The front and rear ends of the mid-size sedan are restyled with new daytime running lights, and the interior hosts a larger central touchscreen.
The big news is the new 191-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which takes over as the standard engine for all but the GT trim.
After first revealing the Korea-market car back in October, Kia revealed the U.S.-specification K5 sedan at the Chicago auto show today. Along with revised front and rear ends, the mid-size sedan gains new tech, more standard features, and a new engine for the base models.
Fewer Turbos, More Power
When Kia revealed the Korea-market K5 back in October, we professed that we weren't expecting any major changes to the mid-size sedan's powertrain. Unfortunately, we can't bat a thousand (please don't tell your friends; our ego is fragile), even though we strive to be as close as possible. Thankfully, while we were wrong, we're happy to report that the 2025 K5 is up on standard power.
Gone is the 180-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder previously found in most K5s. In its stead is a new (for the K5) 191-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder for all but the GT trim. The new engine still pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive is available, though only on the GT-Line. Unfortunately, the loss of a turbo has resulted in less torque, with the 2.5-liter engine producing 181 pound-feet compared to the old 1.6's 195.
The much more powerful GT returns with an unchanged powertrain. It's once again propelled by a 290-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-pot mated to an eight-speed wet dual-clutch automatic that it shares with the Hyundai Sonata N Line. The sportiest K5 features bigger brakes, a unique suspension tune, and wider tires on larger 19-inch rims.
A New Look
Just like the Korean version, the U.S. K5 adds new headlights and taillights for its restyled front and rear ends. The re-visioned front end incorporates new amber-colored daytime running lights carved into the K5's front end in a zigzag pattern. Around the back, the taillights are larger than before and slash downward into the bumper.
There's a plethora of new wheel choices as well, with the base LXS trim riding on a set of 16-inch wheels and the EX and GT-Line coming standard with unique 18-inch wheel designs. At the top of the lineup, the GT earns 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245/40R-19 Pirelli P-Zero rubber. The GT also gets a standard set of bright green brake calipers to match the seat stitching.
It's What's Inside That Counts
Speaking of seat stitching, the interior of the 2025 K5 is overhauled with new tech and a few quality-of-life improvements. Available as an option, the new 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster and new standard 12.3-inch central touchscreen can be stuffed behind a single piece of curved glass. Kia has added the wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features across the K5 lineup. The screen is also more responsive, and over-the-air updates are now possible.
Controls for HVAC and audio are updated to Kia's familiar one-screen, two-function format. The small screen toggles between the two functions, letting you change the A/C or volume with a single dial. Changes for 2025 are rounded out with a new center console that gets larger cupholders, a wireless charging pad, and USB-C ports for the front and rear.
Kia hasn't announced pricing yet, but we expect it to arrive in the coming months. Even with the new standard features, we aren't expecting to see a major jump over the 2024 model's $26,745 entry price.
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