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The Kia Optima is going away, but only in terms of its namesake. That’s because Kia’s made so many improvements to the Optima that Kia has decided to rename it as the K5. This renaming is quite necessary since, among other things, the 2021 K5 simply has a vastly improved interior than before.

The upgraded interior of the 2021 Kia K5

MotorTrend tested two different versions of the K5, the luxurious $32,000 EX trim and the middle-of-the-road $28,000 GT-Line trim. Both of these trims are more expensive than the standard $24,500 LX trim, but they also provided a lot of luxurious features to the interior of the K5.

For example, MotorTrend said that the interior of the EX trim felt closer to the interior of the Genesis G70, which is a very luxurious sedan. 

The EX trim has a lot of premium features such as a 10.3-inch touch screen display, heated and ventilated seats, a premium 12-speaker sound system, and a dash that uses synthetic wood that feels the same as real wood. The GT-Line trim, since it is less expensive, only has an 8.0-inch touch screen display, but still, it had a very luxurious interior, according to MotorTrend. 

That said, for the budget-conscious customers, MotorTrend also wrote that the K5’s standard LX trim was very good, too. The LX trim also has an 8.0-inch touch screen, and like the other trims, it also comes with a good infotainment system that’s fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Furthermore, due to the design of the interior, the K5 simply doesn’t look cheap, no matter the trim, according to MotorTrend. 

A spacious and comfortable car

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Power comes from within. #KiaK5

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Like MotorTrend wrote, the 2021 Kia K5 offers a lot of legroom and headroom, and not only that, but the K5 also comes with some comfortable seats, too. The EX features leatherette seats while the other trims come with cloth seats. That said, MotorTrend wrote that all of the K5’s seats felt supportive and comfortable to sit in. 

On top of that, the K5’s suspension system works really well, according to MotorTrend. Not only that, but due to the design of its chassis and its windows, MotorTrend also said that the K5’s interior is very quiet and comfortable to drive in. MotorTrend simply wrote, “The K5 is a pretty comfortable sedan.”

With that being said, MotorTrend only drove the K5 with its standard engine, which is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 180-hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.

Kia also offers a much more powerful engine, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 290-hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This engine may deliver a different feel to the K5, and as a result, MotorTrend is eager to test it in the future.

Is the 2021 Kia K5 worth it?

Like MotorTrend said, Kia has knocked it out of the park with the 2021 K5, and it’s worthy of its new name. Even though the standard K5 comes with fewer features than the upgraded trims that MotorTrend tested, it’s still worth its $24,500 price tag. 

That’s because the standard K5 also has the same attention to detail that its more expensive trims have, according to MotorTrend. It also comes with more than enough features that the regular customer would want, such as a dual-zone climate control system. 

When those standard features are combined with the other smart features that the K5 has as standard, which includes a forward-collision warning system and a lane following assist, MotorTrend said that the K5 has an amazing value for its price point


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