Love that profile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Kia K5 GT proves a nasty title cannot torpedo a superb automotive. Certain, Studebaker Dictator, Ford Probe and Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxurious Joyful Cover are all far worse monikers than K5, however this four-door — particularly in pinnacle GT trim — is so nice and succesful, fashionable and swift you will not care what it is known as.

Like

Torquey, responsive engineSpacious, good-looking cabinArtistic bodywork

Do not Like

Occasional lane-keeping wonkinessTransmission efficiency

Even when it does not essentially stand head and shoulders above the midsize-sedan crowd, the brand new K5 is close to the highest of its phase in practically each class. This Kia feels brisker than the gracefully growing older Honda Accord, is much extra fascinating than the dowdy Subaru Legacy and it is swankier inside and outside than Toyota’s fashionable Camry. In brief, the K5 is as well-rounded as a beachball.

Spicing issues up, this sedan serves up loads of visible pizzazz. Entrance and heart, the K5 wears a reimagined model of Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille. The primary opening is full of a geometrical mesh sample and flanked by a pair of leering LED headlamp assemblies with pronounced tails that movement alongside the entrance fenders. This instance’s Sapphire Blue paint is simply concerning the good colour. In profile, the K5 resembles a mashup of Volkswagen’s Arteon and an Audi A7; forward of the A-pillars it is shockingly just like the previous, aft of them, it is the latter’s spittin’ picture.

That gracefully curving roofline terminates in a curt bottom that is practically as intricately designed because the automotive’s entrance finish. The trunk lid is shockingly quick, however the opening is a lot giant, so loading freight should not be an train in enjoying cargo Tetris. The area itself measures 16 cubic toes, a whisker lower than you get in an Accord however a skosh greater than supplied by a Camry. The rear backrests fold flat for toting longer gadgets, although the passthrough opening is not notably giant.

As with different redesigned Kias, the K5’s inside wows, being each fashion-forward and purposeful. The dashboard is strongly horizontal and deeply sculpted, plus the supplies on show are all of fantastic high quality. The entrance door panels are wrapped in supple plastics which are handsomely grained, the frosty-silver accents sprinkled all through look nice and do not trigger annoying glare in vivid daylight and the locations the place exhausting polymers are used, none of them reek of pinched pennies. About the one factor I do not take care of is the piano-black trim, which is not all that premium.

Enhancing usability, the automotive’s heart stack is ever so barely angled towards the motive force, so the infotainment display screen and local weather controls are simpler to achieve. Not like many automobiles as of late, the K5 comes with a conventional mechanical shifter. With a meaty T-handle, this gear selector appears cool and is tremendous satisfying to make use of. And so are this automotive’s seats, that are wrapped in a decent-feeling leatherette materials (real cow hides will not be out there, a minimum of not on the seating surfaces). The entrance chairs get the job achieved and there is a shocking quantity of area within the again. Lanky passengers can have loads of room for his or her heads and legs on this Kia.

Two infotainment techniques can be found, one with an 8-inch show and an uplevel providing with a ten.3-inch touchscreen. Curiously, each multimedia arrays help Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although solely the bottom system affords wi-fi connectivity for these smartphone-mirroring techniques. Should you go for the massive display screen — which is beautiful and comes with embedded navigation — make sure that to carry a charging cable.

With regards to usability, Kia’s newest infotainment system is a winner. The upgraded system on the ten.3-inch display screen shouldn’t be solely lifeless easy to make use of and blazingly responsive — by no means stuttering or lagging — it is easy on the eyes, too. Residence-screen icons appear like little purple neon indicators and the radio tuner is displayed as a collection of nixie tubes for a contact of caprice, one thing we may all use slightly extra of as of late.

Differentiating them from lesser K5s, sporty GT fashions characteristic a burly 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. As potent as a fistful of fentanyl tablets, this four-cylinder firebreather delivers 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels, way more of every than the bottom 1.6-liter turbo gives. Why all-wheel drive is barely out there with the smaller engine is anybody’s guess, however as you may think, the K5 GT has no hassle squealing its tires once you give it the spurs. This sedan pulls ferociously from about 2,250 rpm on up, although it is a lot punchy under that velocity. In use, some powertrain vibration may be felt within the cabin (keep in mind, 2.5 liters is a giant four-cylinder), however the engine is quiet and usually well-mannered.

The K5’s inside is fashionable and properly organized.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Taking advantage of that mountain of torque is an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission. As soon as the K5 is rolling, this gearbox shifts imperceptibly and about as shortly as a mind synapse, serving to the automotive hit 60 mph in as little as 5.8 seconds. The efficiency right here is spectacular, besides at low speeds. Sadly, as with practically all dual-clutch transmissions, taking off from a standstill is rarely as easy as with a torque converter. At occasions, faint however noticeable judders may be felt and whereas creeping alongside at idle, akin to in heavy visitors, the automotive appears to surge, to maneuver inconsistently as you modulate the velocity, one thing that will get annoying.

On the pump, anticipate 24 mpg round city and 32 mpg on freeway drives. Mixed, the 2021 Kia K5 GT ought to return 27 mpg.

Other than that all-you-can-eat buffet of torque, there’s nothing notably magical about the way in which this sedan drives. Dynamically, it is completely competent, with middle-of-the-road steering, brake-pedal really feel and chassis efficiency. A number of driving modes are provided, however actually, they solely change the steering weight and transmission shift schedule. This instance’s journey is completely on the agency facet, little doubt enhanced (or degraded?) by its 19-inch wheels wrapped in comparatively low-profile 245/40 Pirelli P Zero all-season tires. The K5 GT is not stiff sufficient to shatter spines or trigger heads to toss once you hit bigger bumps, however you definitely really feel the highway.

With regards to driver aids, this Kia affords a lot. Options like forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping help, lane-departure warning, a driver consideration monitor and computerized excessive beams are normal throughout the K5 vary. Fairly typical stuff. Naturally, every kind of different facilities are provided, too, from rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise management to parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring. For probably the most half, these applied sciences work completely, although the automated excessive beams generally is a bit spastic and the lane-centering system does bizarre issues in sure corners. Whereas navigating reasonable turns, the system will annoyingly and moderately forcefully tug on the steering wheel, combating your grip as you’re employed to maintain the automotive in your meant line. On straight asphalt and thru lesser corners the lane-centering characteristic works fantastically, it simply will get slightly wonky when pushed.

The K5 has an nearly Audi-like rear finish.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Because it sits, the K5 GT I am testing right here checks out for $35,705 together with $965 in supply charges. A $95 cargo protector and $155 in carpeted flooring mats pad the bottom worth, as does the $4,000 GT1 Package deal. This dear add-on features a bunch of facilities just like the bigger touchscreen, a premium Bose audio system, energy entrance seats with heating and air flow plus a slew of security tech. Nonetheless, this automotive is fairly priced contemplating how good it feels and shortly it strikes.

Regardless of its questionable title, the 2021 Kia K5 GT is among the most nice mainstream sedans you should purchase immediately, particularly if you’d like one thing with a sporting edge and many energy. In fact, if K5 does not float your boat, you’ll be able to at all times name this automotive what it’s: superior.

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