In ascending order based on pricing, the K5 trims are the LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT. Front-wheel drive is standard throughout, and the LXS and GT-Line are available with all-wheel drive.
The GT was introduced a little later than the other models, and stands alone in having a 290bhp engine compared to its 180bhp work post. But both engines are turbocharged and the majority engine is very powerful, moreover it gets much better gas mileage. Specifically: Fuel economy ratings are 29/38/32 mpg for the LX and 27/37/31 mpg for the EX. GT numbers are 24/32/27 mpg.
Every K5 model has an eight-speed automatic transmission. In keeping with the GT’s uniqueness, it features a dual wet clutch type.
With pricing starting at $24685 (including the $995 destination fee) for the LX trim, the K5 is a good bargain. Standard features on the LX include LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with two USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. Safety-wise, it also comes with automatic high beams, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Putting aside another $1,000 for the LXS provides a few additional standard features, all of which are attractive, like keyless entry, two rear-seat USB ports, split and foldable rear seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The LXS is also the most affordable segment that offers an all-wheel drive option.
I drove a GT-Line with all-wheel drive ($28,685). This styling gives the K5 a sportier boost, adding a GT-Line grille and better synthetic red leather upholstery, a gloss black rear spoiler, black-painted alloy wheels and a flat-bottom steering wheel. The infotainment system has been upgraded to a 10.3-inch touch screen. Other features include LED fog lights, taillights, heated front seats and a wireless phone charger. The GT-Line AWD also adds Snow Mode to the K5’s drive mode menu.
The K5 GT-Line’s streamlined design is tall, low and looks ready to go. It has handling parts to back it up. A skillful interior can be mistaken for a much more expensive car.
Outside rear seats are bolstered throughout, enough to qualify as buckets, although there is a large drop-down console in between that acts as a third seating position if needed. There are two convenient latches in the trunk that loosen the seat backs for easy folding.
The $1,900 GT-Line AWD Premium package on my test car added a panoramic sunroof, LED-display headlights, advanced driver-assist safety features, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, highway driving assist, LED headlight interior lighting and a heated steering wheel .
2022 Kia K5 GT-LINE 4WD
Base price, including destination fee: $28,685
Price by engine: $31,280
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by car manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control the content of reviews.