The 2022 Kia K5 adds new styling to an otherwise conservative midsize sedan segment. Although it’s an interesting alternative, the K5 is limited by the absence of a hybrid model that’s more efficient.
The Kia Optima was once the name of the Kia K5, but the new Kia K5 is now a competitor to popular sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The K5 is a standout in this segment, and unlike the familiar names, its bold styling ensures that it will not be confused for any other in the class. You can also choose all-wheel drive, which is an option on the Kia. The top model of the range has a fun-to use performance model. The K5’s aggressive exterior looks great with a well-trimmed cabin, which borders on luxurious in higher trim levels. The K5’s driver interface is easy to use, making its standard features even more accessible.
The Kia Stinger sport sedan and the compact Kia Forte are the two smaller sedans. The K5 is about an inch longer than that of the Camry, and 3 inches shorter than that of the Accord.
Pricing and Trims
There are five trim options for the Kia K5 sedan: LX-Line, LXS GT-Line and EX. While the GT-Line is most popular, the LXS is our choice for the best value. We’ll tell you why.
The LX starts at $24,685 with a $1195 destination fee. It also includes upscale features such as an 8-inch touchscreen and wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The LX also features six-way adjustable front seats as well as dual-zone automatic climate controls.
The LXS is priced at $25,685, and features 16-inch alloy wheels, 60/40-split rear seat, push button start, remote start, smart key, two USB charging ports, and two second row USB charger ports. The LXS trim is $1,000 less than the base model. All-wheel drive is an option for drivers who are subject to inclement weather.
GT-Line ($27 085) offers sporty looks without the high-powered engine. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, headlights, led fog lights, special grille, rear spoiler, rear bumpers and sport-type rear bumpers. The GT-Line logo is embossed on cloth and imitation-leather seats. Standard on GT-Line trims is a 10.25-inch display.
The EX model, priced at $29 585, is more luxurious and comes with imitation-leather seating and wood trim. The EX model features 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, heated front seats, and an adjustable driver’s seat with power 10-way power. A USB charging port is available for the front passengers.
The GT performance model starts from $32,085. The K5’s turbocharged, 2.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine of 290 horsepower transforms it into one the most efficient midsize sedans on roads. You can also get upgrades like 19-inch alloy wheels or imitation-leather sports seats.
The new-for-2022 GT-Line All-Wheel Drive Premium package features a panoramic sunroof and heated steering wheel. LED projection headlights are also included.
Engine and Performance
Two engine options for the Kia K5 are directly tied to trim levels. The LX, LXS and GT-Line get a turbocharged four-cylinder of 1.6-liters that generates 180 horsepower. The engine is paired with an eight-speed auto transmission. This engine can be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is also available. Turbocharged 2.5-liter four cylinder delivers 290 horsepower. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch, automatic transmission that can shift it-yourself. All-wheel drive is not possible with this engine-transmission combination.
The Toyota Camry’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which produces 203 horsepower, is comparable. The base engine of the Honda Accord is a 192-hp four cylinder. The Accords with more power have a 252-hp four-cylinder of the 2.0-liter size. A 301-hp V6 is also available in the Camry, one of the few remaining V6s in this segment. Camry Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine, paired with two electric motors to produce 208 horsepower.
The K5’s base engine provides more than enough power for normal cruising and good low-end torque to allow for quick acceleration. The turbo engine, 290-hp 2.5 liters, provides more straight-line acceleration as well as greater power exiting turns. If the driver presses too hard on the accelerator, the K5 GT can feel a little agitated when all that power is being routed through its front wheels. Independent tests show that the K5 GT can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. This is similar to the Hyundai Sonata’s N-Line run, which is one of the K5 GT’s few direct competitors.
The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have bigger cabins statistically than the Kia K5. In reality, however, the interiors are very similar in size. Each has enough space for five adults. Rear legroom is a significant advantage of the Accord. The K5 is comfortable for a family of five, with its quiet cabin, dual-zone climate control, and cushy ride.
The K5’s trunk has 16 cubic feet. This is slightly less than the Camry sedan’s 16.7 cubic feet. The trunk space of the Accord sedan is 16.7 cubic feet, while that of the Camry is 15.1 cubic feet.