By on June 30, 2020

kia

The name Americans have come to associate with Kia’s midsize family sedan is dead, but you probably knew that already. Hopefully you’ve recovered.

On Tuesday, Kia pulled the wraps off the U.S.-market K5, the automaker’s replacement for the long-running Optima (which carried the Magentis name in Canada until 2010). Riding atop a third-generation N3 platform, the midsizer grows in length, wheelbase, and width, while slouching closer to the road.

For the coming model year, Kia also saw fit to equip the newly renamed model with a more potent uplevel engine and all-wheel drive, but the liftback you might think exists behind the backseat is all in your head.

It’s a sedan, period. Don’t let the sloping, fastback-style roof line fool you.

Two inches longer than before, one inch wider, and 1.8 inches lengthier in wheelbase, the K5’s roof sits eight-tenths of an inch closer to the ground. The bland exterior of its Optima predecessor has given way to a chiseled skin with slender headlamps and a far bolder version of Kia’s corporate Tiger-nose grille. The sedan’s greenhouse now comes topped with a metallic strip that flows down the C-pillar to the trunklid.

kia

Out back, Kia could be accused of getting too busy with its fascia game, though in this day and age it’s perhaps a better option than not getting noticed at all. And full-width taillight arrays are so in right now.

With a stiffer body and a suspension setup redesigned for improved handling, Kia aims to put the K5 on the radar of those looking for a sporty-ish front-driver at a reasonable price. The former Optima, while a breath of fresh air, design-wise, upon its 2011 launch, lost something in its subsequent generation. Naturally, Camry and Accord stepped in to collect what midsize buyers remained in the segment.

Two engines are on offer: a turbocharged 1.6-liter (180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, up 2 hp from before) found in base LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX trims, mated to an eight speed automatic. Last year’s base 2.4-liter four-cylinder is gone. Meanwhile, the LXS and GT-Line can be ordered with all-wheel drive.

Kia

Move up to the range-topping GT and Hyundai Motor Group’s new turbocharged 2.5-liter appears, making 290 hp and 311 lb-ft. A “wet” dual-clutch with eight forward speeds is the only available transmission with this engine. In this guise, Kia has something to potentially persuade buyers to reconsider a possible Toyota or Honda purchase.

Inside, you’ll find a revised cabin that telegraphs its newly discovered refinement at every opportunity, as well as sport in GT-Line or GT guise (flat-bottom steering wheel? Check. Red piping? Ditto). The infotainment screen never measures less than 8 inches, with a 10.25-inch surface found on upper trims. That screen, however, can’t be had with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Elsewhere on the tech front, standard kit includes a host of safety aids. Among them, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, rear seat reminder, and forward collision warning. As you’ve probably assumed, optional safety aids span the gamut.

Expect pricing to be released closer to the model’s late summer on-sale date, though readers who might be tempted into considering a GT should know their ride won’t appear in showrooms until the fall.

Kia

[Images: Kia Motors]

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84 Comments on “2021 Kia K5: Pour One Out for the Optima, Then Forget...”


  • avatar
    Carrera

    Very nice, clean look. I like it better than the sad catfish look of the Hyundai Sonata.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I guess before everyone says they hate it I will go ahead and say I like…there I did it.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I like it as well, but I wouldn’t call it a gorgeous design, but it’s nice. An AWD GT sounds pretty good. Curious though how much Kia would charge? Higher than mid 30’s and we are in Stinger territory.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        thegamper: “An AWD GT sounds pretty good.”

        I’m not so sure the GT can be had with AWD from the way the write-up is written. Says AWD available on LXS and GT-Line. GT-Line is not the GT. The GT has the dual-clutch transmission and i’m not sure it’s set up for AWD. :(

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      I have yet to see anyone say they don’t like it. The aesthetics are getting positive reviews pretty much across the board.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Design wise I like the Sonata and K5. Can’t wait until the N-line and GT hit showrooms to see what the real world performance is and what the price is compared to the competitions hottest trims.

    However the Optima/K5 thing is stupid. At least be consistent – if the Korean K9 is going to be the K900 on this side of the Pacific then the Optima should have become K500 for consistency.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I do understand what you are saying but I would argue that for consistency they need to change the K900 back to the K9 and the Cadenza to the K7. However they should not touch the Elantra or the Accent.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      So, there is essentially a vehicle out there called the Kia Dog? LOL!!!

