2021 Kia K5 GT checks all the right boxes

    Love that profile.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The 2021 Kia K5 GT proves a nasty title cannot torpedo a superb automotive. Sure, Studebaker Dictator, Ford Probe and Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy are all far worse monikers than K5, however this four-door — particularly in pinnacle GT trim — is so nice and succesful, trendy and swift you will not care what it is referred to as.

    LikeTorquey, responsive engineSpacious, good-looking cabinArtistic bodywork

    Don’t LikeOccasional lane-keeping wonkinessTransmission efficiency

    Even if it would not essentially stand head and shoulders above the midsize-sedan crowd, the brand new K5 is close to the highest of its phase in almost each class. This Kia feels more energizing than the gracefully getting older Honda Accord, is way extra attention-grabbing than the dowdy Subaru Legacy and it is swankier inside and outside than Toyota’s widespread Camry. In quick, the K5 is as well-rounded as a beachball.Spicing issues up, this sedan serves up loads of visible pizzazz. Front and heart, the K5 wears a reimagined model of Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille. The fundamental opening is stuffed with a geometrical mesh sample and flanked by a pair of leering LED headlamp assemblies with pronounced tails that circulate alongside the entrance fenders. This instance’s Sapphire Blue paint is simply in regards to 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 much like the previous, aft of them, it is the latter’s spittin’ picture.

    That gracefully curving roofline terminates in a curt bottom that is almost 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 house itself measures 16 cubic ft, 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 significantly 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 can be handsomely grained, the frosty-silver accents sprinkled all through look nice and do not trigger annoying glare in shiny daylight and the locations the place laborious 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 driving force, so the infotainment display and local weather controls are simpler to succeed in. Unlike many autos lately, the K5 comes with a standard 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 usually are not accessible, a minimum of not on the seating surfaces). The entrance chairs get the job completed and there is a shocking quantity of house 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 10.3-inch touchscreen. Curiously, each multimedia arrays assist Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although solely the bottom system affords wi-fi connectivity for these smartphone-mirroring techniques. If you go for the large display — which is beautiful and comes with embedded navigation — ensure that to convey a charging cable.When it involves usability, Kia’s newest infotainment system is a winner. The upgraded system on the 10.3-inch display just isn’t solely lifeless easy to make use of and blazingly responsive — by no means stuttering or lagging — it is easy on the eyes, too. Home-screen icons appear to be little purple neon indicators and the radio tuner is displayed as a collection of nixie tubes for a contact of caprice, one thing we might all use a little bit extra of lately.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, much more of every than the bottom 1.6-liter turbo gives. Why all-wheel drive is just accessible with the smaller engine is anybody’s guess, however as you may think, the K5 GT has no bother squealing its tires while you give it the spurs. This sedan pulls ferociously from about 2,250 rpm on up, although it is a lot punchy beneath that velocity. In use, some powertrain vibration may be felt within the cabin (bear in mind, 2.5 liters is a giant four-cylinder), however the engine is quiet and usually well-mannered.The K5’s inside is trendy and properly organized.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Making essentially the most of that mountain of torque is an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission. Once the K5 is rolling, this gearbox shifts imperceptibly and about as rapidly 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. Unfortunately, as with almost all dual-clutch transmissions, taking off from a standstill is rarely as clean as with a torque converter. At occasions, faint however noticeable judders may be felt and whereas creeping alongside at idle, equivalent to in heavy site visitors, the automotive appears to surge, to maneuver inconsistently as you modulate the velocity, one thing that will get annoying.At the pump, count on 24 mpg round city and 32 mpg on freeway drives. Combined, the 2021 Kia K5 GT ought to return 27 mpg. Aside from that all-you-can-eat buffet of torque, there’s nothing significantly magical about the best way this sedan drives. Dynamically, it is fully competent, with middle-of-the-road steering, brake-pedal really feel and chassis efficiency. Several driving modes are provided, however actually, they solely change the steering weight and transmission shift schedule. This instance’s trip is completely on the agency aspect, little question 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 while you hit bigger bumps, however you definitely really feel the highway.When it involves driver aids, this Kia affords a lot. Features like forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping help, lane-departure warning, a driver consideration monitor and computerized excessive beams are customary throughout the K5 vary. Pretty 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 essentially the most half, these applied sciences work completely, although the automated excessive beams could be a bit spastic and the lane-centering system does bizarre issues in sure corners. While 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 a little bit wonky when pushed.The K5 has an virtually Audi-like rear finish.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    As it sits, the K5 GT I’m testing right here checks out for $35,705 together with $965 in supply charges. A $95 cargo protector and $155 in carpeted ground mats pad the bottom value, as does the $4,000 GT1 Package. 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. Still, this automotive is fairly priced contemplating how good it feels and rapidly it strikes.Despite its questionable title, the 2021 Kia K5 GT is among the most nice mainstream sedans you should buy as we speak, particularly if you need one thing with a sporting edge and plenty of energy. Of course, if K5 would not float your boat, you may at all times name this automotive what it’s: superior.

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