2022 Toyota Camry vs 2022 Kia K5: Is the New Kid Better?

The 2022 Toyota Camry is America’s best-selling sedan. Moreover, it’s really one of the last sedans that Americans are willing to show any love for. However, the 2022 Kia K5 looks to change that with sharp new looks at an affordable price point. Unfortunately for the 2022 Kia K5, that’s the Camry’s beat, and it’s been killing it for the better part of two decades.

Is the Kia K5 worth buying?

So, let’s start with the 2022 Kia K5. The smaller sedan is part of Kia’s new rebranding strategy, looking to bring a new edge to the long-dull sword that was the Kia brand. Then again, I’m not really sure the Kia brand sword was really ever that sharp. That is, until now. The 2022 Kia K5 doesn’t make a lot of power, per KBB, but 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque is enough to keep up with the Camry.

In fact, the K5 beats out the 2022 Toyota Camry in torque among other places. As we know, horsepower is how fast you can go, and torque is how fast you get there. That said, I’m taking torque every day of the week. Plus, there’s comfy seats and a nice new infotainment system with Carplay and Android Auto. Not to mention, the K5’s vastly superior dual-clutch transmission.

The 2022 Toyota Camry is the car to beat

A new 2022 Toyota Camry rolls down a city highway with dark blue paint and a softer front end than last year's model
The 2022 Toyota Camry got a big front-end facelift this year | Toyota

That transmission really has been a low point of the Toyota Camry over the last few years. It’s a CVT unit, and a pretty slushy one at that. Finally, you really cannot beat Kia’s 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. You can get a 5 year 60,000 mile one on the Camry, but that just isn’t enough against the Kia.

Now, about the things the 2022 Toyota Camry does well. Of course, there’s that excellent resale value, as KBB points out. Moreover, the interior is a relatively nice place to be, but I prefer the seats in a K5. Of course, like styling, that’s up to each individual buyer. Then there’s that 206 hp V6. It’s only got 186 lb-ft of torque, but the larger engine is always going to feel less stressed.

The K5 is the road less-traveled

A blue 2022 Kia K5 under the lights at an auto show
The K5 looks even better under the lights | Zhe Ji via Getty Images

The 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Gets a Rad Red Interior

Personally, the Kia’s fresh new design has won me over. On top of that, there’s that much smarter dual-clutch gearbox and more torque. The real objective win here is that powertrain warranty. The 2022 Toyota Camry just can’t match that, even if the Toyota may prove to be more reliable.

Regardless, the Camry sells like hell for a reason, and lots of buyers will simply pick the obvious choice. That said, the Kia is the oddball choice, and I love it for being that. The question is: How long will the k5 stay the oddball choice?