The 2021 Kia K5’s exterior design grabs all the eye with its Stinger-like entrance finish, flashy lighting and sportback form. It’s a formidable trying sedan, but it surely begs the query, does the inside measure up and match Kia’s stellar effort exterior?

Purple seats like those in our GT-Line tester are an ideal place to begin. The crimson and black two-tone leatherette is non-obligatory, however the possibility is free, so it’s a no brainer. In contrast to the extra sedate Sonata, the K5 is noticeably sportier inside. Its flat-bottom leather-based steering wheel and equipment lever pulled straight from the Stinger assist immensely in giving it this really feel. Although, it’s disappointing to see the shifter is roofed in cheap-feeling plastic right here, versus the leather-based within the Stinger.

The stepped sprint design seems contemporary and with the occasions, and Kia’s alternative of perforated-look plastic trim is method higher than simply flat black plastic. There’s even fake stitching operating from side-to-side. Its air vents are horizontal and smooth, however the ridged floor beneath them is much more intriguing, because it brings texture to a bit that sometimes doesn’t have any. 

Above all, although, Kia has made its monolithic infotainment show the star of the present. The 8-inch touchscreen (high left, in our take a look at automotive) is commonplace, however a barely bigger 10.25-inch display screen (high proper) is non-obligatory. The smaller display screen is accompanied by laborious audio buttons flanking it, whereas the larger display screen will get contact haptic controls and loses the tuning knob. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and wi-fi Android Auto comes commonplace throughout the vary, however we had points with our CarPlay connection. After random quantities of time all through the week of testing, it might squawk at us with an error, forcing us to disconnect then reconnect to get it again working.

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You get laborious buttons or knobs for all of the vitals having to do with the local weather management, making that tremendous simple to function. Assuming you pony up for heated seats, the controls for these are performed in the identical toggle change style because the Stinger’s and sit rear of the gear shifter. It’s an identical, analog story within the instrument cluster. We want the absolutely digital sprint from the Sonata had been accessible, but it surely’s not. As a substitute you get a small 4.2-inch heart show and bodily gauges to flank it.

Usefulness is barely above common within the cabin. The cubby fore of the shifter is large enough for the biggest cell telephones, and the USB shops are conveniently positioned proper within the cubby. It’s not the gorgeous, invisible wire answer you get within the Honda Accord, but it surely successfully retains them from snaking in all places all through the cabin. Each cupholders are giant, and also you get an electrical parking brake that saves much more house. When you’re utilizing both of the wi-fi smartphone connection applied sciences, Kia’s nifty vertical wi-fi smartphone charger will likely be of nice use. Simply slot the cellphone in its safe nook by the armrest each time you get in, and it’s each out of sight and charging away. You’ll additionally discover a bizarre, upturned grab-handle-looking factor on the door panel. It does certainly operate as a seize deal with, and it’s a pleasant contact to separate the K5’s inside from others.

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Backseat passengers will likely be met with a nice 35.2 inches of legroom. The Accord crushes it and all people else on this class, however adults will nonetheless be loads snug within the rear seats. You even get a splash of crimson on the rear doorways to spice it up. Two USB ports sit again there on all however the base LX mannequin.

Shifting again up entrance, the seating place could be very regular for this class. You possibly can regulate the seat to sit down comparatively low, and the cushions themselves are snug. There isn’t a lot bolstering, however that’ll include the full-on GT and its added efficiency. One grievance we had is noise-related. Current weeks have discovered us within the driver’s seat of the K5, Accord and Altima, and the K5’s inside was extra bothersome on our ears than the others.

Even with some small quibbles, the K5’s inside is a becoming match for the eye-catching exterior. There are some things we talked about that Kia might do to enhance it, but it surely’s standing far taller than the Optima was in its class. If you would like just a little extra luxurious and fewer sport, enable us to direct you to the Sonata. And if you wish to know extra about how the K5 drives, rear our First Drive overview right here.