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        In Korea the “K900” as we know it is simply the “K9”. That alphanumeric combo doesn’t mean to them what they mean to us.

        Honestly I were to buy a Kia not call “Stinger” I’d likely debadge the model name and swap the North American “KIA” badges for the Korean ones.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      I’m also opposed to the new naming structure, albeit for different reasons. The whole reason for using an alphanumeric naming rather than actual names is to put the focus on the brand than the individual cars. For example, to most people “I drive a BMW” is more meaningful than “I drive a 335i”. BMW as a brand is a status symbol. On the flipside, “Camaro” and “Corvette” hold more cache than “Chevrolet”, so the full car names stay.

      Kia ain’t BMW. There’s nobody out there bragging to their friends that they drive a Kia. I know a few Stinger owners, and none of them ever refer to it as a Kia. It’s a Stinger, plain and simple, just like a Corvette is a “Corvette”, not a “Chevy”.

      Maybe Kia is trying to change that image, but they’ve got a long road to get there. Hope it works for them. Their new design language is freaking gorgeous.

  • avatar
    Hogey74

    This looks fine. And the specs look fine. These cars are in the sweet spot for value plus a little extra enjoyment. The Stinger also. I’ll be driving manuals until electrics are prevalent but I recommend Kia and Hyundai all the time for decent, reliable transport with a little extra comfort.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Is it a K5 so they can have common model names worldwide?

    Otherwise it reeks of the GM forget how bad the Vega/Chevette/Cavalier/Cobalt/Cruze was and try our new flavor.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    There’s only one K5 in the auto world and this ain’t it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Last year’s base 2.4-liter four-cylinder is gone.”

    That’s big news. Although I’m a H/K partisan, the 2.4 engine goes back to antiquity, and it’s never been smooth. Not to mention the million or so that got recalled for potential residual machining chips.

    The 2.5T sounds interesting.

    And I still like the face; Hyundai went weird with the Sonata’s nose.

    But the K5 name is stupid; “Optima” has credibility.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Who said, they can’t screw up machining in 1.6?

      But for me, turbo is a deal breaker. And no MT… but then I repeat myself

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Oh boy is this timely. Back in 2017 we replaced my wife’s faithful appliance of an 07 Tucson with a new Santa Fe. She wanted a CRV, I talked into the Santa Fe based on it being larger, nicer, and a better deal money wise based largely on our good experience with the Tucson.

      Got the 2.4 because the Turbo was a new motor and she keeps her cars typically so reliability wise the 2.4 seemed like the safe bet. Changed the oil with Penzoil ultra platinum every 5k. Documented it with photos and used quality filters. Around 20k, my wife said it had a sort of tapping noise. I listened and figured it was the direct injection. However the next time I drove it I heard something that sounded metallic at the drive through. Got under it and noticed an audible tap on the bottom end.

      Dealer claimed it was normal. Another 10k and it is consuming oil from 1-2 quarts per change interval. Dealer did a “consumption test” and said it was in specs. between 40k-to 48.5k it used from 3 to 3.5 quarts (I went early on the last one because the tapping was so loud I was curious if the oil would look like glitter). Contacted the dealer and they said they needed to test it again. I said I’ve heard these were recalled. He said mine wasn’t affected. I showed him the recall notice for the knock sensor modification to detect bearing wear. He claimed to not know but thought it was just for better drivability. I asked him to come out on the lot and show me any used 2.4’s in stock that sounded like they had a gorilla with a crowbar living in the oil pan. He said they had to follow the process. I said I wouldn’t put my wife in that car anymore and went and traded for a Honda Passport which I should have gotten in the first place (or a Pilot…don’t think the Passport was out yet).

      The Santa Fe was mediocre at best, engine aside. Problems with the washer’s leaking, funky AC smells, and a couple of other weird for a car that age service visits. And of course, it seeming to need a motor at 48,500 miles.

      I have owned legitimately some terrible cars. But I could probably get 48,500 relatively trouble free miles out of a freaking E65 7 Series BMW. Heck the cars I lease because I don’t trust them I trust beyond that.

      There is a reason these Hyundai/Kia cars are priced cheaply. You get what you pay for. I can honestly say, it is the worst vehicle I have ever owned (and that includes a 300 dollar Alfa 75). I know they are the trendy car on here nowadays, but I’d have been miles ahead with a freaking Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, or any of the other popular to flog cars on these forums. Would they have been great long term? Probably not but would they have gone over 48,500 miles? Most Likely.

