances fuel efficiency over eight-speed automatic, depending on application.

One of the most important new introductions for the latest-generation K5 is the availability of a new all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Available with certain engines depending on market, the AWD system offers buyers enhanced dynamic capability in conditions where traction is reduced, shifting power to the rear axle based on driver inputs and road conditions. The K5 remains front-wheel drive as standard.

The K5 is fitted with up to 9 airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems including vehicle stability management and electronic stability control. It also comes with a range of driver assist tech such as collision avoidance assist, blind spot view monitor, and more.

While the executive sedan segment isn’t as big as it once was, hopefully Kia Philippines will consider bringing the K5 into the country as a sort of halo car alongside the Stinger GT and the Forte GT.

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