When Kia invited Roadshow to drive its new midsize sedan last year, we didn’t drive an . We , which is what the company calls the Optima in its home market of South Korea. We’ve been missing US-specific information on the sedan since then, but it could be because the Optima name isn’t actually returning.
Instead, it looks like Kia will likely swap the name for K5 in the US as well. Motor Trend first reported Tuesday on an EPA listing for a 2021 Kia K5, which seems like a strong indicator the Optima name won’t return when the next-generation sedan debuts for us Americans.
Why Kia would ditch the Optima name, which has been around in the US since 2000, is a tad unclear. Perhaps it’s just simple consolidation to bring things in line globally. The brand didn’t immediately return Roadshow’s request for comment and confirmation on the name.
Whether it’s called Optima or K5, the sedan impressed Reviews Editor Andrew Krok during a short drive last December in South Korea. The 1.6-liter turbo-four engine, married to an eight-speed automatic, was perfectly suitable for zipping through traffic, Krok found. We know this engine will be come to the US, as will a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The EPA listing that mentions the 2021 K5 is actually for the 1.6-liter engine with all-wheel drive. According to the feds, the K5 should return an estimated 26 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
With AWD optional this time around, the K5/Optima will join a growing list of sedans to offer all-wheel traction, and the fuel economy estimates are smack-dab in the ballpark for the segment. The returns 30 mpg combined, the muscles 30 mpg, and the (the latest sedan to ) serves up 29 mpg combined.
Should the 2021 model year the EPA cites be correct, we’ll likely see the Optima/K5 debut for the US quite soon.
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