A closeup shows the front quarter of a white 2021 Kia K5 from the side at night.

Why The 2021 Kia K5 Will Make The Sedan Trendy Again

When considering sedans, some might argue that curb appeal isn’t what it once was. With the onslaught of crossovers and compact SUVs, the poor sedan has lost some of its luster. Kia is challenging this notion in a big way with the all-new 2021 Kia K5. From its dramatic exterior styling to the gorgeous, well-appointed interior, Kia is poised to recapture buyers who might otherwise skip over the sedan category altogether. Even its passenger and cargo space will give any crossover a run for its money.

There are so many benefits to opting for a sedan. Its smaller size and lighter weight make it easier to drive and park, and fuel economy almost always beats that of a crossover or compact SUV. The profile of a sedan gives drivers a sportier ride and feels less bulky at highway speeds. Drivers can feel the road again, especially in the K5. Kia put the focus on not just one or two areas, but the entire vehicle, paying attention to fuel economy, safety, dynamic styling, infotainment and technology, and comfort. All of this is wrapped up in a gorgeous exterior package that will turn heads.

The 2021 Kia K5 is loaded with the features and capabilities buyers are looking for. Let’s get to know the K5 a little better. After hearing what it has to offer, it’s a pretty safe bet that the K5 will earn a spot on the consideration list.

Model Range

The 2021 Kia K5, starting at an MSRP of $23,490, offers a wide range of trims with an impressive list of standard features even on the base LX. Moving up the model range is the LXS, with a starting MSRP of $24,490; the GT-Line, starting at $25,390; the EX, which comes in at $27,990; and the top-end GT which is still an affordable $30,490. Throughout the lineup, there are features and styling touches that differentiate each trim and give buyers a true variety of options.

Budget-conscious buyers need not worry about compromising by choosing the base LX. It shares the same styling cues as its more expensive siblings and includes much of Kia’s innovative driver-assist safety technology as standard equipment. The LX is a great choice for those buyers looking for luxury-level styling without breaking the bank.

The LXS delivers all of the equipment found on the LX, but adds a few more standard safety features and neat extras like a smart trunk, which opens automatically when standing behind the K5 with Kia’s Smart Key. Several additional comfort options are also available that can’t be added to the LX. For the extra thousand dollars, the LXS is worth a look before committing to the LX.

Next up is the GT-Line. With another $1,000 price bump, the GT-Line comes standard with 18-inch wheels vs the LX and LXS, which only offer 16-inch wheels. Body styling gets some sporty tweaks, such as a GT hyper silver front grille, rear spoiler, sport black outside mirrors, and optional fog lights, to further differentiate it. Kia makes its panoramic sunroof with power sunshade available as an option on the GT-Line also.

At the upper end of the K5 trim range are the EX and GT. The EX gets a pretty significant price bump––nearly $3,000––which buys a much more comprehensive list of standard equipment and availability of additional luxury and tech options. The panoramic sunroof becomes standard, as do special gray machine-finished 18-inch wheels, giving the EX a distinctive look. Both the EX and GT models come standard with a lot more technology too.

The GT is where the 2021 Kia K5 really shines. This is a true performance sports sedan, and the upgraded powertrain and exterior finishes more than justify its price point at just over $30,000. Kia adds GT body styling, standard front fog lights, quad-tip dual exhaust, and 19-inch alloy wheels, all in keeping with the GT’s focus on heart-racing performance and aggressive exterior styling. Inside the GT gets sport bucket front seats and a d-shaped sporty steering wheel. Perhaps the biggest change is the upgraded engine. Kia drops in a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, a stark upgrade from the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine found in the other models. The 2.5-liter engine gives the K5 a huge horsepower boost, going from 180 horsepower on the 1.6-liter engine to 290 horsepower on the 2.5-liter. Greater horsepower delivers exciting acceleration and performance, and the increased torque, from 195 lb-ft to 311 lb-ft, which provides better performance up steep inclines and when initially accelerating.

The 2021 Kia K5 is a complete model lineup that will appeal to a wide range of buyers, whether the priority is affordability, performance, comfort, or all of the above. Even at the high-end model range, Kia keeps the K5 affordable and packs in an amazing array of features that rival even luxury sedans.

A blue 2021 Kia K5 is shown from above while parked in an empty lot.


While the headline is understandably the K5’s gorgeous styling and plush interior comforts, underneath that pretty exterior is some serious driver-assist technology. Kia aims to keep drivers safe and provide systems that deliver true assistance during normal driving challenges. All Kia K5 models come standard with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Put simply, the vehicle detects a potential collision and automatically applies the brakes in order to prevent it from happening.

In addition, all Kia models come with Driver Attention Warning, which includes a lane departure alert. Basically, this system can detect when a driver’s attention wanders and notifies when it senses the vehicle drifting out of its lane or when the car ahead begins to move forward (such as when a red light turns green). This feature is handy, especially for folks that tend to look away from the road at red lights. Lane Keeping Assist can actually automatically correct steering if the vehicle drifts.

Rounding out the standard safety equipment are the Lane Following Assist system, the High Beam Assist system, and a dynamic parking guidance system integrated with a rearview camera. Lane Following Assist is activated whenever cruise control is engaged and helps drivers maintain a safe distance from the car in front of them. High beam assist will automatically dim headlights when another car approaches, a great feature that negates the need to remember.

Other safety features are offered for select models within the K5 family. One notable option is the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Cyclist Detection and Junction Turning. It sounds complex, but put simply, this system uses a front camera with radar to help detect vehicles and cyclists at intersections, a common location for collisions.

The Parking Distance Warning system works when the vehicle is in reverse and notifies drivers via an alert if a hazard is detected. This system is standard on the EX and optional on the GT. It is not available on the LX, LXS, or GT-Line models. The related Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist also works in reverse and uses the rearview camera and sensors to vector in on the location of nearby obstacles and warns the driver with an audible alarm. The system can automatically engage the brake to avoid a collision.


A man is shown walking towards the open door of a 2021 Kia K5, shown from the passenger seat.

The K5 is as beautiful inside as it is outside. Its comfort features are synonymous with luxury and leave nothing to be desired. Ergonomics play a big part in the instant feeling of fit upon sliding into the driver’s seat, because Kia put the focus on intelligent, conveniently located dials and controls. Driver and passenger comfort lead the story, but cargo volume is also a defining feature of the K5.

All 2021 K5 models include a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment control center, and an optional 10.5-inch touchscreen with navigation is available on the GT-Line, EX, and GT models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are also standard on the K5. Kia puts a standard six-speaker HD radio on all models, with an optional upgraded 12-speaker Bose Premium Audio System available as an option on the EX and GT. You’ll also find plenty of charging ports throughout the vehicle and an optional wireless charger on the EX and GT.

Seat trim ranges from cloth on the LX and LXS, a cloth and synthetic leather trim on the GT-Line, to full synthetic leather trim with heated front seats on the EX and GT. The GT takes dynamic seating to the next level, with sport front bucket seats. A 10-way power driver’s seat is standard on the GT-Line, EX, and GT models, and EX and GT buyers can opt for the available power lumbar support and driver-seat memory settings as well.

As you can see, the 2021 Kia K5 is poised to challenge any traditional notions of what a sedan represents. The K5 is anything but mundane and shows up as a worthy contender by not sacrificing practicality for excitement and dramatic performance. The wide range of models within the K5 family are sure to appeal to a broad range of buyers, even if budget is a big challenge. Check out the all-new 2021 Kia K5 and get ready to be pleasantly surprised.