- the next-generation of kia's mid-size sedan may be called k5 instead of optima.
- it will offer all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, according to an epa filing.
- the 2021 kia k5 should go on sale later this year.
it looks like kia is abandoning the optima name for its next-generation mid-size sedan, according to an epa filing for the new 2021 model. the redesigned version slated to arrive later this year will instead be called the kia k5 to match the name it uses in korea. when we drove the korea-spec k5 late last year, kia had hinted that this name change could happen, citing global marketing reasons. in the u.s., kia has offered a mid-size sedan named optima for four generations over two decades.
the official epa fuel-economy ratings, first spotted by motor trend, also confirm that the 2021 kia k5 will offer an all-wheel-drive option in the u.s. the single model listed has a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. this same engine makes 180 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque in the related hyundai sonata sedan, which does not offer awd (yet).
kia has not yet confirmed the name change for the u.s. market, and also isn't saying if other u.s. models will be renamed to match the k5. in korea, kia's other sedan offerings use k names, too: what we know as the forte is called the k3, the cadenza is the k7, and the k900 is the k9.
we expect to hear more about the new k5 within the next few months, as kia should release more u.s. information ahead of its launch here by the end of the year.