New Model News

Kia changes Optima name to K5 for the U.S. in 2021, gives it turbos under hood

Kia is changing the name of the Optima for the 2021 model year, aligning it with what the car is called overseas.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The change is official. Kia is changing the name of its Optima mid-size sedan to the K5 for the U.S. market for the 2021 model year. Additionally, the car is getting a host of exterior and interior upgrades. The Optima is called the K5 overseas.

Kia will sell the K5 in LX, LXS, GT-Line, EX, and GT models. The first four will be available this summer. The K5 GT will go on sale in the autumn.

The car's design isn't new. The model debuted in Korea last year. What is new is the packaging for the U.S.

2021 Kia K5 A dashed LED light across the deck lid is available.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The exterior of K5 GT-Line and GT models features a shark skin-inspired mesh design on the front grille and dual chrome exhaust tips. All models have the company's new signature daytime running lights and taillights. LED taillights with dashes that span the deck lid are available. A new gloss black appliqué is on the rear glass. The K5 rides on fresh 16-, 18-, or 19-inch alloy wheels depending on trim level. Models with 18- or 19-inchers are equipped with Pirelli P-Zero tires.

K5 LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX models come standard with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The K5 GT gets a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and makes 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. That is significantly more horsepower than what you'll get from the turbo-four in the base model Kia Stinger but less than what comes from the Stinger's available twin-turbo V6.

2021 Kia K5 Most models will have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder power plant.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

LXS and GT-Line models are available with all-wheel drive. The system is front-wheel drive based, which is a first for a Kia sedan. All-wheel drive will not be available until late 2020.

Kia is giving the K5 Normal, Smart, Sport, and Custom drive modes in most models, which adjust engine, transmission, drivetrain, and steering mapping to provide the desired experience. The K5 GT gets Sport+ mode. All-wheel drive models have Snow mode.

Inside, the car features unique highlights including an aircraft-like shift knob, optional red leatherette upholstery, available satin chrome metallic and wood-like finishes, a panoramic sunroof, and a flat-bottom steering wheel (GT-Line, GT only).

The K5 comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment touch screen. A 10.25-inch touch screen is available. Opting for the larger screen will get you available navigation, multi-phone Bluetooth capability, and user profiles for mirror placement, seat settings, and radio settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only available on models with the smaller screen.

2021 Kia K5 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

A Bose 7 Premium sound system is available. It comes with 12 high-performance speakers.

Additionally, wireless smartphone charging is available, now with a cooling fan. Natural language voice recognition, remote start with climate control, and a hands-free trunk is available. Buyers can also get a Sound of Nature ambient system. This system is also available on the Kia Seltos.

2021 Kia K5 The cabin is outfitted quite nicely for a mass market model.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Rear Occupant Alert is standard and joins a long list of standard and available safety and driver assist technologies that includes forward collision warning, driver attention warning, lane follow assist, forward collision avoidance assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, reverse parking distance warning, parking collision avoidance assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, highway driving assist, and safe exit assist.

The Kia K5 will be assembled alongside the Sorento and Telluride at Kia's West Point, Georgia plant.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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