Are the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata the Same Car?

Some automakers develop vehicles that often have the same look and feel. Others share more than just design ideas and price points. For example, you might already be familiar with just how similar the K5 and Sonata vehicles really are. However, there’s more to the Kia and Hyundai brands than just their South Korean heritage. 

Browsing the latest vehicle introductions between Hyundai and Kia, you’ll notice more than a few similarities. More specifically, if you’re looking at a new Kia K5, you might be wondering if you’re better off buying the Hyundai Sonata instead. Are these two sedans essentially the same car? Is one midsize sedan a better buy than the other?

Similarities between these 2 automakers

The 2022 Kia K5 in blue and the 2021 Hyundai Sonata in gray
The Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata | Kia America/Hyundai Motor Company

Kia and Hyundai have a little history. Both automakers are operationally independent of each other. However, Hyundai Motor Group does own around 34 percent of Kia. While uniquely different from each other in manufacturing, design, and operations, Kia and Hyundai continue to be rivals, albeit in a sibling kind of corporate relationship.

Kia and Hyundai models by the specs

The Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata have a lot in common, including U.S. manufacturing plants. Both cars also tend to lead their respective classes in advanced driver aids, useful infotainment features, and smartphone integration tech. MotorTrend points out that the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata are priced similarly and are about $3,000 less than the Honda Accord.

Other similarities between the Kia K5 and Hyundai Sonata include the generous warranty coverages, with the 10-year and 100,000-mile Limited Powertrain and five-year, 60,000-mile Limited Basic warranties. Additionally, many Kia and Hyundai models share underpinnings and powertrains, translating to common parts and part numbers for maintenance.

Are the Kia K5 and Hyundai Sonata the same car?

According to The Car Connection, the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata have many similar standard equipment lists. However, they’re ultimately not quite the same car. Both, for example, have the same four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. However, the K5 gets an all-wheel drive variation, and the Sonata doesn’t. Alternatively, if you want a hybrid treatment, you’ll only find one with the Hyundai Sonata and not the Kia K5.

J.D. Power outlines a few key differences between these two sedans, including price ranges of the higher-trimmed versions. The Kia K5 offers the LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT trims. The Hyundai Sonata offers the SE, SEL, SEL Plus, N Line, and Limited trims. The 2021 Kia K5 GT is around $30,590, while the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited will cost about $33,950. 

Kia and Hyundai models that could be twins

In addition to the very similar features of the Kia K5 and Hyundai Sonata, other Kia and Hyundai models share similarities. For example, despite the styling variations between the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade, both SUVs share platforms and underpinnings. Furthermore, the Kia Sorento offers the same fuel efficiency ratings as the Hyundai Santa Fe. Elsewhere, the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson achieve similar fuel economies and are nearly identical in terms of features and offerings.

When it comes time for you to buy a new midsize sedan, consider the Kia K5 and the Hyundai Sonata. There are a host of window sticker similarities between the two South Korean cars, including standard features and pricing, but in the end, they are different models. Whether you want sporty, comfortable, or tech-loaded, you’ll be able to choose a configuration of both. However, it may boil down to personal style tastes when you decide which sedan comes home to your driveway.

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