Kia Optima Out…Kia K5 In!
When Hyundai unveiled the all-new Sonata mid-size sedan last year, we knew it’s partner Kia would be close behind with a new Optima. However, what we did not anticipate was a name change with the new design. So, for 2021 it’s out with the Kia Optima nameplate and in with the Kia K5, the same moniker the car goes by in home country Korea. We say home country, but in fact like the Sonata, the all-new Kia K5 will be built in America. In this case at Kia’s West Point, GA plant. Kia is also doing other things to signal the K5’s arrival, and to distance it more from the Sonata. The biggest departure from Sonata is in powertrains. The K5 comes standard with a turbocharge 1.6-liter. The Sonata has a less torquey normally aspirated 2.5-liter standard, as the 1.6 is optional. Moreover, the K5 is available with all-wheel drive where the Sonata is front-wheel drive only. Upgrade to the K5 GT and power is a 2.5-liter turbo with a newly developed 8-speed dual wet-clutch automatic. The K5 is sleek and sporty outside with more than a little of the Stinger evident in the front clip. Inside is sporty as well, and promises all of the latest advanced safety and connectivity features along with the heightened driving experience the brand is known for. The 2021 Kia K5 will arrive at dealers later this summer.