      Anyway never again with the Korean garbage. That H on the grill most certainly DOES NOT make it a budget Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This has always been my impression of Hyundai/Killed In Action products, but I usually hold my tongue so as to not insult.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I can’t speak for the entire lineup or everyone’s experience but anecdotally mine has been okay and the places that compile stats don’t seem to show them as especially bad.

          I’d say If you’re willing to buy something like a Nissan or Chevy or Subaru then I wouldn’t be afraid of an H/K/G product. If you’re a loyal Corolla or Lexus owner then it’s maybe a little shaky.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            But I am mostly a Ford guy who just leased a freaking Dodge.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            You had personally bad experience though.

            I went from a Dodge to Kia because my Charger’s interior was melting and it was a crapshoot on if it would start. So it can go plenty of ways among brands.

            Barring some kind of payola scandal I think if H/K/G products were uniquely or statistically worse than the other mainstream manufacturers then it would be showing up in places that track those things.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Never would have said this in 2005, but I’d put Hyundai/Kia on par with Nissan and Chevrolet at this point (excluding trucks of course as H/K doesn’t offer them).

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        The moral of your story – get Mazda. I tested Santa-Fe but it was just fake. Everything felt artificial. The start-stop, the lane keep, the fabric on the seats, the plastic on the dash – it was like a cheap mold. Highlander is not much but you can tell that plastic has a better grain. Upholstery is thicker. Lane keep is not as intrusive. Start-stop not included (thanks). And a V6 sound – unmistakable.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I like the Mazda’s, but the Passport just seemed to get the equation right. It is wider inside and just does everything right. Given the experience I had with the Hyundai that reliable Honda SOHC V6 was a good selling point.

          She is the opposite of me. I lease so I barely look at long-term reliability. She keeps her cars a decade plus typically so honestly I should have been buying known quantities from Honda or Toyota all along.

          Tried to save a buck and got burned. Honestly though had they just put her in a loaner while they diagnosed and fixed it I’d probably still have it but I didn’t really see why my wife driving it on road trips to see her mother hours away should be part of any troubleshooting given it was ongoing. I did OK on the trade so no loss and she got a car she is happier with anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            I’ll bet they wholesaled the Santa Fe, and it ended up on a BHPH lot, especially if they weren’t able to get a Hyundai dealer to replace the engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            [email protected] But they have a Honda franchise in a town up the road so they can likely make that happen since it is still in the warranty range.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            Ah, Art. So now you know that Honda builds glass V6 engines that are designed to last the warranty period (maybe), but not much more.

            You try to toss it away with “yeah, well, you can tune out the VCM”. That’s not the point. The point is, you proclaim Honda as being the pinnacle of engineering excellence–when nothing could be further from the truth.

            Honda puts out junk to the world. You had a lemon Hyundai/Kia, and you went from that frying pan right into the Honda fire–and you’re desperate to have the world believe that you’re not hot at all in there.

            Nothing you can say will put to rest the Civic Hybrid battery debacle, the glass transmissions (not one model, but TWO models), the cylinder-burning VCM, the horrible CVTs, the gasoline in the oil…

            You’re no better off with your Honda than you were before.

            So now that I’ve pointed it out how bad VCM is, you went out and bought a mod to deactivate it (you’re welcome). Tell me, what other land mines are under the hood of your Honda just waiting to go off, hmmmmm?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So I had the VCM delete ordered before I purchased the car. Again, I don’t know of any maker that gets it right but it has become a necessary evil in today’s regulatory environment. Like I said, I’d tune it out on anything to include the Dodge had I gotten an auto and that’s a lease.

            I never said they were the pinnacle of engineering…just that it was a far safer bet than my Hyundai. Do you honestly think it too will fail prior to 50k? She will probably do about 120k in a decade and all indications are it should be fine. Again, objective data says I should be better off. Nobody cares about your butthurt nor do I care about your thoughts on my purchase. I will not buy another Hyundai because it was terrible. The Honda could be too, but most Pilots and Passports seem to be reliable. I don’t care about decade old Civic Hybrids because frankly, I’m not poor.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Good luck with that Honda, Art.

        The simple fact is, Honda lost its way 20 years ago–and it’s gotten worse every year. As the Koreans move up, Honda moves down in an effort to match those prices.

        Hondas are junk now. I’ve had years of experience with this, and Honda’s path is plain for anyone in the know.

