2021 Kia K5

MSRP $23,490 - $30,490

Ranked #19 in Midsize Sedan



2021 Kia K5 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

For almost two decades, the Kia Optima has offered attractive styling, loads of features, and good value for money to thousands of customers in America while the K5 did the same in the Korean market for over a decade. And for the 2021 model year, Kia has not just completely redesigned the Optima but also dropped the name tag for the alphanumeric nomenclature to showcase to Americans how different this new generation is in comparison to the older one. 

See detailed review »


Stylish exterior and interior design

Upmarket features packed right from the base trim

Impressive value in the market

Comfortable cabin and ride quality 


Sloping roofline affects ingress and egress at the rear

Driver seat positioned too high

What's New?

All-new model for 2021 model year


vehicle bio

base price



4dr Sedan

passenger capacity


top speed

137 mph


front wheel drive

engine type


98 cu.in.


180 hp @ 5500 rpm


195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm


8 speed Automatic w/overdrive


suspension front

Independent strut suspension

suspension rear

Multi-Link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12/11.2 in.



112.2 in.


193.1 in.


73.2 in.


56.9 in.

curb weight

3115 lbs.


passenger volume

105.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

16 cu ft.


zero to 60 mph

8 sec.

zero to 100 mph

12.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

163 ft.


basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance


Pictures & Videos


LX$23,490 onwards

LXS$24,490 onwards

GT-Line$25,390 onwards

EX$27,990 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia K5 in Pacific Blue color
Pacific Blue

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

Despite the shrinking desire for family sedans in the market, the striking new sporty yet elegant design does strike a chord with many and is sure to turn around a few heads. Kia has also updated the powertrain and now also provides an all-wheel-drive drivetrain. Add to that the premium cabin with loads of technology and features, it is surely going to take its place in the midsize sedan market at an attractive starting price of $24,585 which undercuts most rivals which include the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry

2021 Kia K5 Sedan front view
2021 Kia K5 Sedan rear view

2021 Kia K5 Features

The all-new 2021 K5 is offered by Kia in 4 different trims with an AWD drivetrain available only two of them. The base LX and the top-of-the-line EX trims are offered with just FWD while AWD is available as an option on the LXS and GT-Line trims. The base LX trim is loaded with plenty of features while the LXS adds a few more functional features. The GT-Line gets most of the premium creature comforts while EX makes the feel even more premium. 
















Key Features

Dusk Sensing LED Headlamps

Keyless Ignition

Front Fog/Driving Lights

3 Months Of Paid Satellite Radio Service


Lane Departure Warning

Blind Spot Warning

Leather Steering Wheel

Heated and Ventilated Front Seats


6-speaker audio system

Wireless Charging Pad

8 -Way Power Driver Seat

Leatherette Upholstery


Rear View Camera

Ambient Lighting

Leatherette/Cloth Upholstery

Reverse Parking Distance Warning


Dual Zone Front Climate Control


Remote Engine Start System


Cloth Upholstery


18-inch Painted Alloy Wheels


16-inch Alloy Wheels


Which trim should you buy?

Although many features are available right from the base LX trim, most of the creature comforts that we would want from our daily driven car are available only from the GT-Line trim, hence it is the most sensible choice as it also doesn’t cost a huge sum of money over the base model. 

2021 Kia K5 Engine and Performance

The Kia K5 family sedan is available with only a single powertrain option while the K5 GT gets a more powerful powertrain, it is reviewed separately. The regular 2021 K5 is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-pot motor under its hood which is mated to an 8-speed automatic that powers the front wheels, with an option for AWD. The engine is rated for 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in this guise. 

2021 Kia K5 Sedan engine bay

The acceleration performance of the K5 isn’t quite remarkable, taking around 8 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint while taking over 16 seconds to cross the finish line at the end of the quarter-mile. It feels even less impressive at highway speeds where it needs a tad more time to make passes, while the transmission keeps the revs low to ensure a smooth drive. Overall, it may look sporty but the performance is far from it. 


Kia K5 LX

Honda Accord LX

Hyundai Sonata SE

Toyota Camry LE







1.6L, Turbocharged Inline-4

1.6L, Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5L, Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.5L, Naturally Aspirated Inline-4







8-speed automatic


8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic


180 hp @ 5,500 rpm

192 hp @ 5,500 rpm

191 hp @ 6,100 rpm

203 hp @ 6,600 rpm


195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm

192 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

181 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)





Quarter Mile (sec)





Top Speed (mph)





The Honda Accord is one of the top market shareholders of this segment in spite of its higher price tag, thanks to its strong performance. The Camry boasts of class-leading power figures which although doesn’t translate much into straight-line acceleration performance, is quicker than the K5. The Kia K5’s cousin, Hyundai Sonata is marginally pricier and also is a tad quicker, making the 2021 K5 stand last on the grid. 

