Sedans & Coupes

The 2021 Kia K5 Takes Smartphone Integration to Another Level

Technology enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to in 2021, especially if the Kia K5 sedan is on the list of considerations. Replacing the Optima, the K5 is a midsize sedan with fresh everything from style to performance. It’s not a new model, however, and has already been offered in South Korea for a few years. But this model year will be a first in the U.S. and will certainly be making a splash. It’s loaded with tech even takes smartphone integration to another level entirely.

Climbing inside a Kia K5 feels like climbing into a cockpit

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Power comes from within. #KiaK5

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The 2021 Kia K5 didn’t just get a fresh face on the outside, but it also offers a premium experience inside. Some reviews share that the upper-level trims felt more like luxury sedans with leatherette seats and the Bose audio systems on the EX trim. The touchscreen is a whopping 10.3-inches and nestled beautifully in a wood finished-looking dash. It’s comfortable and brings the plush touch points that enhance the driving and passenger experiences.

What traditional smartphone integration does already

Many of the automakers producing midsize sedans are recognizing that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are must-haves for today’s car buyers. These technologies are meant to pair the mobile device with the car and allow for hands-free phone usage. It’s one part convenience tech and one part safety as calls and texts can be managed without averting the eyes from the road.

Traditionally, these connectivity capabilities allow the paired devices to display on the in-car touchscreens. But the 2021 Kia K5 is stepping up its connectivity game.

How Kia takes integration to an entirely new level

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RELATED: The New 2021 Kia K5 GT Will Offer a Significant Power Jump Over the Optima

The 2021 Kia K5’s touchscreen is vibrant with graphics and easy to use. But it’s also equipped with voice recognition technology, enhancing the basic connectivity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In a MotorTrend review, the critic who test-drove the K5 used voice tech to change the radio station, queue up navigation and directions, and was even able to check the stock market.

With the UVO Connected Routing, it also means city driving through ever-changing traffic conditions is a breeze too. The Kia K5 also has an available wireless charging pad, designed with a spring-loaded section to hold a mobile device in place and cooling fan to reduce overheating.

Something that sets the K5 apart from competitors is that this will be the first Kia model to offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Most vehicles come with these features these days, but that smartphone integration requires a wired USB connection. With the new K5, drivers won’t need a USB cord to utilize smartphone integration features.

With wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, drivers can make calls, send hands-free texts, get navigation directions, and use compatible apps for added convenience.

If you need another reason to consider a 2021 Kia K5

If the upgraded tech doesn’t have you sold on the 2021 Kia K5, maybe its performance will. The car sits on a wider platform, and it almost appears to make an aggressive “tiger face” that implies its fortitude on the pavement.

There is a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, and the shifting is smooth with precise timing. The ride is quiet, and the suspension means nearly never a bump. Finding the right equipment for your needs is relatively easy, with four trim levels: LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX. And many of the must-have safety features, warranty coverages, and driver aids you expect to come standard.

You’ll have forward-collision warning and lane-following assist, for example. Upgrade to the higher-level trims and get smart cruise control or even the navigation-based smart cruise that slows the car for you during approaching curves and turns.

Today’s sedans need to be tech-friendly to compete, and it’s clear that Kia’s first launch of the 2021 K5 here in the U.S. isn’t sparing any expense in the mobile device connectivity department. The K5 doesn’t just come with the basics of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This sedan has the upgraded versions with voice commands that make driving this performance handling car feel like a truly futuristic experience.