After fully debuting the exterior of the Kia K5 (still known as the Optima outside of South Korea, for now) in early November, the company now releases interior and powertrain details for the latest generation of the midsize sedan. It's worth noting that this info pertains to the South Korean market, so the details could change for other regions.

Gallery: 2020 Kia K5 (KDM Spec)

Folks in snowy climates should be happy to know that that new K5/Optima is available with all-wheel drive for some powerplants.  Front-wheel drive is still standard, and the automaker isn't yet specifying which engines are available with AWD.

Kia's announcement specifically notes two of the powertrains coming to the North American version of the K5/Optima. The 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder carries over from the existing model and still makes 178 horsepower (132 kilowatts) and 195 pound-feet of torque (265 Newton-meters) of torque.

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The big addition to the range is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the performance-oriented GT trim. This powerplant makes 286 hp (213 kW) and 311 pound-feet (422 Nm) of torque. Kia claims acceleration to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.6 seconds. The company also offers this engine with a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission or a traditional eight-speed automatic with a torque converter.

Depending on the market, the K5/Optima is also available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 150 hp (112 kW) and 142 lb-ft (192 Nm), a version of this engine with continuously-variable valve lift that pushes the output to 158 hp (118 kW) and 145 lb-ft (196 Nm), and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 191 hp (143 kW) and 181 lb-ft (246 Nm). These engines would be available with either a six- or eight-speed automatic, but the dual-clutch eight-speed unit appears exclusive to the GT model. There are also hybrid powertrains on the way, but Kia isn't offering details about them yet.

2020 Kia K5

Oddly, Kia is only providing a rendering of the new K5/Optima's interior but is willing to offer lots of details about it. The latest generation is available with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an optional 10.25-inch infotainment screen rises over the dashboard from the center stack. Buyers can specify an 8-inch head-up display, too.

Kia's large number of available active safety systems expands with the addition of Remote Smart Parking Assist. With this tech, a press on the key fob causes the vehicle to pull out of a parking spot autonomously.

The new K5 goes on sale in many of the company's markets in the first half of 2020. Look for the new K5/Optima to arrive in the United States in the latter half of 2020 as a 2021 model year vehicle. Rumors suggest Kia might unify its naming scheme and start calling the sedan K5 worldwide. reached out to Kia to learn whether this announcement was confirmation of the company using the K5 name in the United States. We received the following response: "KMA has made no official announcement and I can’t comment on future product other than to say the Optima is an important vehicle in Kia’s lineup and will continue to be, regardless of the badge."

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Introducing the all-new Kia K5 fastback sedan

Showcases future Kia design direction and a new fastback silhouette
Driver-focused interior with a wide range of class-above technologies
Powered by a range of efficient and powerful Smartstream engines
Debut for Kia’s new eight-speed DCT; AWD available for the first time in K5
One of the most high-tech cars in its class with a range of in-car features
On sale in global markets during the first half of 2020
The all-new Kia K5 is a fastback evolution of Kia’s global best-selling sedan, combining a striking new design with a driver-focused interior, cutting-edge technologies, and all-new powertrain options.

In addition to showcasing Kia’s future design direction, the Kia K5 is available for the first time with an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, in addition the standard front-wheel drive system. Power is provided by a choice of efficient gasoline ‘Smartstream’ engines, with the company’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission also making its debut in the K5.

Greater levels of cabin, high-tech safety features, and revised chassis characteristics mean the K5 is more relaxing, confidence-inspiring and engaging to drive than ever before.

Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Kia Motors Corporation, commented: “When we launched the K5 in 2010, it marked the dawn of a new era for Kia, with a design which heralded a step change in how the brand was perceived in markets all over the world. Now, two generations later, we believe the new K5 will do the same. With a fastback design, the new K5 is one of the sportiest cars that we have ever created; with its comprehensive range of cutting-edge technologies, revised engines and transmissions, and a luxurious new interior, it’s also one of the most advanced.

“The K5 won’t just play a central role in strengthening Kia’s presence in the global sedan segment. Almost a decade on from its game-changing predecessor, it also represents the latest milestone in Kia’s transformation into a creator of desirable, world-class cars.”

The new Kia K5 will go on-sale in many of the brand’s markets during the first half of 2020.

