UPDATE: 2021 Kia K5 name confirmed in fuel economy listing

Joel Stocksdale


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UPDATE: Additional Kia K5 fuel economy data has been added to the FuelEconomy.gov website. It includes two sets of fuel economy numbers for what seems to be front-wheel-drive trims of the 1.6-liter turbocharged K5. You can find those numbers in the updated text below. The website has also seemingly removed the numbers for the all-wheel-drive version, but those are still present in this article.

We've already seen Kia's new midsize family sedan, but details about it are still being fleshed out, including what it will finally be named. Based on a listing at the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website, it seems the sedan will officially be known as the 2021 Kia K5, dropping the old Optima name.

Besides the name, we also get snippets of information about one engine in multiple configurations. The engine in question is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, likely the same engine found in the Hyundai Sonata, which makes 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The Hyundai uses an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Kia probably will, too. With what is likely the front-drive model, the K5 will get 29 mpg in town, 38 on the highway and 32 combined. There's also a version that gets slightly worse economy at 27 in town, 37 on the highway and 31 in combined driving. It's probably a heavier, more well-equipped trim. Both versions do get better fuel economy than the Sonata with the same engine (27 city / 36 highway / 31 combined).

The third set of numbers is for the all-wheel-drive version, which will be unique to the Kia. According to the listing, it returns 26 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway and 29 in combined driving. Though all these numbers are for the 1.6-liter, there is another engine coming, which Kia has also previously said will be another turbocharged engine. It will probably be the 2.5-liter for the Sonata N-Line with 290 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

With the Kia K5's option for all-wheel drive, it will join a growing group of midsize sedans with the drivetrain: the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Fusion. Based on the engine size and output, this Kia K5 will be a direct competitor to the Altima and Camry, as well as the Legacy with the naturally aspirated engine. Depending on trim levels, the K5 ties or beats the Camry, which returns 28 to 29 mpg combined. The Altima returns 29 to 30 mpg combined depending on trim level, and the Legacy hits 30 mpg.

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