Crossovers are currently ruling the appetite of American buyers and we see diminishing family sedans. Still, Kia has crafted a compelling model as the all-new 2021 Optima. Flaunting a bold design that provokes both sportiness and elegance, it's a true head-turner.

Kia has seen remarkable growth over the years, moving from a dull consumer stigma to one of the most anticipated brand. They have been on fire recently, with the launch of the all-new Telluride and Stinger. Once again, KIA ups the ante with the debut of the all-new Optima perceived as the K5 in other countries. It has power, technology, and efficiency in its back pocket and with that, Kia plans to retain and ascend from its current position in the sedan market.

2021 Kia Optima/K5 gets a revised platform

The 2021 Optima seems to be very appealing. It offers a charming fastback layout, numerous powertrains options, a new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT), and a beautiful contemporary interior design. This redesign is not just aesthetic but the platform itself which it shares with the Hyundai Sonata has received a complete overhaul for this new generation with the addition of new engine options as well.

What’s New in the 2021 Kia Optima?

Kia has completely redesigned the optima for 2021 with bold exterior design and very luxurious interior accommodations. It is speculated that the Kia Optima will come with all-wheel drive as an option. The latest Optima will be based on a 2020 Hyundai Sonata platform which was all-new for 2020 or will it be called K5 in the states. Although, the Korean firm has surpassed expectations with the newest avatar of its mid-size sedan.

When the 2021 Kia Optima will be released?

The 2021 Kia is set to release in the second half of 2020. There is also no concrete information about the trim structure.

What will be the price of 2021 Kia Optima?

There's no suspicion that the family sedan will continue to be a fabulous value. It is expected to start in the mid-$20,000 range, which is similar to the entry-level Sonata and it should manage to under the segment leaders like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry at this price point.

 What engine is on offer with the 2021 Kia Optima

The 2021 Optima’s global engine lineup will incorporate a diesel engine. However, don’t anticipate that it will come to the land of free people. Beside that, three gasoline engines will make it to different markets around the world, but no clarity on what powertrains will make it to the U.S. market.

2021 Kia Optima/K5 gets a choice of two engines

These engines include a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter MPI four-cylinder, a 158-hp 2.0-liter continuously variable valve lift engine, and a 2.5-liter direct-fuel-injection four-cylinder with 191 hp. All of the engines but Optima GT’s unit will pair with either a standard six- or eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Optima GT will flaunt an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.


Kia Optima

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

Mazda 3







2.4L Inline-4

1.5L inline-4

2.5 L Inline-4

2.5 L Inline-4







6-speed automatic


8-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic


185hp @6,000 rpm

192hp @5,500 rpm

203hp @6,600 rpm

186hp @6,000 rpm


178 lb-ft @4,000 rpm

138 lb-ft @4,200 rpm

186 lb-ft @4,000 rpm

180 lb-ft @6,000 rpm

0-60 MPH 

8.3 sec

7.6 sec

7.5 sec

8.0 sec

Quarter Mile 

16.3 sec

15.9 sec

15.9 sec

16.2 sec

Top Speed 

152 MPH


135 MPH

131 MPH

There is a lot of power on the Optima regardless of your choice of trim. The peppy base engine feels ready to take on the road and the transmission backs the engine while does that.The best engine of the lot has to be the Turbocharged 1.6L Inline-4 engine paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Being the higher-end trim it was supposed to be more powerful but it's slightly underpowered than the standard powertrain, however, the engine makes amends with its superior torque output. Horsepower and torque figures for the EX trims are rated at 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. 

2021 Kia Optima/K5 Centre has moved to a dial based shift knob

However, the lack of road communication may dwindle your confidence. The engine dynamics of the car puts no limits on its ability to maneuver, the Optima’s power is satisfying both on the highway and city. Behind the wheel, Kia Optima inspires confidence with its predictable flat-bottom steering.

What is the MPG rating of 2021 Kia Optima?

