The Kia Optima mid-size sedan has been renamed the K5 for the 2021 model year in the United States. The renaming aligns the model with its overseas badge, where it is already called the K5.
In addition to the renaming, the former Optima also gets a redesign. The new look features a shark-inspired front grill mesh, as well as a chrome-tipped dual exhaust and Kia’s new signature running lights.
The K5 is available in 5 trim levels, starting with the base model LX, then LXS, GT-Line, EX, and the top-end GT model. Wheel choice varies based on trim level, with options for 16,18, and 19-inch alloys.
A turbocharged, 180 hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission is offered on all but the GT model.
For the top-end GT, there’s a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood that pushes out 290 hp for some serious get-up-and-go.
The K5 LXS and GT-Line models have an optional all-wheel drive, with the standard option being front-wheel drive. This is a departure for Kia, as they tend to prefer rear-wheel drive in their sedans, like the Stinger.
In addition to putting power to all four wheels, the K5 has custom drive modes to control how the car responds. There’s normal, smart, sport, and custom, with the all-wheel-drive models getting a snow mode, as well.
The exterior is stylish, and those good looks continue inside, where options include red leatherette upholstery, satin chrome metallic and faux-wood finishes, and a panoramic sunroof.
The 8-inch infotainment unit is standard, with an option to upgrade to a 10.25-inch screen. The larger screen gets you navigation, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, and user settings for mirrors, seats, and radio.
Music lovers will appreciate the high-performance Bose 7 Premium sound system with 12 speakers.