It’s only been two years since the Kia Optima retired, handing the keys off to the K5 midsize sedan. Now that the K5 is in its second year of production, Kia K5 dealers are gearing up for the new model year with exciting updates. Some manufacturers feel that manufacturing a sedan is a losing battle, yet the sales figures indicate that the public isn’t quite done with the class just yet.
Furthermore, there are many things that can be done – and in the case of the Kia K5, have been done – to make driving a sedan even more appealing. While SUV drivers are drawn to the larger, taller vehicles, there are plenty of drivers who aren’t ready to succumb to the siren song of these bulky boxes, preferring instead to step in and out of a car politely rather than making a valiant leap and scrambling up the running boards. Sedan drivers are happy with the blissful marriage of zippy acceleration and solid fuel economy the vehicles provide. And frankly, if they need additional cargo room, there are plenty of rental and borrowing options available in this world.
It’s not that SUVs are inherently bad, of course; it’s just that there’s something compelling about the midsize sedan for many drivers. For those who are in that certain group of drivers, the Kia K5 is very enticing.
Engineered With the Serious Driver in Mind: The 2022 Kia K5
When you think about a serious driving machine, the first car to come to mind might not be the Kia K5. But that’s about to change. Kia realized that there’s a certain something – a little spark of excitement – that’s been missing on the American roadways. Sure, there are plenty of muscle cars and sports cars, but there’s very little in the United States that can compare to European sport sedans. Therefore, Kia took inspiration from vehicles like the BMW 330i and the Volkswagen Jetta and headed out on an engineering quest.
The K5 offers the widest track in its class. Combined with lightweight construction and performance-designed Quick-Shift 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Kia K5 GT is undeniably responsive and agile. In a slalom course, the K5 GT demonstrated greater precision at higher speeds than the BMW 330i sedan. Wearing Pirelli P-ZERO All-Season tires, the K5 GT calmly recorded 0.947 G’s of maximum dry cornering.
Of course, drivers want to know they have the power to get ahead, which the K5 GT has proven as well. Making the trip from 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.7 seconds, the K5 GT again showed the BMW 330i who’s the boss. And yes, we’re still talking about a midsize Kia sedan. The powerhouse responsible for this charge? A 2.5L turbocharged inline-4, only available on the GT model. With 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque at 1,650 rpm, this engine allows the lightweight, wide-stanced Kia K5 GT to get up and go very, very quickly. Furthermore, it features a reasonable fuel economy for that level of power, making 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highways.
But not every driver is out for fast lane domination. If a more sedate, leisurely commute is more your speed, the standard powerplant in the 2022 Kia K5 might be adequate. The 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine offered for the other trims in the lineup provides 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft torque, giving it a level of pep that transcends the working-class sedan stereotype. It’s also available in an all-wheel drive option for those who look forward to driving safely in inclement weather. Best of all, the base LX trim can manage 29 miles per gallon on the city streets and 38 miles per gallon on the highways with this engine.
Top-Notch Style: The 2022 Kia K5
To the uninitiated, the 2022 K5 looks like “just a car.” But to those who appreciate a dedicated aesthetic, the K5’s sweeping lines and angular front end give the impression of a muscle car trying very much to be on its best behavior. It’s clear that this vehicle is designed to be fully aerodynamic, despite its street legal and family-friendly reputation.
Much like the K5’s mechanical engineering, the cabin is designed with the driver in mind. Though passengers will surely enjoy the available heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, the optional panoramic sunroof, and Bose Premium Surround Sound system, the cockpit itself deliberately puts the driver in control. That includes easy reach to the 10.25-inch touchscreen information center with available navigation, which displays the surround-view monitor to help drivers gauge their surroundings. Features such as wireless phone chargers, up to five USB ports, and LED interior lighting demonstrate that the K5 is fully up for competing in this technological age.
The trims offered include the anything-but-basic LX, the LXS, the GT-Line, EX, and the transcendently sporty GT. The LXS and GT-Line are both offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options, with all-wheel drive versions enjoying bonus features, such as larger wheels and additional optional packages. Bear in mind that the GT-Line and the GT are two separate trims. The GT-Line enjoys a great many creature comforts, such as cozy upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, and LED fog lights and turn signals, but it doesn’t include the GT’s more powerful engine, larger brakes, sport bolstered seats, or sport steering wheel with paddle shifters.
Safety Meets Sophistication in the 2022 Kia K5
With great power comes great responsibility, and drivers sitting behind the wheel of any Kia K5 will surely want to protect the greatest assets of all: their passengers and others sharing the road. That’s why Kia has included top-notch driver assistance technology on all K5 vehicles – most of which come standard at no additional fee.
Forward collision avoidance assist and lane keeping assist with lane following assist are standard on all K5 models, as well as a rear camera. Blind spot and rear cross traffic assist are added to the LXS model and above, along with Safe Exit Assist, which alerts passengers when it may not be safe to open their doors to step out of the vehicle. Available Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control-Curve uses speed presets and sensors to follow vehicles at a safe distance, and Highway Driving Assist accesses information regarding the roadway to assist with steering, acceleration, and braking as needed.
The Affordable Sports Sedan
There are clearly many reasons why Kia K5 dealerships are looking forward to the 2022 model. Not only is the K5 a family-friendly, fuel-efficient vehicle with a reasonable price tag, but it’s a sedan that promises to put the fun back into driving. While not every sedan driver may rush to grab a Kia K5 GT, they will find the new arrangement of features and styling a welcome addition to the five-passenger four-door lifestyle they enjoy.
With superior styling inside and out, and features arranged to meet the need of a variety of drivers in a range of price points, the Kia K5 looks to capture that certain something that American sedans have been missing for so long. When it’s not out-performing BMWs, the K5 promises to be an agile yet polite companion, regardless of whether it’s heading to the office or gathering approving looks – and perhaps a little jealousy – from other drivers on the streets. Between its clean-cut good looks and vivacious drive style, the 2022 Kia K5 is sure to turn heads wherever it goes.