        At this point, it’s quite simply that you might as well buy what you want from a feature standpoint–because you can’t protect yourself by trading features off for reliability. If it’s not Honda’s transmissions, then it’s their variable cylinder management. Or their CVTs. Or their gasoline in the oil. And so on.

        Honda gained a reputation by being the best at engineering a lightweight, 4 cylinder, manual transmission car back in the 80s when so many others were just learning how to downsize (and failing miserably at it). Starting in MY1998, with the V6 Accord (and MY1999 with the derivative full size Odyssey), Honda exposed themselves as being no better than GM was at trying small cars.

        Just because Honda’s star shined brightly at an opportune time, doesn’t mean they’re the hallmark of engineering excellence. That ship sailed a long time ago, and with the arrival of the Koreans any thought of going back to engineering excellence got squashed by the marketing department and the bean counters who were desperate to make a feature/price point that matched the Koreans.

        Apparently, Honda never learned the lesson that one should lead the market–that to react to someone else means you automatically lose.

        I’d buy a VW long before I’d buy a Honda now. (In fact, I did.)

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I don’t find forums full of failed 3.5 SOHC Honda V6 motors. The same cannot be said for the Hyundai Theta. Like I said, even if I wrote it off to just being unlucky with the motor, the rest of the car was mediocre.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I agree [generally] what was said about Honda. I developed full dislike of Honda over the years. I tried Acuras – low quality stuff. I can make a long list of faults if anyone would be interested. For that 3.5L specifically – oh yes! They had issues. My boss had his rebuilt. Also, they have $800 timing belt for long term users. Toyota also was producing junk engines for years. They would work fine for 120K and after that this is fail. So, when they have those surveys, everything is great. But I bet, they don’t survey when your car is 10 years old. I admit, I burnt on 4cy Highlander. Not badly but still.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I know people with over 120k on them and at this point 120k is better than 48k so I’ll roll the dice as much as buying a Honda is “rolling the dice”

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            V6 120K should be nothing. Best car/engine I know, considering long term wear of different things, oil burning etc – 2010-13 non-skyactiv Mazda3 with 2L. One of mine has ~155K. Does not burn any oil. Shocking. All my 4 cyl cars at this mileage needed something. Especially Honda Civic. While Highlander simply had flawed engine design.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            agreed @Salvuta. But then again 50k should be nothing for any motor, yet there I was.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            You don’t find such forums because you’re not even trying–because it suits you NOT to find these things.

            VCM is what kills those motors. That came after Honda’s TWO SEPARATE attempts at a transmission to hook to the V6, each attempt a failure until they acknowledged–after 6 years–that they couldn’t do it on the cheap like they tried.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            It’s like 80 bucks to tune out the VCM (yep, read those forums after all), and a far easier task that dealing with the dealer for a new motor. I would tune out cylinder deactivation on any car I own that had it. This is no exception. The other faults noted were worked out over the production run. And I mean actually fixed…not “let’s modify the knock sensor to detect bearing failure and warn the driver that this motor we’ve been building since the Nixon administration is failing prematurely again.” Cousins brothers boss’s friends accounts aside, according to objective data my odds of this car lasting the length of time my wife wants to keep it are far better than the Hyundai it replaced.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Ohhhh…I missed you owned a VW. Yeah that was the car the Hyundai eclipsed on my crap car meter for top spot. Yeah it took me a while to realize what reliability actually was after a couple GTIs and a Jetta. GTFOH with your nonsense and sell your crazy elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            You know, Art, I hear you on VW’s reputation. Follow me on this.

            After watching Honda destroy itself, and being an unwilling participant thereof, I decided with great deliberation that every manufacturer is just as good and bad as every other manufacturer.

            Given that, I deliberately chose a GTI. My first non-Honda purchase ever, it drives way better than any Honda ever has. And I decided, quite deliberately, that if I have to put up with unscheduled repairs and crappy quality as Honda has exhibited in its vehicles anymore, I would much rather roll the dice on a significantly better driving car.

            Turns out, I stumbled into what appears to be the sweet spot in VW’s world. 2016-2020 Golf family, especially GTI and R, have it all sorted out.

            My 2017 GTI is so good and trouble free that I did something I found myself amazed at: I bought a second one. Used. I bought a 2018 GTI S for my daughter. It was a very friendly price, AND it came chock full of The People’s Warranty–6 years/72K miles.