The EPA officials have already listed the estimates of Kia Optima and the figures are very similar to the real-world test. Suggesting hint to the plan that Kia will rechristen it's midsize. Though Kia’s rivals are more giving when it comes it mileage the Optima is not far behind. The Kia also manages to offer more engine options than its rivals to suit the needs of a wider customer base.


Kia Optima

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

Mazda 3

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Capacity 

18.5 gallons

14.8 gallons.

14.5 gallons

12.7 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

463/647/536 miles

397/520/488 miles

410/501/493 miles

342/457/381 miles

Though the Kia Optima is efficient it’s average when you compare with its direct adversaries. The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are the most fuel-efficient sedans in this segment and the fact that both of these offer hybrid variants means that these Japs are the most frugal alternatives in this class.

What will change in the interior?

The 2021 Kia Optima awards drivers with a completely new interior layout that tries to be minimalistic and spacious. Depending on the trim level, you can pick a natural-looking wood trim, subtle metal emphases, a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, and a unique digital gauge cluster and multimedia system.  All the knobs and buttons feel premium and meet their function, you don’t need to improvise fall into the conundrum of ambiguous menus to get what you intended.

2021 Kia Optima/K5  gets Telluride inspired interiors

The cabin is peaceful, with small road noise coming in, that too at higher speed. Created to be simplistic and minimal horizontal lines, the aim of the K5’s cabin is to bestow a feeling of roominess and harmony. The cabin is roomy and can fairy hold 5 seaters, you get an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat with 2-way power lumbar support. As you climb the trim ladder your Optima will be bequeathed to 10-way power adjustment with heated and ventilated seats.


Kia Optima

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

Mazda 3

Seating Capacity





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





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





Kia has done an outstanding job of shaping their vehicles to appear more superior than their cost, but the all-new Optima brings it to the next level. The infotainment system includes a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display, an 8-inch head-up display that exhibits data on a glass panel within the driver’s line of sight, and a 10.25-inch widescreen infotainment system with navigation

What will change in the exterior?

The K5 does not place lights in the hood like the Sonata, but it does offer heartbeat shaped headlights. The 2021 Kia Optima sees the evolution of tiger-nose grille, broader and more eye-grabbing than before. You will also notice a muscular hood and large air inlets. The A-pillar stretches to the rear end of the car, emphasizing the fastback silhouette.

2021 Kia Optima/K5 Exterior design is all new for 2021

The redesigned Optima gets strong character lines running from the front fender to the rear. It also boasts a one-piece, full-width taillight bar and a sharp-edged bumper design with combined air fins and awkward fake exhaust tips except for the GT model. But overall the Optima is a handsome looking sedan and a major step-up from its predecessor.


Kia Optima

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

Mazda 3

Curb Weight

3219 lbs

3131 lbs

3241 lbs

2899 lbs
















Ground Clearance










The 2021 Optima has also expanded in proportion, and the height is 0.8 inches lower. The K5's frame is 1.9 inches longer and 1 inch broader. Its wheelbase also increases by 1.8 inches.

2021 Kia Optima Safety 

The Optima has received good ratings from NHTSA and IIHS. Kia intends to outfit the new K5 with all of its most advanced driving assist systems (ADAS). Some of the major highlights include:

  • adaptive cruise control that can incorporate information about the route ahead from the navigation system
  • front and rear collision warning
  • automatic front and rear emergency braking
  • blind-spot warning with active intervention
  • lane departure warning with lane-keeping assistance
  • rear cross-traffic warning

Final Verdict

The Optima/K5 is more than adequate to divert buyers who have decided upon getting SUVs, back to comfort and cheerful driving dynamics of a conventional sedan. Which eventually made sedans synonymous with the word “car.”

Kia Optima FAQ's

Are Kia Optima reliable cars?

Kia Optima has got 4.0 ratings out of 5.0 which itself proves that it is indeed Avery reliable car.

Is Kia better than Toyota?

The Kia Optima boasts a better basic warranty and a better roadside assistance program than its Toyota competition. But in terms of overall reliability, the Toyota takes the win.

Also, read

2020 Kia Optima Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Check out the 2021 Toyota Camry.