From a "shark skin inspired" black grille to all-wheel drive and a 290-horsepower performance model, Kia aims to shake up the midsize sedan market when the new 2021 K5 replaces its popular Optima later this summer. The K5 is a radical attempt to attract buyers to the midsize sedan market, which has been decimated as buyers flock to SUVs.
The K5 adopts a Korean-market name that’s been popular among Kia’s most avid fans for years.
The car’s striking exterior includes a wide, narrow black grille that reinterprets Kia’s "tiger face" design with results that fall between BMW’s twin-kidney grille and a menacing breathing strip.
Other notable design cues include narrow headlights, sweeping amber running lights that wrap far around into the front fenders, a long hood and short, fastback-style rear deck.
The K5 is longer, wider and less tall than the Optima it replaces. The Kia shares its N3 platform with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Sonata.
Available features include
16-, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels
Pirelli P-Zero tires
Chrome quad exhaust tips
Flat-bottom steering wheel on sporty GT and GT-Line models
Front- or all-wheel drive available on LXS and GT-Line models
Standard 8.0-inch or optional 10.25-inch touchscreen
12-speaker Bose audio
‘Drop-in’ wireless charging to keep phones in place
Power on tap
The K5 is 2.0 inches longer, 1 inch wider and 0.8 inch lower than the Optima. It’s wheelbase grew 1.8 inch to 112.2 inches.
Power comes from a standard 180-horsepower 1.6L turbo or optional 290-horsepower 2.5L turbo. An eight-speed automatic is standard, with a sporty wet-clutch 8-speed dual clutch available with the 2.5L.
Available driver assistance features
Forward collision and pedestrian alerts and automatic braking
Reverse pedestrian/collision alert and auto braking
Oncoming vehicle alert when the driver is turning left
Lane following assist
Blind spot and cross traffic alerts
Navigation-based cruise control to slow for upcoming curves
Prices and fuel economy will be announced shortly. Kia will build the K5 in West Point, Georgia, alongside its wildly popular Telluride SUV.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Aggressively styled 2021 Kia K5 sedan to replace Optima