            Again, Art, I’m never again going to be lulled into “oh, it’s a Honda, they’re SO good and reliable.” If Honda wants to put out junk transmissions, engine-destroying VCM and gasoline-filled oil sumps and similar, and so on, let them. Anyone else is no more or less likely to be just as bad. In the meantime, I’m going to get cars that thrill me–with no compromises.

            THAT’S the fact anymore.

            That my GTI shows absolutely NO signs of being crappy quality so far, 45K miles and almost 3 years later, is a bonus and a pleasant surprise.

            And I don’t have to suffer Honda telling me that “oh, yeah, well, gasoline in your oil…hmmmm…well, just change the oil more often. Problem solved.” (If you doubt that that’s their answer, look it up.)

      • 0 avatar
        rockit

        Thanks Art for your story, this site otherwise is “Truth About Hyundai”.

        There is an obvious bias on this site and it should be confirmed if Hyundai is involved

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I bet if you replace “Wife’s Santa Fe” with “My F150” there would be a lot fewer brand defenders lol. It is chugging along fine BTW.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Art, did you say “garbage”?

        https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/06/10/honda-cr-v-mark-baranski-not-welcome-joliet-dealership-invoice/

        CHICAGO (CBS) — A Joliet man trying to get a known defect on new SUV fixed received a rude message from his Honda dealer.

        Honda of Joliet wrote “NOTWELCOME” as Mark Baranski’s middle name on the service invoice.

        Branski bought a 2019 Honda CR-V in December for more than $34,000. He doesn’t drive it much – approximately 1,800 miles so far – but said “it’s had the oil changed twice now, because of the smell of gasoline.”

        The first time, his SUV had to be towed in. The dealer noted a misfire fault code resulting from the oil level reading too high.

        “About 40 miles an hour, the vehicle just cut off. No power. All the lights started flashing on there,” Baranski said.

        Less than two weeks later, according to Baranski, the CR-V backfired, creating a big cloud of black smoke.

        “They said the vehicle needs to be driven more,” Baranski said.

        The service report from Honda of Joliet said they could not duplicate the problem, and contacted the tech line, and were told “vehicle needs to [be] driven more.”

        “That’s obviously not an acceptable solution,” said Jeff Plungis, an automotive expert for Consumer Reports magazine. “It’s not reasonable to tell people that they can’t drive it the way you’re used to driving in a car.”

        Plungis has written extensively about issues with the CR-V.

        “The concern that people have is that the oil is mixing with gasoline, and it’s diluting the oil, and that could end up damaging the engine over time,” Plungis said.

        Baranski even got his oil tested at his own expense by an independent laboratory. The test showed 3.8 percent fuel in his oil, nearly double the normal 2 percent it should be.

        “That’s enough to be considered an issue,” the lab said in its report.

        Honda has put together a video about the CR-V, called “Understanding Engine Oil Level Increase,” urging drivers to visit their dealer with any questions about their oil levels.

        But when Baranski tried to get help from Honda of Joliet, he was given a service invoice that listed his middle name as “NOTWELCOME.”

        “I was taken back. I was appalled. I found it a bit disturbing,” Baranski said. “It didn’t make me feel good at all.”

        Honda also sent a note to dealers in April about “Engine Oil Dilution Durability Concerns,” offering to extend warranties.

        “These are very narrowly targeted actions, and they also only apply if you know the right questions to ask. If you go into the dealer and say he magic word, then you’ll get this extra coverage,” Plungis said. “If it were just like a straight recall, then it would be much more widely publicized, and people would know about the problem, and there would be a much greater chance it would actually be taken care of.”

        The Honda video, memo, and the oil issue previously were thought to only apply to earlier models; and to have been fixed by 2019. Now it appears that might not be the case.

        “That would suggest that Honda hasn’t actually gotten to the bottom of it,” Plungis said.

        “I’m trying to spread this message. I want the consumers to know what they’re doing,” Baranski said.

        Honda of Joliet said Baranski was harassing, used foul language, and was physically aggressive. Baranski denied acting inappropriately.

        The corporate office sent a statement which said it “regrets any distress that has been caused to Mr. Baranski related to his recent purchase.”

        Honda promised a company representative would reach out to Baranski.

        WHICH brand is “garbage” again, Art?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The 1.6 and 2.5 are both from the new engine family. So I would wait 2-3 years on it.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The 2.4 Theta II engine definitely had its problems. It makes decent power (my daughter’s 2012 Forte Koup SX has one), but it’s thirsty.

