The 2022 Kia K5 is a midsize sedan on the road today. When it debuted last year as a replacement for the Kia Optima, the K5 impressed with its sharp styling and comfortable and quiet interior. Kia’s excellent warranty and a long list of standard and optional features for the money add to the K5’s appeal.
The 2022 Kia K5 has a sporty and premium feel you can’t find in most rivals. Certainly, there are some familiar alternatives here, including the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.
There’s also the Hyundai Sonata, which is mechanically related to the K5 and shares many of the same qualities. Still, the K5 stands slightly above the competition.
The 2022 Kia K5 is available in five trim levels: LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional for the LXS and GT-Line.
For 2022, all K5 models are affixed with Kia’s new logo, and there is a smattering of newly standard features across the lineup. The front-drive LXS now has rear-seat USB charge ports.
The GT-Line now offers a base all-wheel-drive trim, which essentially makes the system a $1600 option versus part of last year’s $3700 package. Most notably, the GT-Line and up now come standard with a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of the previous 8.0-inch unit.
All front-drive GT-Line models now have a wireless smartphone charger on the center console, too. The EX and GT both get a new 360-degree camera system, power-folding exterior mirrors, and front parking sensors.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Most 2022 Kia K5 models are motivated by a 180-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional, but not on the GT model.
The front drive, 180-hp K5 we drove demonstrated decent acceleration around town, and our testing revealed a 7.0-second trip to 60 mph. However, it was less impressive at highway speeds, where it needed extra time to execute passes.
Still, its dutiful transmission and well-insulated cabin helped ensure its engine noise rarely rose above a dull roar. The full-Monty GT model has a more powerful 2.5-liter turbo-four that generates 290 horses and 311 pound-feet of torque.
Along with its exclusive eight-speed automatic (with the same wet dual-clutch as the Hyundai Sonata N Line), the sportiest K5 is also fitted with bigger brakes, a unique suspension tune, and wider tires on larger 19-inch rims. The GT we drove sprinted to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 163 feet.
The Sonata N Line was slightly quicker to 60 mph (5.0 seconds) and stopped even shorter (152 feet). However, the hi-po Hyundai we tested wore optional summer tires (the Kia only comes with all-seasons) that contributed to its performance advantage.