2021 Kia K5 name confirmed in fuel economy listing

Joel Stocksdale

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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 a snippet of information about one powertrain configuration. The one listed is with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and all-wheel drive. According to the listing, it returns 26 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway and 29 in combined driving. This is 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. But all-wheel drive will be a unique feature to the Kia. Kia has also previously said there will be another turbocharged engine, probably 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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