      I’m not sure I’m onboard with going all-in on forced induction.

  • avatar
    Eaststand

    its a good looking audi a5

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Peter Schreyer’s influence continues.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        Well, Schreyer’s still there at Hyundai Group even as Donckerwolke left Genesis to pursue whatever it is he needed to pursue back in Europe earlier this year. They gave Schreyer the equivalent of professor emeritus title a few years ago. To quote Wikipedia:

        “In November 2018 Schreyer was replaced by Luc Donckerwolke as the chief design officer at Hyundai-Kia; his title was updated to “President of design management for Hyundai Motor Group”, responsible for the group’s long-term design vision.”

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    10/10 will take a HARD look at this to replace my GTI.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I like what I’m seeing and hearing but be careful. I went from a 2011 GTI to an Accord Sport 6-speed in 2015. I was thinking I would gain practicality and keep driving excitement.

      Well, the Accord served me well and reliably but it really dropped my enthusiasm for cars down a few notches. It was no comparison to the GTI. I was glad to get rid of it this spring for a Veloster N.

      Once you get used to a hot hatch it is very difficult to feel the love for a family sedan. Well, sedan. Families all buy crossovers now it seems.

  • avatar

    K5 is the another step towards the New Normal setting forth on its final voyage through a dying world.

  • avatar
    eng_alvarado90

    What was wrong with the Optima nameplate?
    Recent North American car history has taught us alphanumeric names don’t work very well, the sole exceptions being Lexus and German luxury brands which have used those nameplates for decades. Just look at Cadillac, what kind of brand recognition you get when you switch everything to CTsomething or XTsomething.
    Kia has the K900, it hasn’t been a runaway success, now they are rebranding a good equity nameplate (Optima) to K5? Good luck and wash away the brand recognition with it.

    Kia could actually name it K5 on other markets where they have other K named cars like the K7 (Cadenza) and leave the Optima nameplate alone where it’s got good recognition.

    Ranting aside, I like the car. I would pick this over the Sonata solely on looks.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Buyer Beware. These cars are cheap and you get what you pay for. Never Again.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My experience is the opposite.

      My one Honda was a lemon from Day 1 (including a lemon law suit), but my 6 H/K cars have ranged from pretty good to excellent.

      My son’s 2011 2.4 has gone 100k trouble-free, since it’s in the majority that weren’t messed up by Hyundai’s supplier. The engine in your wife’s car was certainly replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        My oldest daughter’s 2012 Forte Koup SX (2.4 Theta II) is at 141,000 miles. My middle daughter’s 2014 Forte LX Sedan (1.8 Nu MPI with Popular Package that adds alloy wheels, power windows, and other goodies) is at 122k.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I dunno, Art, my S.O. has had four Hyundais, and two of them have gone well over 100,000 miles with very few issues. Her current car is at almost 80,000, and has been almost trouble-free.

      (Knock on wood, of course…)

      Her experience has been good enough that I had no problem recommending an Elantra hatch for my daughter’s first car.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Well in my experience the knock wasn’t on wood…it was within the oil pan at 48k. Your mileage may vary.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Indeed it might. The problem with the engine in your car is actually pretty well known, and I also would shy away from ANYTHING of theirs with a dry-clutch DCT (the issues are similar to the ones with Ford’s, the only difference being Hyundai didn’t pop out something like a million cars with an awful transmission).

          But otherwise, everything I’ve seen indicates H/K reliability is pretty damn solid lately.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The problems with earlier ones were documented and chocked up to the metal from machining. It seems like there is something else going on with them. I am a Ford fan personally, so I get the whole this one is OK but avoid that one shopping mentality and even with Honda I avoided the 1.5T in the CRV, but they built those Theta motors for ever and even at the end of the run they were no good. They obviously knew since they wanted to modify the knock sensor to detect worn out bearings.

            I am extra salty for sure because it literally all came to a head yesterday. And the newer models have nicer interiors than the Santa Fe which was toward the end of the run for that model. I just don’t see much to recommend them over the established players and justify the lovefest on these forums. I drove a Veloceter N…It was like 85 percent of a Type R Civic at 75 percent of the price. That works out for many folks, but that has been Hyundai’s M.O. for well over a decade now and everyone claims that now they have caught up to the Japanese. I don’t see it. Besides, the whole “Avoid these motors and don’t get that transmission” is way more akin to my Domestic purchases than my Japanese purchases and plunking motors with known issues that cause catastrophic failures for a decade is downright German.