Exterior design

Sporty and svelte: the K5’s new fastback sedan silhouette

Presenting Kia’s next-generation design direction, the new K5 brings with it a new fastback sedan silhouette. It is one of Kia’s sportiest designs to-date.

Designed in collaboration between all three of Kia’s design studios in North America, Europe and Korea, the K5 marks a greater leap forward between generations than any of its predecessors.

The front of the car is characterized by an evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’, integrating its LED headlamps into the grille, with a ‘heart beat’ daytime running light signature expressing the raised levels of emotion the car is meant to inspire. The K5 features a more aggressive front, with the grille nestled beneath a subtle overhang on the hood’s leading edge, parenthesized by angular air curtains and a wider air intake in the lower half of the bumper.

In profile, the K5 displays a greater sense of muscularity, with the body narrowing slightly at the midpoint between wheel arches – inspired by the ‘coke bottle’ shape of the Stinger’s body. The shoulder line gradually rises, narrowing the glasshouse towards the rear of the car and giving the car a sportier, ‘lean-forward’ stance when viewed from the side. The K5’s proportions are key to its sportier attitude. While the height of the vehicle has been cut by 20 mm (to 1,445 mm), the car’s overall length has been extended by 50 mm (to 4,905 mm), its width by 25 mm (to 1,860 mm), and its wheelbase by 45 mm (to 2,850 mm). Longer, lower and wider than ever, the K5’s demeanor on the road is transformed into one of greater on-road stability and maximum driver engagement.

In addition to a distinctive crease that runs along the K5’s bodywork, the car also features a modern interpretation of the chrome window line that has historically adorned executive sedans. Lunging backwards from the base of the A-pillar and over the top edge of the glasshouse, it unifies the side and rear design by looping around the base of the rear screen, and back around the other side, adding greater drama to its flowing, fastback roofline.

Topped by this flash of chrome, the rear of the K5 also boasts a new lighting signature, with its predecessor’s standalone light units replaced by a new LED daytime running light which spans the width of the rear deck. The dashes of light that extend across the tailgate echo the ‘heart beat’ shape of the front lights, while a subtle ducktail shape to its rear deck is matched by a sportier lower bumper design and a chrome dual muffler design.

The K5 is available with a choice of 16-, 17- and 18-inch machine-cut aluminum alloy wheel designs and a wide range of paint colors.

K5 GT models will also be offered with a unique 19-inch wheel design, as well as more aggressive front and rear bumpers, special ‘GT’ badges, as well as dual twin exhaust tips.

Interior design

Driver-oriented cabin design with greater space

Elegant by design, and with a timeless, minimalist layout, the interior of the new K5 provides the driver and passengers with a peaceful retreat in which to spend time. The futuristic driver-oriented interior of the K5 is trimmed in a selection of tactile materials while the wide and horizontal symmetry creates a sense of space and harmony.

The wide dashboard shape is characterized by the integration of Kia’s latest infotainment systems, showing the next-generation design language that the brand will adopt across other models in the future. Replacing the infotainment screen integrated into the surface of the previous-generation’s dashboard, the new car sports a wide infotainment display which is physically attached to the instrument cluster in front of the driver. In certain models, the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen sits alongside Kia’s new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, displaying information clearly just below the driver’s line of sight over the road ahead.

Additional technologies are subtly integrated into the cabin of the K5, with an available Mood Lighting system, emitting soft ambient light from panels in the doors and crash pad, and wireless phone charging.

The K5 also features a powerful 12-speaker BOSE® surround-sound audio system for the ultimate immersive in-car listening experience.

Depending on market, the new K5’s cabin can be upholstered in a wide range of single- and two-tone color schemes, with cloth, synthetic leather and leather options. The dashboard is finished in a series of metallic and wood-effect surfaces for a more sophisticated appearance and feel, depending on vehicle specification.


Smartstream gasoline engines, new transmissions, and a new AWD system

The new K5 is available with a range of new ‘Smartstream’ powertrains from Kia, and – for the first time – a new all-wheel drive system. The powertrain of the K5 delivers greater confidence, greater efficiency and greater refinement in performance than ever.

