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Let’s get this out of the way first: The GT-Line trim of the Kia K5 sedan is the most expensive version of the popular sedan. It’s a $31,490 version of what is, at its heart, a $25,090 car. But, the GT-Line comes with a lot of goodies that make it not just (a lot) faster, but a lot more liveable, too.

But, is the K5 GT-Line trim worth it?

What is the GT-Line

A pair of 2023 Kia K5 GT-Line models pose under an overcast sky.
2023 Kia K5 GT-Line sedans | Kia

The GT-Line trim on the K5 ups the ante on the K5 and turns this usually-frugal five-seater into a performance sedan. For 2023, the big news on the K5 GT-Line is the Panoramic Roof Package that adds a giant glass roof to the K5. The package includes LED lighting, and gloss-black trim on the B-pillars, windshield and sharkfin antenna. A heated steering wheel is standard, and acoustic glass on the front door windows is standard, too. It is also offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions.

The GL-Line also has a slightly wider body kit, 18-inch wheels, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and wireless phone charging. Adding the Premium package also adds adaptive cruise control and other driver’s safety aids like forward collision warning.

The GT-Line is a faster K5

But, of course, GT stands for Grand Touring and that means a bigger motor. In the GT-Line trim, that means you get the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 290 horsepower. It’s a huge boost over the regular car’s 1.6 liter that makes 180 horsepower. Crucially, to harness all of that juice, Kia adds its quick-shifting eight-speed DCT, or automated manual, gearbox.

According to U.S. News and World Report, it’s also reliable.

Reportedly, it will go from 0-60 in about 5.2 seconds, which not too long ago was big V8 territory.

a blue 2022 toyota camry trd, a popular sedan that can help toyota increase its profits in the future
2022 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota

The obvious competitor is the Honda Accord Sport. But that car mainly competes on looks, not performance. It’s down 38 horsepower on the K5, and the K5 has much more responsive transmission when compared to the Accord’s automatic. The Camry TRD, however, packs in 301 horsepower from a smooth V6 with a shiftable automatic. The TRD version of the Camry can nearly match the K5 GT-Line’s straight-line acceleration, too.

But is it worth the upgrade?

The interior of the 2023 Kia K5
2023 K5 GT interior| Kia

Yes, the K5 GT-Line commands quite the premium over the base car. For about $6,000 more, it’s hard to justify not just getting a Miata for some fun sports car-like thrills, or the Cadillac CT4 which is slower but packed with luxury for about the same price. However, considering you get the long list of standard features and that powerful motor and fast transmission, maybe the GT-Line does makes more sense than the base Kia K5.