            And again, first year twin turbo motor in a first year body style Ford and my only issues have been door latch recalls. I will be salty for a long time.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          Wait until that claymore airbag in the Honda knocks on your nose.

          Until 3 years ago, I had a 2002 Odyssey and a 2013 ILX. I think each one of them was in the shop 4 times for airbag recalls. What, the first recall wasn’t right?

          Credit where it’s due, though–when the part wasn’t available for me, Honda rented me a car until it was available so that I didn’t have to drive my faulty car.

          Of course, they didn’t do that out of the goodness of their hearts. They got caught by regulators trying to ignore/deny the airbag issue, and this was their mea culpa. M-B used the same Takata land mines, yet they saw no need to provide rentals during the parts shortage.

          I drove their free rental for 6 weeks.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I don’t buy used so Takata airbag issues are of no concern to me. I am also not buying a used Civic Hybrid or any hybrid so why do I care.

            As has been pointed out, cylinder deactivation is the only potential issue here. I plan to eliminate it. It is a great vehicle from a comfort and use perspective.

            But apparently I stirred up a hornets nest akin to jumping on a Tesla forum and claiming to have bad paint on my car. People love Hyundai’s here. I’m pointing out mine was literally the worst vehicle I have ever owned. Maybe I’m an outlier (my Ecoboost F150 meets EPA mileage so it’s possible). Your mileage may vary.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          @Art Vandelay: “but they built those Theta motors for ever and even at the end of the run they were no good. They obviously knew since they wanted to modify the knock sensor to detect worn out bearings.”

          You mean, just like Honda knew about their junk Civic Hybrid batteries, and “solved” the problem with a software update that…caused the batteries to be used signficantly less?

          The result, of course, was that the Civic Hybrid owner ended up with a car that got no better gas mileage than a cheaper, non-hybrid Civic. And all Honda really did was massage things so that the battery lasted the warranty period.

          Let’s talk about that Honda engineering excellence that’s on the showroom floors, shall we?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Hyundai “solved” a bearing failure issue with a software update, so seems plausible.

            Again, I didn’t buy a hybrid…why would I care?

            The Hyundai purchase was made against some red flags based on my prior positive experience. I got burned. Why would I not go elsewhere and again, objective data says the Honda is a safe bet.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            @Art Vandelay: “Again, I didn’t buy a hybrid…why would I care?”

            The discussion wasn’t “Art bought a hybrid”. The discussion was your disgust with “we solved it in software” combined with your glowing approval of Hondas, combined with Honda “solving” their junk engineering with a software update that pretty much did nothing for the consumer and everything for Honda. Hey, look–the fault lights stopped coming on! Yay! Of course the fault lights stopped coming on–because Honda significantly disabled the battery overall.

            Honda engineering excellence at play.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            My disgust was that the bearings were wiped out at 48k. This is not an issue that has cropped up with the Honda V6. Hence my general optimism on the purchase. Then again, I’d expect a Yugo to go 48k.

            You spend your money how you want. It’s a Hyundai thread and I just unloaded a junker. Your mileage may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Buyer Beware. These cars are cheap and you get what you pay for. Never Again.”

      That’s almost what one says nowadays about Honda vehicles. Except with Honda, you overpay for what you get.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Naa. Palisade goes for more than the Passport and I have no need for a third row and no desire to see if Hyundai got it right this time.

        Honestly if I wanted to roll the dice reliability wise I’d have gone with the Explorer. I didn’t want to do that though.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Art Vandelay

    A Dodge Journey is a terrible vehicle. Hyundai’s are great cars-My wife has 34,000 on her 2017 Santa Fe XL-and the 3.3 has a great reputation as one of the best motors to come out of Korea.

    BTW-the new Palisade and Telluride and hot sellers….

    • 0 avatar
      imnormlurnot

      Over the last 10-12 years we’ve had an Accent, Hyundai Genesis, 2 Genesis Coupes, and an Optima. Nothing more than normal maintenance, except for an a/c compressor after 85k miles. Good solid cars in our experience – considering another one (G80) as our next purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Well my experience was not the same and I can’t imagine the Journey being worse.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ah yes the brilliant Cadillac strategy, flush any positive marketability of your model’s name and go numeric.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Fastback glass = tiny trunk lid. It might be a huge trunk, but you’ll never get anything of size in or out. No wonder the sedan is dying.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    This could well mark the end of the mid-size sedan from Kia. It has all the features of the other now-dead offerings:
    1. Swoopy roofline leaving the rear seat near-useless for anyone except small children. Check.
    2. Mail-slot trunk access, leaving the storage area nearly unusable. Check.
    3. Switch the name from a well-recognized name to a random combination of letters and/or numbers. Check.

