Auto123 critiques the 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line.
The Kia K5 involves us at a time the place the compact-mid-size sedan class continues to hemorrhage gross sales to the compact and mid-size CUV crowd, however that hasn’t stopped Kia from delivering one heck of a handsome sedan that comes with an agile chassis, an ready powertrain and, above all, a sense of high quality that you could’t at all times depend on within the section.
It actually does begin with these appears, although – really, extra exactly that that, it begins with these headlamps and much more exactly than that, it begins with the wildly-shaped DRLs set inside these headlamps. They’re styled to appear to be an EKG pulse and my oh my, they might simply be sufficient to complete off what’s the most original headlamp meeting you’ll discover right this moment, and so they assist the K5 look much more premium than its price ticket suggests. Which, as we’ll quickly see, is the case for a lot of elements of this nice new sedan from Korea.
The large information right here is that every one besides the top-spec GT come commonplace with AWD – for some purpose, the GT and its extra highly effective motor are caught with front-wheel-drive. However AWD at base? That’s an enormous win for Kia’s mid-size entry as solely Subaru and Nissan can at the moment make that declare this facet of the luxurious producers.
Different commonplace options embody a turbo motor good for 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, 8-speed automated transmission (there is no such thing as a guide, sadly), alloy wheels and LED headlights.
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Inside, effectively, let’s simply say the inside the K5 has is an attention-grabbing tackle what mid-size sedan interiors may be.
At first look, it’s obtained some nice detailing: 10.25-inch infotainment show (that shrinks to 8-inch on the underside two trims, however for some purpose, solely the smaller screens are appropriate with wi-fi Apple CarPlay), artificial leather-based seating, flat-bottom steering wheel and a stunning array of surfaces that vary from faux-woodgrain to a type of billeted metal look. It appears good however there’s some detailing that may be a little complicated, as if Kia introduced plenty of designers onto the challenge, and advised them to “have at it” and so they didn’t at all times follow the “one model of the reality” idiom.
Take the t-bar shift lever, for instance. It appears prefer it belongs in a ‘70s muscle automotive and that’s cool, nevertheless it varieties a little bit of an odd distinction with the infotainment show above, whose graphics look a bit like they had been designed by somebody who had lower their tooth designing WinAmp skins. Once more; nothing improper with it, however I’m simply unsure it suits.
There’s a neat-o function, although, that permits you to select from totally different “themes” that aren’t simply graphical, however audible as effectively; if you choose the “Vigorous Forest” theme, the automotive really pumps soothing tropical – not less than I believe it’s tropical – forest sounds via the 6-speaker audio system. “Open-Air Café”, in the meantime, makes it really feel such as you’re driving round in a Starbucks.
Whereas it doesn’t wi-fi CarPlay, it does have wi-fi charging, achieved through an ingenious vertically-mounted charger with a door and cooling system mounted simply forward of the centre armrest. It’s the right spot to your cellphone, as you gained’t be tempted to retailer a lot else there.
Sticking with the inside: the 2021 Kia Seltos crossover additionally will get that ambient sound function and massive show, however along with that, it will get an enormous TFT show between the gauges to your journey pc. The newer, pricier K5? It doesn’t, as a substitute making do with a smaller, extra traditional-looking display screen that appears far much less built-in into the gauge cluster than does the merchandise on the Seltos. It’s not dangerous and it reveals you all the information you would need, however why not get the brand new stuff within the new automotive?
All that apart, I like the driving force’s seating place within the K5 and the again seats show surprisingly roomy, even with my tester’s full-length moonroof. That options does have an effect on headroom considerably however so long as you’re of not more than common top, try to be superb.
Whereas that driver’s seating place feels proper as quickly as you drop into the seat, there’s additionally one thing about the best way the K5 goes about its enterprise when you begin shifting that gives the look that you just’re in a correct luxurious sport sedan. There are not any creaks or rattles from the varied inside bits and surfaces (as various as these are) or the chassis, and the K5 simply strikes via city feeling correctly “as one” and able to deal with most any highway you’ll be able to throw at it. It rides extremely effectively, it sounds good, and you may inform it’s responsive even at sluggish metropolis speeds.
Which, because it occurs, is the place you get to pattern one of many K5’s coolest celebration methods, and that’s a driver support that truly prevents you from making a nasty left flip. Should you begin to flip left via an intersection and the K5 senses one thing is coming, it should cease you even earlier than you see it. It’s like cross-traffic alert taken to the nth diploma.
On the open highway, although, is the place the K5 actually begins to point out its true colors.
Energy is delivered shortly from tip-in, because the well-tuned 8-speed auto does effectively to mitigate any turbo lag. The transmission bangs via gears shortly (particularly in Sport mode, which compliments Regular, Sensible and Snow, all obtainable utilizing a joystick mounted simply behind the shift lever) whether or not by itself or in guide mode, which is nice.
Much less so is the actual fact there are not any paddle shifters. No paddle shifters in a $35Okay sports activities sedan? That’s an odd one. The upper-spec GT mannequin with its dual-cutch transmission will get them, however this one doesn’t. And it ought to. You should use the shifter, in fact, but when I’m reaching for a shifter – particularly one formed like this — I wish to be kicking a clutch on the similar time and banging residence a gear, not flipping a swap. If you wish to give a automotive a quick-shifting auto field, go all the best way and snap some paddles to the steering wheel.
That’s the solely actual knock I’ve towards the K5’s drive as a result of in any other case, it’s proper on the cash. The steering response is extremely alert and properly feelsome, ensuring that the K5 handles the best way its appears recommend it ought to. It tracks true and the AWD system plus torque vectoring places the ability precisely the place it must be to swivel this child via all method of turns in a secure, confidence-inspiring means. Certain, it runs out of breath a bit at greater speeds as these energy figures aren’t large, however that doesn’t hassle me a lot because it’s quick sufficient to make the K5 really feel particular, and that’s the important thing.
The K5 is a good instance of how one can get performance-sedan dynamics with out the related price ticket. AWD and turbo energy for much less – lots much less – than 40 grand? That may be a uncommon factor and also you don’t have to leap via hoops to get it because the K5 is obtainable in Kia sellers as you learn this.
Pricing for the 2021 Kia K5
AWD at base
Punchy turbo energy
We like much less
No paddle shifters
Inside design a little bit of a mishmash
No guide possibility
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