In addition to its refreshed 2025 Carnival van, Kia used the 2024 Chicago Auto Show as the platform for the North American debut of its similarly revised 2025 K5 (formerly Optima) midsize sedan.
Midsize cars were once the bread-and-butter of the automotive industry. While the number of options in the class continues to dwindle, there are still plenty of buyers who want sedans as their daily drivers. Kia is hoping the freshened 2025 K5 will steal sales from segment bellwethers like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry and fill in some of the gap left by the departure of the Chevrolet Malibu.
2025 Kia K5
Styling updates for the 2025 K5 include amber-colored daytime running lights and new front fascia. A lightbar spans the trunk lid, and all models include a standard rear spoiler. The interior gets a redesigned instrument panel with available curved 12-inch instrument and 12.3-inch infotainment screens. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto are newly standard across the board, along with over-the-air software updates to add/fix features. A redesigned center console includes larger cupholders and a wireless smartphone charging pad, along with USB-C charging points for front and rear occupants.
LXS, EX, and GT-Line trim levels carry over, but all get a new 2.5-liter non-turbocharged four-cylinder engine that replaces the previous 1.6-liter turbo unit. Output is 191 horsepower (an increase of 11) and 181 pound-feet of torque (a decrease of 14). The transmission remains an 8-speed automatic. The flagship K5 GT reprises its high-output 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with 290 horsepower, 311 pound-feet of torque, and 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All K5s offer front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an option for the GT-Line.
As with the Carnival, pricing for the 2025 Kia K5 will be available closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date, which should also be this summer.
With the upcoming refreshes of the Kia K5 and its cousin, the Hyundai Sonata, it appears that rumors of the midsize sedan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Kia’s design tweaks give it a more upscale look, we like the addition of new connectivity features, and it’s great to see that the company is continuing to offer the high-performance GT. Buyers should find plenty to like about this car.
2025 Kia K5 Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)