Kia’s K5 is a Looker Among Mid-Size Sedans

Kia’s K5  Checks All the Boxes Except “Ho-Hum”

Entering its third model year, the boldly styled K5 sport sedan largely carries over into 2023 with minor enhancements to badging, packaging and feature content.

In the diminishing selection of sedans, the newly redesigned Kia K5 is an affordably-priced looker among the mid-sizers. Replacing the former Kia Optima, the K5 stands apart in a pool of “safe designs” by its competitors.

Checking all the boxes starts with a pleasant driving experience thanks to the K5’s good suspension and quiet, roomy cabin. Every model includes a full suite of standard active safety features and information tech. There’s also the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the maximum 5-Star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to consider. The K5’s powertrains also carry the Kia class-best warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The five trim levels are LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX and the top-level GT that we drove. The GT sacrifices four-wheel-drive for front-wheel-drive but replaces the standard 1.6L Turbo 4-cylinder engine with a much peppier 2.5L turbo 4 cylinder, good for 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

Other features on the top level K5 included 19” sport wheels, GT brakes, sport-tuned suspension, quad-tip exhaust, a GT Sport Design steering wheel with paddle shifters, panoramic sunroof, power sunshades, 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 360-degree camera system, power-folding exterior mirrors, and front parking sensors. On top of all this, our tester had another $4,200 GT 1 Package with Bose Premium Audio and a host of other convenience offerings.

Overall, the K5 looks sexier than most others in its segment, drives nice (even nicer with the GT engine upgrade) and has a list of included features, ratings and warranties that will attract buyers seeking a choice that’s practical but not mundane. The fact that K5 can deliver all it does for as little as $25,090 is compelling. All-in, top-shelf, plus-plus, our tester still had a super tidy bottom line price of $36,440.

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