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The 2023 Kia K5 sits in the middle of the midsize sedan segment wearing its low-slung fastback silhouette. Headed with an aggressive front fascia, the Korean four-door brings flair to a traditionally boring class of sedans. The K5’s unique design places it as a worthy competitor against the perennially awarded Honda Accord. Yet, the K5 has its Accord competition nixed with one major advantage.

What’s so great about the Kia K5?

The Kia K5 is the Hyundai Sonata’s less upscale but sportier corporate cousin. With a duo of capable turbocharged engines, each provides excellent fuel economy figures. The Kia looks nice inside, and while there are some plasticky bits, it has enough soft touch points to compensate. Furthermore, the easy-to-use eight-inch infotainment touchscreen has additional physical controls. These strategically placed buttons and knobs are a welcome sight in an automotive era dedicated to distracting displays.

Cabin comfort is impressive in the front seating row. The driver and passenger will enjoy comfy, supportive seats and more than enough head and legroom, even for taller occupants. However, the sleek, coupe-like styling does sacrifice rear seat comfort. Taller passengers will likely opt for a different car for long road trips.

The K5’s sporty advantage

The 2023 Kia K5 is a sporty midsize sedan
2023 Kia K5 | Kia

While U.S. News reviewers assert the 2023 Honda Accord is a more luxurious car, it’s missing a desirable characteristic. The Accord is front-wheel drive-only, whereas the 2023 Kia K5 can be optioned with all-wheel drive (AWD).

Most K5 models feature a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s a competent engine around town and on the highway. But those are front-wheel drive-only on the base LXS trim level. Customers will have to opt for the third most expensive out of four trim levels for AWD.

The GT-Line K5 has the same drivetrain, but for $1,600 more, four-wheel propulsion is available. Car and Driver was able to launch the K5 from a standstill to 60 mph in a decent seven seconds. But if that’s not good enough, the GT trim level provides 90 more horsepower. The 2.5-liter turbo-four has 290 horsepower and a best-in-class 311 pounds-feet of torque. Consequently, the 0-60 mph time is shaved to 5.2 seconds. Staffed with AWD, the 2023 Kia K5 is an exciting midsize sedan. As well, in the GT spec, the gearbox is swapped with an eight-speed dual-clutch unit with paddle shifters.

How does the Accord stack up?

The 2023 Honda Accord driving in front of a blue sky
2023 Honda Accord | Honda

This year’s Accord is another example of an annual contender for the top spot in many midsize sedan rankings. Reviewers believe it has the most upscale interior in the segment and has a surplus of cabin and cargo space.

While the 2023 Honda Accord’s turbocharged 1.5-liter is a peppy powerplant, its continuously variable transmission doesn’t promote sportiness. It is slightly better in fuel economy than the K5, but that is a sacrifice with AWD.

Should you pick the 2023 Kia K5 over the 2023 Honda Accord?

The midsize sedan segment is becoming increasingly exciting. Nearly all models offer a racy trim level and other appointments to make them feel special.

Honda’s Accord is undoubtedly one of the best four-door cars in the class, but it does have its downsides. For potential buyers looking for a sporty family car, the 2023 Kia K5 will please. With AWD it even makes a tremendous all-weather car.


Only 2 Cars Outrank the 2023 Toyota Camry as U.S. News’ Best Midsize Car to Buy Right Now