2022 Kia K5 GT-Line Sedan lives up to the new sports name

All-new as a 2021 model, the Kia K5 got a selection of new standard features for its five 2022 trim levels, and now wears Kia’s latest logo. The K5 is a mid-size sedan formerly known as the Optima.

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.

Red synthetic leather seats are a standard feature on the 2022 Kia K5 GT-Line AWD. (manufacturer’s photo)

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 .

The 2022 Kia K5 badge is inscribed with the brand's new 3D logo.  (manufacturer's photo)

The 2022 Kia K5 badge is inscribed with the brand’s new 3D logo. (manufacturer’s photo)

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.


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