What We Know About the 2021 Kia Optima K5

By Product Expert | Posted in Kia Optima on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 9:14 pm
blue 2021 kia optima k5 parked in front of a cafe with a man looking

2021 Kia Optima K5 Specs and Features

Despite the fevered rush among the masses toward crossovers and SUVs, the sedan has never been more self-actualized. No longer a prisoner of the need to be the standard “car,” the sedan has adapted by emphasizing its best features, namely its excellent handling and a quiet cabin.

>>> READ MORE: Is There Still Room for the Sedan in the Crossover Revolution? <<<

Sadly, not every brand sees the sedan for what it could be. Over the past three years, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford have all cut their domestic cars down, with Ford being the most extreme in eliminating every model except the iconic Ford Mustang coupe.

For Kia, however, the sedan is the perfect chance to give drivers a luxurious and refined ride that can only happen in a sleek and sporty three-box car. The upcoming 2021 Kia Optima/K5 (we’re still waiting to see which name they go with) proves this.

What Has Kia Changed on the 2021 Kia Optima?

When Kia debuted the fourth-generation Kia Optima for the 2016 model year, it was acclaimed. The only criticism for the model was centered around its uncharacteristic conservatism in design. Luckily, the fifth-generation midsize sedan is not liable to receive the same critique.

Completely redesigned, the 2021 Kia Optima/K5 features a sporty, swept-back look with updates all around the model that mark both evolution and revolution for the value and reliability leader.

Check out these photos to compare:

exterior of 2021 kia optima k5 in gray
2021 Kia Optima/K5
2020 kia optima phev in dark blue
2020 Kia Optima (PHEV)
2021 kia optima/k5 interior
2021 Kia Optima/K5
interior of 2020 kia optima
2020 Kia Optima

2021 Kia Optima K5 Specs

While we don’t know much about the North American version of the all-new Kia Optima/K5, we do know that in Korea, the model will feature a new 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder. The current 2020 Kia Optima reserves the 1.6-liter turbo engine for its fuel-efficiency-focused EX variant, in which this displacement produces 178 horsepower.

The current 2.4-liter engine, however, seems to be jettisoned in favor of the turbocharged 4-cylinder in the 2021 Kia Optima/K5.

Kia also has a 2.0-liter powertrain in the hopper, but our guess is that this engine will be connected to a hybrid system, seeing the Kia Optima hybrid join the mainline as a trim level rather than an entirely new model.

Perhaps the most exciting news about the 2021 Kia Optima is that it will likely join Kia’s GT range, which currently includes the Kia Forte GT, Kia Soul GT and Kia Stinger GT. A turbocharged 2.5-liter engine is slated for a late-2020 release. This engine will get 290 horsepower (WHAT?!) and 310 lb-ft. of torque.

Managing this ridiculous amount of torque is a brand-new 8-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission that, combined with the power from the engine, should get the 2021 Kia Optima/K5 GT to 60 MPH from a dead stop in about six and a half seconds.

2021 Kia Optima K5 Features

While we’ve only seen the Korean rendition of the Optima/K5 so far, we expect many of the features to carry over as they always have on Kia’s midsize sedan.

Some of these features include:

  • A customizable 12-inch instrumentation cluster
  • Full-cabin seat heating
  • A 10.25-inch infotainment unit that is currently on display in the high-trim Kia Soul, Kia Telluride and Kia Seltos models
  • Available head-up display (eight inches)
  • Wireless charging
  • We expect Kia to challenge Toyota and Honda by including Kia Drive Wise as a standard active safety feature in this model.

Reserve the 2021 Kia Optima/K5 at Friendly Kia

Although we know very little about the 2021 Kia Optima/K5, and all of our information comes from the Korean site and press materials, we are excited to see it show its face here in North America. We think the Optima/K5 is more than enough to sway drivers who have chosen SUVs back to the extravagance and comfort which made sedans synonymous with the word “car” for 100 years.

If you’re interested in the 2021 Kia Optima/K5 and want to be notified when its available or when more information has been released, click here.

For more information on current Kia models, contact us today!

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