The midsize sedan has been a staple of automakers’ lineups for decades. Even so, the all-new Kia K5 raises this familiar mainstay to a new level.
Of all its improvements over the Optima sedan it replaces, the midsize K5’s most noticeable upgrade is its sporty good looks, with longer and lower proportions than the outgoing model.
Most versions, including the upscale EX we drove, get a 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides decent acceleration. If that leaves you wanting, the 290-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged four under the hood of the performance-oriented GT trim level should prove plenty gutsy.
Driving the K5 is a distinctly pleasant experience with confident handling and a comfortable ride quality. A quiet cabin done up in quality materials adds to the likeability.
Figure in a wide range of advanced technology—much of it standard, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration as well as automatic emergency braking—and you have what is one of the best midsize sedans on the market today.
- All-wheel drive is available for added peace of mind in bad weather.
- Large trunk can be expanded via fold-down rear seatbacks.
- Leather upholstery isn’t available.
- Sloping roofline makes back seat ingress/egress more challenging.
- A legitimate contender for the midsize sedan crown
- Base Price: $23,490
- As Tested: $31,390
- 29/38 (1.6L FWD)