How does the 2021 Kia K5 Sedan handle?

Similar to its performance, the handling of the K5 too isn’t very sporty but does a good job at tackling bumps and curbs rather well. There is a decent amount of body roll around the corners and hence it is best to not push this Kia into the turns. The steering system is light and accurate but offers limited feedback from under the front wheels and does not feel sporty either. 

2021 Kia K5 Sedan ride and handling

There are 4 different drive modes available with the 2021 K5 which alter the engine, transmission, steering, and drivetrain responses based on Normal, Smart, Sport, and Custom modes. There is a noticeable difference between the Normal and Sport mode, while the Smart mode automatically switches between them. The Custom Mode lets you set the parameters based on your personal preferences. 

2021 Kia K5 Braking Performance

The 2021 Kia K5 employs a 12-inch front and 11.2-inch rear disc brake setup which although offers a smooth and linear progression of the pedal with decent enough bite, the braking distance of 124 feet in a 60-0 mph panic braking scenario is a bit more than the industry average.


Kia K5 LX

Honda Accord LX

Hyundai Sonata SE

Toyota Camry LE

Brake Rotors - Front (in)





Brake Rotors - Rear (in)





Curb Weight (lbs)





60-0 mph (ft)





Kia’s sibling, the Hyundai Sonata employs a larger set of brakes at the rear and has a much shorter stopping distance. The Honda Accord utilizes smaller brakes at both ends but is also light in weight. The Toyota Camry is the heaviest of the lot but the smaller rear brakes translate to a longer braking distance. 

2021 Kia K5 Fuel Economy

The standard four-cylinder engine powering the 2021 Kia K5 is pretty frugal, offering about 32 mpg of combined city and highway driving in the base FWD variant. Opting for the AWD sees a drop in fuel economy to 29 mpg but a sizable 14.8-gallon fuel tank ensures a decent driving range of over 400 miles easily with either of the drivetrains, on a single tank of gas.


Kia K5 LX

Honda Accord LX

Hyundai Sonata SE

Toyota Camry LE

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Tank Capacity (gal)





Range (City / Highway / Combined) (miles)

429 / 562 / 474

444 / 562 / 488

414 / 562 / 474

442 / 616 / 506

There is no need for an introduction to the frugality of the Accord but the K5 isn’t too far behind as well in this regard. Both the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry have similar rated fuel economy figures as that of the K5. Except for the Camry which employs a larger gas tank, all the three have identical fuel tank capacity and hence offer similar driving ranges.

2021 Kia K5 Interior

Kia has been known for making some bold and stylish cabin designs and the K5’s cabin reminds us of some premium European cars. Obviously, the quality of the materials isn’t similar to the German Audis and BMWs, but it overshadows every other cabin in its segment. The large touchscreen and the center console are slightly tilted towards the driver for ease of usage, but the lack of a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter below GT-Line trim is a shame. 

2021 Kia K5 Sedan front seats

In terms of cabin space, the K5 offers acres of space upfront while keeping the rear seat passengers rather comfortable as well. That being said, the middle rear passenger won’t be very happy as with other sedans, and the low sloping roofline does affect ingress and egress, although cabin headroom is pretty decent. The 16 cu-ft of the trunk is pretty usable, so are the various storage pockets and cubby holes all around the cabin. 


Kia K5 LX

Honda Accord LX

Hyundai Sonata SE

Toyota Camry LE

Seating Capacity





Front Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

40.2 / 58.0 / 46.1

39.5 / 58.3 / 42.3

40.0 / 57.9 / 46.1

38.3 / 57.7 / 42.1

Rear Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

37.8 / 56.1 / 35.2

37.3 / 56.5 / 40.4

38.4 / 56.1 / 34.8

38.0 / 55.7 / 38.0

Trunk Capacity (cu-ft)





Being based on the same platform and sharing most of its parts, both the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata offer an identical cabin and trunk space. The Honda Accord isn’t as spacious at the front but the rear seat offers enough legroom to sit even the taller passengers rather comfortably. Add to that the class-leading trunk capacity, the Toyota Camry falls further behind in both the rear seat and cargo space section. 

