The 2021 Kia K5 steps it up a notch with the EX model


Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles


Just a short time ago I reviewed the Kia K5 GT-Line. This time I am in the 2021 Kia K5 EX edition. The EX builds off of the GT-Line. My impression of K5 GT-Line is that it has stylish looks, a comfy cabin, the option of all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine. It is a fun vehicle to drive, as well as being practical. Well the EX is considered the luxury model and it fills in a lot of blanks that the GT-Line is missing.

Upon first look, you notice the sleek design. The most available color options come with the EX trim: both exterior and interior. The EX that we tested came in a beautiful Sapphire Blue hue with black interior. The design of the K5 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 EX model that we tested. The outside mirrors matching the body color is a great options as well. 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, a textured grille and a chrome strip that runs along the window line. The EX model that we reviewed sat on 18-in. gray machine finish alloy wheels.  This sleek four door sedan is sporty and luxurious, a definite head-turner.

The interior is just as sharp as the exterior. Inside, the K5 looks amazing with heated and ventilated front seats, SynTex seating material, rear air conditioning vents, LED interior and map lighting, genuine wood trim and the panoramic sunroof with the power sunshade. EX models add more soft-touch points to the interior as well. The back seat provides enough legroom for adults and the trunk provides plenty of space for luggage.

The infotainment in the Kia K5 EX does not disappoint with the UVO link remote connectivity The infotainment system, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The K5 EX edition comes with a 12 speaker Bose® premium audio system and navigation with 10.25″ touchscreen. The controls have physical knobs, as well as a touchscreen. There is also wireless phone charging pad and a USB charging outlet in the center console as well.

The K5 EX 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. The EX felt the same as the GT-Line in the fact that they both  struggled a bit on the highway to get up to speed but were sharp on the winding roads. When switched over to Sport mode, the K5 developed some pep in its’ 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 EX 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 EX that we tested comes in at 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined. It is competitively priced at $32,355.00. 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.

Overall I enjoyed the EX a bit more than the GT-Line. EX has the luxurious feel I like. I am looking forward to test out the GT model and see where it stands in the rankings. Please enjoy the photo gallery.


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