More power from a new base engine, more tech, new safety features and a midcycle design update, Kia rolls out the 2025 K5 sedan at the Chicago Auto Show. Headlight.News checks it out.
One of two new Kia models making their debut at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, the 2025 K5 shows there’s still plenty of life left in midsize sedans.
With a new, more powerful base engine, updated design and upgraded tech features, “The K5 can be almost anything to anyone looking for a five-passenger midsize sedan,” said Steven Center, the chief operating officer for Kia America.
The fifth-generation Kia K5 was launched in 2019 and gets a rather late midcycle update for the 2025 model year.
As with the 2025 Kia Carnival also making its debut in the Windy City, the updated K5 features the South Korean carmaker’s “Opposites United” design language. The most notable changes center around the new standard “Star Map” LED running lights up front, which provides an accent to the rest of the K5 lighting.
The Star Map theme is carried through to the rear lighting, while the K5 also gets a new trunk lid with an integrated spoiler. GT models get their own subtle accents.
Depending upon the trim, the K5 rides on anywhere from 16 to 19-inch wheels and tires. The GT gets performance-focused 245/40R-19 Pirelli P-Zero tires, as well as distinctive bright green brake calipers
Inside, the 2025 Kia K5 adopts the brand’s new twin-display, with a 12-inch gauge cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen tucked behind a single, curved glass panel.
While the infotainment system now handles a variety of vehicle functions, Kia bowed to consumer demands, adding volume and tuning knobs and a separate panel, just above the center console, for both key climate and audio control functions.
The GT, among other things, has stand-out green stitching on interior fabrics.
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All K5 trims now come with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Kia’s new Connected Car Navigation Cockpit system speeds up the infotainment while also allowing the automaker to tweak vehicle software using smartphone-style over-the-air updates.
Depending upon the trim, the midsize sedan adds a number of other features, starting with smart cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, navigation-based smart cruise control, blind spot monitor, parking collision avoidance assist and, on the top-line GT-1 Package, a digital key letting a motorist use a smartphone instead of a keyfob.
Most versions of the 2025 Kia K5 gets a new 2.5-liter inline-four powertrain. Output jumps to 191 horsepower, an 11 hp bump over the outgoing 1.6-liter turbo. Torque comes in at 181 pound-feet. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic sending power to the front wheels, though all-wheel-drive is available with the GT-Line.
The top-line GT trim carries over its 2.5-liter turbo engine making 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed double-clutch transmission sending power to the front wheels.
Sales of the new model will begin this summer, a Kia official told Headlight.News. Pricing and EPA-reported fuel economy numbers will be released closer to that time.