  • 8-way power-adjustable driver seat w/2-way lumbar support
  • Heated Front Bucket Seats
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Rear Seat
  • Cloth and Leatherette Seat Trim
  • Tilt/Telescoping Sport Heated Leather Steering Wheel
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Chrome and Metal-Look Interior Accents

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The Korean carmaker has led the market in terms of technology and infotainment features in the past and it continues to do so even with the 2021 K5. The large touchscreen infotainment system has crisp graphics, intuitive layout, and quick responses and comes standard with wireless smartphone integration. 

2021 Kia K5 Sedan infotainment screen

The optional 10.25-inch touchscreen is only available as an option on the higher trim but oddly foregoes the wireless smartphone integration capability. The standard audio system is fine but the optional 12-speaker Bose system is the one to go for to thoroughly enjoy your music. The improved UVO telematics enhances the experience even further. 

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen TFT infotainment display
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • HD Radio and SiriusXM
  • Bluetooth wireless technology and Mobile Hotspot Internet Access
  • Turn-By-Turn Navigation Directions
  • Voice Activation

2021 Kia K5 Exterior

The midsize sedans mostly consisting of mundane daily driven cars don't really get much attention, but the newly launched Kia K5 will. As compared to the older Optima, it is longer and also has a lower sportier stance. The wide and slim tiger grille together with the dramatic LED DRLs and headlights provide a mean front-end look to the car. The LED lights that run across the rear of the car also look slick along with the lip spoiler, rear diffuser, and dual exhausts.

2021 Kia K5 Sedan 


Kia K5 LX

Honda Accord LX

Hyundai Sonata SE

Toyota Camry LE

Curb Weight (lbs)





Length (in)





Width (in)





Height (in)





Ground Clearance (in)





Wheelbase (in)





The large and spacious cabin and cargo space offered by the Accord is due to the longer dimension of the car. It also offers a higher ground clearance which is identical to the Camry, that aids it in gliding over curbs and broken roads with scraping its belly. Both the Sonata and K5 are similar in terms of dimensions but use a radically different design language. 

  • Automatic Aero-Composite LED Daytime Running Auto High-Beam Headlamps
  • LED Brakelights
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Power Heated Side Mirrors
  • Chrome Side Windows Trim and Rear Window Trim
  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass Panoramic Sunroof w/Power Sunshade
  • 18-inch Graphite Machined Finish Alloy Wheels

2021 Kia K5 Safety

With Optima doing so well in this regard, there should have been no surprises that the 2021 K5 does exceptionally well in this regard too. The NHTSA rates it with a perfect 5-star overall rating, while the IIHS has bestowed it with their prestigious “Top Safety Pick+” award for the segment for the 2021 model year. Many of the safety features are available as standard with the K5 and a highlight of the available safety and driver assistance features have been mentioned below. 

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning System w/Lane Keeping Assist
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance Back-Up Camera

2021 Kia K5 Competition

2021 Kia K5 vs Honda Accord 

The car to beat in this segment, the Honda Accord is considered as the king of the segment and that is for a reason. It offers strong acceleration and braking performance, agile handling, and a frugal engine that is complemented by low maintenance costs. That being said, Kia offers a much longer and exhaustive warranty package and a more premium cabin. It’s an even match but the spacious cabin and trunk together with a strong resale value for the Accord make it our winner here.

Honda Accord 

2021 Kia K5 vs Hyundai Sonata

Corporate sisters to each other, both the K5 and Sonata share a lot of mechanicals and other parts and are also priced very close to each other. The larger and naturally aspirated engine of the Hyundai Sonata is marginally quicker and offers better performance while also returning similar fuel efficiency figures. With that being the only major difference between the two, we would recommend the Sonata for its stronger performance.

Hyundai Sonata

2021 Kia K5 vs Toyota Camry 

Another stalwart of the segment, the Toyota Camry is one of the most popular midsize sedans in the market and hence carries a lot of value as well. The acceleration and braking performance is pretty strong, while the larger gas tank offers the longest driving range in the segment. Although it offers a spacious rear seat, the K5 offers a larger trunk and more space at the front. Kia also has a more striking exterior and cabin and more premium features at a lower cost as compared to Toyota, and hence would be our winner between the two. 

Toyota Camry


2021 Kia K5 Final Verdict

The all-new Kia Optima replacement has not just changed its name but intends to change the game as well. It has a decent powertrain with a fuel economy on par with the segment. The cabin and ride quality is plush while the exterior design is appealing. The latest safety and technology on offer together with the long and exhaustive warranty program does make for a strong offering in this segment.