    Sit back and watch sales dwindle…..

  • avatar
    amwhalbi

    OK, I’ll jump in on H/K. On my second Sonata (2015), and with exception of a faulty battery replaced 1 month in, it has been golden. 72,000 miles and regular maintenance – no problems whatsoever. My 2009 had 105,000 on it when I traded it, and it was essentially trouble free. They are not quite as fun to drive as my 3 previous Accords, but overall I like them, particularly the 2015. I have an outstanding dealer maintenance department, so maybe that’s part of my good experience. I do like the look of the the new Kia “whatever” better than the new Sonata, FWIW.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I have owned a bunch of Fords that made 100k with no trouble. My F150 is over 70 with no trouble. I’m not sure 100k trouble free has the meaning it had back in the 80s. Almost anything will get there. Just my Santa Fe didn’t get to half that hence I am salty. People still won’t buy GM because their great aunt had a terrible X body 40 years ago. I had a Hyundai that literally failed fewer miles in than my 300 dollar 80’s Alfa Romeo. Furthermore people talk about how great they are and even taking the motor out of the equation, it was not great. Your mileage may vary, but I won’t be back.

      • 0 avatar
        amwhalbi

        Art. I agree that 100K isn’t as high a hurdle to clear as it was in the 80’s. That said, for me anyway, the likelihood of my driving a car well past 100K is not high. So for me, if most cars will satisfactorily reach that plateau, then my buying criteria will likely be 3 things : maintenance cost during the 100K miles, projected resale value, and most of all, how well it provides the characteristics/features I want/need while I have it. My Sonatas (like my Accords before them) have done a good job of succeeding at fulfilling my criteria. Maybe another brand/model would have done it better, but that doesn’t diminish my satisfaction with my Hyundais.

        I do understand anyone who has a bad experience with a particular car/brand and won’t touch them thereafter. I had an ’81 Skylark with a 4 spd manual, and in 71,000 miles, I replaced the clutch 3 times. My brother in law bought it knowing it’s history, and put 3 more clutches in it over 40K before he finally retired it. I still have difficulties even looking at a Buick, although I know they are entirely different cars today.

  • avatar
    amwhalbi

    OK, I’ll jump in on H/K. On my second Sonata (2015), and with exception of a faulty battery replaced 1 month in, it has been golden. 72,000 miles and regular maintenance – no problems whatsoever. My 2009 had 105,000 on it when I traded it, and it was essentially trouble free. They are not quite as fun to drive as my 3 previous Accords, but overall I like them, particularly the 2015. I have an outstanding dealer maintenance department, so maybe that’s part of my good experience. I do like the look of the the new Kia “whatever” better than the new Sonata, FWIW.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The Optima was “bland”? I beg to differ, that car was a revelation for Kia and remains a head-turner. Peter Schreyer was poached from Audi to revamp their image and succeeded.

    • 0 avatar
      MKizzy

      I agree the current (and last ever) Optima is still sharp looking. Auto journalist 101 is to badmouth the prior generation of any vehicle when describing the shiny new model.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    I like it, and I’m especially curious about the AWD GT version with the 2.5T. It’s bigger than I’d like, but I’ll want to test one when it’s available.

    But I’m more interested in whether the K5’s new base safety tech and 2.5T/8DCT will also appear in the base GT-Line Stinger for 2021. Some reports say the Stinger will get the 2.5T/8DCT drivetrain, but possibly just in North America. These upgrades could make the GT-Line a compelling proposition, which it isn’t with the 2.0T and without some of the basic safety tech.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    The K5 is sharp. However, why won’t these automakers just take the plunge and design their sedans with a proper hatch? Buick’s half-baked attempt of an overpriced and under-equipped Regal should not be the last time we see a sportback on these shores.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Why would they make it lower to the ground in a CUV crazed taller is better world? I’m also surprised they aren’t offering the 191 HP 2.5 seeing as they spent the money developing it for the one Sonata application.

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