K5, no it isn't a mountain in Asia. It's a 2021 Kia K5 2.5 GT


I swear this isn't some nefarious conspiracy to get me on Kia's payroll. I didn't ask to review so many Kia models. It just happened this way. I admit that I'm partial to Kia, and the Sapphire Blue paint on the K5 almost made me weak in the knees! But I'm old, retired, and not looking for work.

I'm very glad the Korean kissin' cousins (Hyundai and Kia) continue to build some very good sedans. Yes Crossovers and SUVs seem to rule the roost (and make oodles of money) but I still like a good sedan.

Size-wise the K5 with a wheelbase of 112.2" and a length of 193.1" is about the same size as a Honda Accord. It is a little heavier at 3,534 lbs. for the 2.5 GT.

Under the hood, powering the front wheels is a turbo-charged, 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder that produces a very respectable 290 hp @ 5,800 rpm, and 311 lb-ft of torque from 1,650 rpm to 4,000 rpm. The power passes through an 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission to the front wheels. 

I got into the throttle a couple of times (squawked the front tires once) and it felt fast but I don't do instrumented tests. Kia cites a company named AMCI Testing that found the K5 2.5 GT did 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. Car and Driver found it did it in 5.2 seconds, they estimated that it would top out at 155 mph (I did not match either).

True to form the K5 bettered the EPA highway fuel economy figure of 32 mpg; I saw 34.6 mpg. City mileage is rated at 24 mpg.

I found no problems particular to the K5 but there is a problem I've noticed in many cars that have an inflatable lumbar support. I do not like a pumped up seat that pushes into my lumbar region (lower back). Yet is seems many cars slowly inflate; every so often I have to deflate the balloon (or whatever it's called). , 

One of the downsides of many sedans is the seat height. As you get older, and it will happen to you, low car seats get harder to get in and out of. Thankfully the combination of a power seat with height adjustment, and enough headroom let me raise the seat so I didn't look like some little old man hunched down in the driver's seat.

One problem I often see in some sedans is a lack of rear seat knee/leg room when you have a tall(ish) person in one of the front seats. I'm just under six foot and with the seat adjusted for my comfort there was an easy 10-12" between the front seatback and the front of the rear seat cushion - ample room for an adult.

I liked the meaty gearshift lever. There are also paddle shifters behind the horizontal spokes of the flat bottom steering wheel. The instrument cluster was easy to read at a glance.

Aft of the gearshift lever is the electric parking brake and 'Auto Hold' switches, and behind them are toggles for the seat heater/coolers, heated steering wheel, and the round button in the middle selects Drive Mode - I primarily used Sport and still got great fuel economy.

There are five K5 versions starting with a LX 1.6T (1.6-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder, w/180 hp) up to the K5 2.5 GT. The LX starts at $23,590; the K5 2.5 GT starts at $30,590. The test K5 had a $4,000 'GT 1' package that should make long distance travel more enjoyable - 10.25" touchscreen, Bose Premium Stereo (gotta have some tunes), something called Nav Smart Cruise Control-Curve w/Stop&Go (I didn't use it but should have tried it), Highway Driving Assist, plus a few others. Then there were the floor and trunk mats, and freight and handling that brought the total up to $35,705.

In my opinion Kia has hit another home run with the 2021 Kia K5 2.5 GT.


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