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Kia Replaces Optima Nameplate With K5 In United States

Written By, Brad R

Kia has new plans for the next-generation Optima. The plan involves removing the name of Optima altogether. Currently serving as Kia's mid-size sedan. the Optima nameplate might change to K5. This will not be a vehicle that is altered all that much aside from some changes. Drivers would gain an all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four powertrain among options, according to an EPA filing. The 2021 Kia K5 is expected to be available for customers when the vehicle goes on sale later in 2020. Allow us to reveal what that is expected to entail. 

Optima Out, K5 In

Changes regarding vehicles happen often, but nameplates are not usually changed in the automotive industry. Kia Motors is the exception rather than the rule with this news from the Koren brand. This latest move signals that the Kia Optima is no longer a nameplate they will produce and the last one came with the 2020 model year. This will not be news outside of the United States, as the vehicle is known as the K5 in Korea. For those who were able to test the first  Korea-spec K5 late in 2019, Kia revealed then this name change might occur, citing global marketing reasons and the decision was made to make it happen. 

Legacy of the Optima

In the United States, Kia has sold the Optima as a mid-size sedan across four generations dating back to 2000. Before the third decade started, Kia moved on from the Optima with glowing reviews for the last Optima. The 2021 Kia K5 will offer a 2.5-Liter 4-Cylinder turbocharged powertrain with 290 horsepower and 422 lb-ft of torque offered. All-wheel-drive is a new feature to the vehicle with many new Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS) added. The official EPA fuel-economy ratings, according to MotorTrend have reported 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, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This exact engine can be found in the Hyundai Sonata providing 180 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque, but does not offer AWD. 

Will Other Names Changes Follow?

Though Kia has not officially confirmed the name change for the U.S. market, Kia's other sedan offerings use K nameplate in Koren as well. Kia refers to the Kia Forte as the K3, the Kia Cadenza is the K7, and the K900 is the K9. We are not sure if any other changes are coming for any of these vehicles in the United States. We expect to hear more about the new K5 within the next few months, as Kia should reveal more U.S. information before the launch by the end of the year. The Kia brand and a selection of brand new Kia vehicles are available and ready for customers through NowCar. Buy from home with our help today.

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