Holiday Season with the All-New Kia K5 GT-Line


Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles


As the owner of a Kia Optima I had grown to love the name and was a bit surprised to hear of the moniker change but excited to see the new design. The Kia Optima is a mid-size car manufactured by Kia Motors since 2000 and marketed globally through various different names such as the Kia Magentis, the Kia Lotze and the Kia K5. In Korea, Kia sedans are named K3, K5, K7 and K9. So it would seem as if Kia is moving toward a having a more global naming convention amongst their lineup.

Upon first look, you notice the dynamic change in the design. The model that we reviewed came in a Passion Red hue. The design adopts a fastback look, similar to the Hyundai Sonata. LED taillights stretched across the rear of the vehicle with a rear lip spoiler on the GT-Line model that we tested. One thing that I did not like is that the K5 has artificial dual-exhaust outlets integrated into the bumper. It does give off a sporty look but it is a bit disappointing when you take a second look and notice that the car really has a single exhaust. To get the true dual exhaust, you will have to get the GT model. There are also the Z-shaped running lights, LED headlights, LED Fog Lights, a textured grille and a chrome strip that runs along the window line. The GT-Line model that we reviewed sat on 18” Sport Alloy Wheels.  This sleek four door sedan is sporty and luxurious, a definite head-turner.

The interior received a makeover as well. Inside, the K5 looks amazing with comfy GT-Line embroidered seats and a panoramic sunroof. The back seat also provides enough legroom for adults and the trunk looks to have plenty of space for luggage. The K5 comes with a standard 8.0 touchscreen infotainment system that is enclosed in a large piano-black bezel. The controls have physical knobs, as well as a touchscreen. The infotainment system offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  There is also wireless phone charging pad as well.

The K5 offers a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque with an 8 speed automatic transmission. Riding around town, the K5 delivered decent acceleration. It struggled a bit on the highway to get up to speed but the GT-Line K5 was sharp on the winding roads. When switched over to Sport mode, the K5 developed some pep in it’s step. The cabin was a bit noisy when accelerating but the ride was smooth and the steering handled well.

Kia takes safety seriously and makes sure their vehicles come with some of the most highly rated safety features there is. The 2021 K5 hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) yet but a lot of safety features are offered such as automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), rear cross-traffic alert, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) include Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) with Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist (BCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Highway Driving Assist (HDA).

The 2021 Kia K5 sits in highly competitive class amongst the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata and the Toyota Camry. The 2021 Kia K5 has great fuel mileage. The GT-Line that we tested comes in at 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined. Kia is one of the best in the industry when it comes to warranties. The Limited warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles, the Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles and the Roadside Assistance covers 5 years or 60,000 miles. Unfortunately complimentary scheduled maintenance is not included.

The 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line is budget friendly, coming in at $28,400.00. Overall the K5 comes in 2021 with much more stylish looks, a comfy cabin, the option of all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine. It is a fun vehicle to drive and practical as well. Please enjoy the photo gallery.

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