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‘All New’ 2021 Kia K5: A hit of the refresh button

The 2021 Kia K5 is a midsized sedan that is new to the market. Sorta.

It is actually a rebranded Kia Optima. This rebranding comes with updated looks that are bolder and some updated features that include new transmissions and new available options, all good stuff as we continue on into the brave new frontier that the 21st Century is proving to be.

I did enjoy driving the ‘all-new’ K5, though one thing I hated was its infotainment system (more on that in a bit). It’s a good sedan.  Starting at $23,590 US, many throughout the internet praise its power, courtesy of a 1.6-liter turbo that offers 180 horses. There is plenty of room inside even as it does ride relatively low to the ground (for me, anyway).

Mileage is 27 city / 37 highway, which is great for the class.  The base trim is not bad, but if you have the funds, you might want to check out the GT-Line All-Wheel Drive trim that I tested (seen here).  Wow, that was fun:

2.5-liter engine that coughs up 290 horses.  All-Wheel Drive, of course. Sporty, black exterior great-looking touches. Fog lights. Leather-wrapped steering wheel. 18-inch wheels. To name a few.

The GT will up the price another two-grand.

Rest assured, this is a departure from the long-heralded Optima.  A solid family sedan for decades, the K5 is sportier, sleeker, meant for a more demanding public that wants a more ‘aggressive’ vehicle.  And it delivers.

I did enjoy driving it. Getting in and out of parking spaces was easy – and getting my largess in and out of it was relatively easy as well.  I did not have a whole lot of shopping to do the week it was loaned to me, so I cannot tell you how well it did with bulk purchases of Lucky Charms and Charmin.

But, Oy vey, I could not figure out the infotainment system.  I mean, yes, I did ultimately figure out how to get it play all the Best Song winners from the Academy Awards of years past. But it was not easy.  Other manufacturers understand that not everyone (especially people who are looking to buy an economical car) do not have the time nor desire to learn all kinds of advance personal tech.  We want to get in and listen to our old skool music as if we were poppin’ in an 8-track.

Okay, I’ve said and made my peace.

If you have friends who are car(e)-less, or if you have family, or if you have pets -– or if you just like having four doors when you drive because you don’t want to put your laundry basket in the passenger seat.

The brand-new Kia K5 for 2021 is worth a look.  Now that I have said that…

Good luck seeing one and good luck testing one anytime soon.  There is a serious shortage out there.  So, grab whatever calms you, relax and take your time.  We really are (slowly) getting through the worst of all that 2020 put us through.

We can now take our time and shop.

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