2021 Kia K5 vs 2020 Kia Optima

Grey 2021 Kia K5 and white 2020 Kia Optima

The first-ever U.S. Kia K5 has hit the streets here in Tampa Bay and is available now at Friendly Kia. The 2021 Kia K5 is taking the long-standing spot of the Kia Optima, which has had its final run in 2020. The 2020 Optima offers everything shoppers and drivers have loved about the Optima in one final package. With the K5 taking over for the fan-favorite Optima, many are wondering how the two compare.

This 2021 Kia K5 vs 2020 Kia Optima comparison guide is putting these two Kia sedans head-to-head to show off what’s the same and what’s changed in the crossover from Optima to K5. Keep reading to see what the first-ever Kia K5 is bringing to Tampa Bay and to see what the Kia Optima is leaving behind as its lasting legacy.

2021 Kia K5


2020 Kia Optima

$23,490 Starting MSRP $23,390
1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine Base Engine 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine
180 horsepower | 195 pound-feet of torque Base Power Specs 185 horsepower | 178 pound-feet of torque
290 horsepower | 311 pound-feet of torque Max. Power Specs 245 horsepower | 260 pound-feet of torque
Available All-Wheel Drive Not Available
Standard Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ Optional
Available Safe Exit Assist Not Available

Kia K5 Offers Safety Improvements Over Kia Optima

For starters, the 2021 Kia K5 offers something many sedan-lovers have been hoping for – all-wheel drive. The 2020 Kia Optima is offered only in a front-wheel-drive format, whereas the K5 offers both front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive variations. The 2021 K5 comes standard in front-wheel drive with a 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine. The base K5 delivers 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, which is comparable to the 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque produced by the base 2020 Optima.

The K5, however, offers a major jump in power compared to the Optima when equipped with the available 2.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine. Equipped with this engine beneath its hood, the Kia K5 GT can deliver up to 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque on the road. The 2020 Optima maxes out at a respectable 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque on the road.

Aside from power output and exterior design cues, a majority of the features and tech found within the K5 and Optima are the same. Both models offer standard and wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ depending on the trim level, a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment center, Lane Keeping and Lane Following Assist Technology, standard cloth seating, and more.

The 2021 K5 offers a more expansive array of Kia Drive Wise safety technology, bringing in updates and new features not found in the outgoing Optima model. Some new additions to the Drive Wise suite of available features for the K5 include Safe Exit Assist, Highway Driving Assist, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control – Curve, Rear Occupant Alert, and Driver Attention Warning with Leading Vehicle Departure Alert.

For more information on the 2021 Kia K5 or the 2020 Kia Optima in Tampa Bay, contact a member of the Friendly Kia staff today.