One of the most important new introductions for the latest-generation K5 is the availability of a new all-wheel drive (AWD) system – the first time such a drivetrain has been offered on Kia’s D-segment sedan. Available with certain engines depending on market, the AWD system offers buyers enhanced dynamic capability in conditions where traction is reduced, shifting power to the rear axle based on driver inputs and road conditions. The K5 remains front-wheel drive as standard.

The K5 is available with a choice of gasoline engines. For customers in North America and Kia’s domestic Korean market, a new ‘Smartstream’ 1.6-liter T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine is available, featuring Kia’s new Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. CVVD regulates valve duration according to driving conditions, instead of operating on a fixed duration, boosting performance at low-to-mid engine speeds and boosting fuel efficiency. The 1.6-liter T-GDi engine works up to a peak 180 ps at 5,500 rpm, with a 265 Nm torque output across a wide range of engine speeds (1,500-4,500 rpm).

Depending on market, other engine options include a 2.0-liter MPI (multi-point injection) engine (152 ps, 192 Nm); a 2.0-liter engine with continuously-variable valve lift (CVVL) technology (160 ps, 196 Nm); and a 2.5-liter GDi engine (194 ps, 246 Nm).

In addition, the K5 GT – available in North America – is powered by a high-performance 2.5-liter T-GDi turbocharged gasoline engine, with power and torque outputs of 290 ps and 422 Nm, respectively. The 2.5-liter T-GDi engine is capable of powering the K5 GT from 0-to-100 kph in around 6.6 seconds. As powerful as it is efficient, the engine features Kia’s new-generation integrated thermal management system, maintaining ideal operating temperatures thanks to an intelligent cooling system for the engine block and cylinder head. In addition, the engine features a new dual-injection system, switching between MPI at low speeds, GDI at higher speeds, and a combination of the two in the mid-range, depending on operating conditions.

As with previous generations of K5, hybrid powertrain options will also be available.

All engines are paired as standard with six- or eight-speed automatic transmissions, while the 2.5-liter T-GDi engines are also available with Kia’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT). Designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic, the 8DCT enhances fuel efficiency over eight-speed automatic, depending on application.

The K5 offers a tailored driving experience thanks to its Drive Mode Select system, which enables drivers to adapt the car’s acceleration, steering and gear shift characteristics on the fly. ‘Smart’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Custom’ modes allow drivers to alternately maximize fuel efficiency, refine the handling experience, or enhance the responses of their vehicle to driver inputs.

Technologies and features

Cutting-edge connectivity and infotainment features

The K5’s suite of advanced safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies make it one of the most high-tech, comprehensively-equipped cars in its class. The range of features are designed to make driving safer and less stressful, providing total ease of use.

The K5’s voice recognition software allows drivers to use voice commands to control a range of features in the car, including climate control, electric windows, heating for the steering wheel, seats and rear glass, and the audio system. This new addition to the K5 allows drivers to keep two hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road ahead.

The cabin incorporates an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, incorporating audio-visual navigation, and Kia’s new 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster, providing crystal-clear information to the driver.

The K5 is also available with an 8.0-inch head-up display, which projects driving information on to a small glass panel in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s numerous driver assistance technologies, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

The K5 is available with a powerful 12-speaker BOSE® surround-sound audio system for the ultimate immersive in-car listening experience. A new ‘Sound of Nature’ ambient sound function for certain markets enables occupants to select from a range of relaxing natural soundscapes for the cabin.


Advanced driver assistance systems with new Remote Smart Parking Assist

The K5 boasts a range of passive and active safety and driver assist systems, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey. Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving.

Depending on market and vehicle specifications, the ADAS range in the new K5 includes Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) with Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist (BCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Highway Driving Assist (HDA).

Kia’s ‘level two’ autonomous driving technology, Lane Following Assist (LFA), controls steering depending on the vehicles in front. LFA uses camera to monitor road markings to keep the K5 in the centre of its lane. In addition, the K5 features a Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) and Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist (RCCA).

The new K5 is also the first Kia available with the company’s new Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which enables drivers to move their car autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob. This is designed to make it easier to get in and out of the car in tight parking spaces, or if another driver parks too close to access any of the doors.

The K5 is fitted with up to nine airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. All K5 models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.

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