Review and Test Drive: 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

By Jonathan Spira on 5 January 2021
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The 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

Despite long being a symbol of the open road, Americans are falling out of love with the sedan and have focused their affections on behemoth SUVs, which now dominate the market.  General Motors, whose models for the majority of the automaker’s existence were the epitome of the genre, recently killed six sedans including the Buick LaCrosse, the Cadillac CT6, the Cadillac XTS, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Chevy Volt.

Enter the Kia K5, also known in some markets as the Kia Optima (the model name that was used for prior generations of the K5 in the United States as well). The K5 makes an incredibly good case as to why buyers should forgo an SUV or crossover and buy a sedan.

The sharp looking K5 has a fastback-like profile which is modern yet also harkens back to designs of the 1940s, when that style was first introduced.  The combination of sharp lines, a good-looking textured grille, Z-shaped running lights, and a chrome accent strip that runs across the window line only to become more prominent at the C-pillar, all conspire together to present the world with a look that others will aspire to.  The K5 has a bold and good-looking front end, while in the auto industry bold typically doesn’t come off as good looking.

The K5 is 2” (5 cm) longer, 1” (2.5 cm) lower, and .08” (.2 cm) wider than the outgoing Optima which it replaces.   A striking Wolf Gray Pearl K5 arrived at our offices on a warm November morning.

Wolf Gray is what I would call a chameleon color, meaning one where the color varies greatly based on ambient lighting and the angle at which one looks at it.  It’s a good look, I might add.


Open the door and enter a world that smacks of a car several times the very reasonable price tag of the K5.  The attention to detail here is legion: illuminated USB ports, form-fitting GT-badged red cloth and SyntTex seats, a flat-bottom, leather steering wheel,  and a wireless phone charger, all paired with rich, soft materials and excellent fit and finish.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2021 Kia K5

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