Love that profile.

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The 2021 Kia K5 GT proves a undesirable identify are unable to torpedo a excellent automobile. Absolutely sure, Studebaker Dictator, Ford Probe and Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxurious Joyful Cover are all considerably worse monikers than K5, but this 4-door — specifically in pinnacle GT trim — is so enjoyable and able, classy and swift you will never care what it can be called.


  • Torquey, responsive motor
  • Roomy, handsome cabin
  • Creative bodywork

Do not Like

  • Occasional lane-keeping wonkiness
  • Transmission general performance

Even if it isn’t going to essentially stand head and shoulders over the midsize-sedan group, the new K5 is in the vicinity of the prime of its phase in approximately every classification. This Kia feels fresher than the gracefully getting old Honda Accord, is considerably additional appealing than the dowdy Subaru Legacy and it can be swankier inside of and out than Toyota’s well known Camry. In quick, the K5 is as well-rounded as a beachball.

Spicing factors up, this sedan serves up loads of visual pizzazz. Entrance and middle, the K5 wears a reimagined edition of Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille. The primary opening is filled with a geometric mesh sample and flanked by a pair of leering LED headlamp assemblies with pronounced tails that movement alongside the entrance fenders. This example’s Sapphire Blue paint is just about the best color. In profile, the K5 resembles a mashup of Volkswagen’s Arteon and an Audi A7 in advance of the A-pillars it can be shockingly equivalent to the former, aft of them, it can be the latter’s spittin’ picture.

That gracefully curving roofline terminates in a curt backside that’s approximately as intricately developed as the car’s entrance close. The trunk lid is shockingly quick, but the opening is loads substantial, so loading freight shouldn’t be an physical exercise in actively playing cargo Tetris. The room by itself actions sixteen cubic feet, a whisker considerably less than you get in an Accord but a skosh additional than presented by a Camry. The rear backrests fold flat for toting longer objects, even though the passthrough opening isn’t really specially substantial.

As with other redesigned Kias, the K5’s interior wows, becoming equally style-ahead and purposeful. The dashboard is strongly horizontal and deeply sculpted, in addition the elements on exhibit are all of fantastic top quality. The entrance door panels are wrapped in supple plastics that are handsomely grained, the frosty-silver accents sprinkled during look great and never lead to bothersome glare in shiny sunlight and the areas exactly where challenging polymers are utilized, none of them reek of pinched pennies. About the only detail I never care for is the piano-black trim, which isn’t really all that quality.

Enhancing usability, the car’s middle stack is at any time so a bit angled towards the driver, so the infotainment display and local weather controls are easier to attain. Compared with many automobiles these times, the K5 will come with a conventional mechanical shifter. With a meaty T-handle, this equipment selector appears interesting and is super gratifying to use. And so are this car’s seats, which are wrapped in a decent-emotion leatherette materials (authentic cow hides are not accessible, at minimum not on the seating surfaces). The entrance chairs get the task done and you will find a surprising volume of room in the back. Lanky travellers will have loads of area for their heads and legs in this Kia.

Two infotainment systems are accessible, 1 with an 8-inch exhibit and an uplevel providing with a ten.three-inch touchscreen. Curiously, equally multimedia arrays support Apple CarPlay and Android Car, even though only the base method features wi-fi connectivity for these smartphone-mirroring systems. If you decide for the big display — which is beautiful and will come with embedded navigation — make confident to deliver a charging cable.

When it will come to usability, Kia’s hottest infotainment method is a winner. The upgraded method on the ten.three-inch display is not only useless very simple to use and blazingly responsive — never ever stuttering or lagging — it can be effortless on the eyes, too. Home-display icons look like tiny purple neon signs and the radio tuner is exhibited as a series of nixie tubes for a contact of whimsy, some thing we could all use a tiny additional of these times.

Differentiating them from lesser K5s, sporty GT versions element a burly 2.five-liter turbocharged motor. As powerful as a fistful of fentanyl tablets, this 4-cylinder firebreather delivers 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels, considerably additional of each individual than the base 1.6-liter turbo provides. Why all-wheel drive is only accessible with the smaller sized motor is anyone’s guess, but as you could possibly imagine, the K5 GT has no trouble squealing its tires when you give it the spurs. This sedan pulls ferociously from about 2,250 rpm on up, even though it can be loads punchy underneath that velocity. In use, some powertrain vibration can be felt in the cabin (don’t forget, 2.five liters is a big 4-cylinder), but the motor is silent and typically well-mannered.

The K5’s interior is classy and properly structured.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Generating the most of that mountain of torque is an eight-velocity dual-clutch computerized transmission. The moment the K5 is rolling, this gearbox shifts imperceptibly and about as promptly as a mind synapse, serving to the automobile hit sixty mph in as tiny as five.8 seconds. The general performance in this article is amazing, other than at lower speeds. Regretably, as with approximately all dual-clutch transmissions, getting off from a standstill is never ever as smooth as with a torque converter. At situations, faint but visible judders can be felt and while creeping alongside at idle, this kind of as in weighty site visitors, the automobile would seem to surge, to move inconsistently as you modulate the velocity, some thing that receives bothersome.

At the pump, hope 24 mpg all around city and 32 mpg on highway drives. Combined, the 2021 Kia K5 GT should really return 27 mpg.

Apart from that all-you-can-try to eat buffet of torque, you will find absolutely nothing specially magical about the way this sedan drives. Dynamically, it can be entirely proficient, with center-of-the-road steering, brake-pedal sense and chassis general performance. Several driving modes are offered, but really, they only modify the steering body weight and transmission change timetable. This example’s trip is completely on the business aspect, no doubt improved (or degraded?) by its 19-inch wheels wrapped in fairly lower-profile 245/forty Pirelli P Zero all-year tires. The K5 GT isn’t really stiff ample to shatter spines or lead to heads to toss when you hit bigger bumps, but you undoubtedly sense the road.

When it will come to driver aids, this Kia features loads. Functions like ahead-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping support, lane-departure warning, a driver consideration monitor and computerized large beams are normal throughout the K5 selection. Pretty usual things. Normally, all forms of other amenities are offered, too, from rear cross-site visitors warn and adaptive cruise regulate to parking sensors and blind-location monitoring. For the most section, these systems do the job correctly, even though the computerized large beams can be a bit spastic and the lane-centering method does unusual factors in specified corners. Although navigating reasonable turns, the method will annoyingly and relatively forcefully tug at the steering wheel, combating your grip as you do the job to continue to keep the automobile on your intended line. On straight asphalt and via lesser corners the lane-centering element operates superbly, it just receives a tiny wonky when pushed.

The K5 has an just about Audi-like rear close.

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As it sits, the K5 GT I am testing in this article checks out for $35,705 like $965 in shipping costs. A $95 cargo protector and $a hundred and fifty five in carpeted floor mats pad the base price, as does the $4,000 GT1 Offer. This dear increase-on contains a bunch of amenities like the bigger touchscreen, a quality Bose audio method, electricity entrance seats with heating and ventilation in addition a slew of basic safety tech. Still, this automobile is moderately priced contemplating how good it feels and promptly it moves.

Despite its questionable identify, the 2021 Kia K5 GT is 1 of the most enjoyable mainstream sedans you can obtain these days, specifically if you want some thing with a sporting edge and a lot of electricity. Of study course, if K5 isn’t going to float your boat, you can constantly simply call this automobile what it is: wonderful.