Kia likely killing Optima name, renaming the sedan what it's called in Korea - the K5
The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry fighter in Kia's lineup has been known as the Optima for two decades in the U.S. Now, it's time bearing the name as come to an end. Kia has confirmed that the Optima will be known as the K5 in the U.S. starting with the 2021 model year. MotorTrend was first to report the news.
Kia's fresh nomenclature will fit the K5 into the rest of the Kia lineup. Globally, they offer the K3 (Forte), K7 (Cadenza), and K9 (K900) for sale. There is no officially announcement on whether or not Kia will drop those traditional names in favor of alphanumeric nomenclature.
MotorTrend made the discovery by searching through official EPA fuel-economy ratings. The only model listed as the Kia K5 features a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is likely the same power plant that produces 180 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai and Kia share joint ownership.
The K5 is also listed as being offered with all-wheel drive. That's not something that that Sonata offers.
The filing lists the car's fuel efficiency as 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined.
Kia has long been fighting an uphill battle in the crowded midsize sedan market where the perennial top-selling Accord and Camry have dominated for decades. Others, like the recently redesigned Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata are competitive alternatives. With the Ford Fusion ending production in July, there is room for Kia to capture more of the declining, though still sizable, sedan market.
With its premium interior and striking design lines, the K5 is sure to make an impression on the U.S. market, starting later this year.