Today we have very bad news to share it with you guys, specially for Kia fans in Europe who love the Optima/K5, among those that included me, as we got the confirmation that K5/Optima won’t have replacement in Europe, from Kia Motors Europe CEO Emilio Herrera, on a full interview that will be posted before the end of the year.
Talking with Mr. Herrera after the confirmation that Kia UK has discontinued the Optima, if the rest of European markets will take the same position and if is going to be a subsitute in form of K5, he said: “Let’s see, at this time we have currently no plans to launch the new Optima / K5 in Europe”.
After we have discovered this sad news, we went to seek opinions about what could be the causes of this decision and almost all the people we have asked agree that low sales and the rise of the SUV are to blame for this decision.
So what are your thoughts?
Everything we know about Kia’s K5.
In addition to showcasing Kia’s future design direction, the Kia K5 is available for the first time with an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, in addition the standard front-wheel drive system. Power is provided by a choice of efficient gasoline ‘Smartstream’ engines, with the company’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission also making its debut in the K5.
Greater levels of cabin, high-tech safety features, and revised chassis characteristics mean the K5 is more relaxing, confidence-inspiring and engaging to drive than ever before.
Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Kia Motors Corporation, commented: “When we launched the K5 in 2010, it marked the dawn of a new era for Kia, with a design which heralded a step change in how the brand was perceived in markets all over the world. Now, two generations later, we believe the new K5 will do the same. With a fastback design, the new K5 is one of the sportiest cars that we have ever created; with its comprehensive range of cutting-edge technologies, revised engines and transmissions, and a luxurious new interior, it’s also one of the most advanced.
“The K5 won’t just play a central role in strengthening Kia’s presence in the global sedan segment. Almost a decade on from its game-changing predecessor, it also represents the latest milestone in Kia’s transformation into a creator of desirable, world-class cars.”
Presenting Kia’s next-generation design direction, the new K5 brings with it a new fastback sedan silhouette. It is one of Kia’s sportiest designs to-date.
Designed in collaboration between all three of Kia’s design studios in North America, Europe and Korea, the K5 marks a greater leap forward between generations than any of its predecessors.
The front of the car is characterized by an evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’, integrating its LED headlamps into the grille, with a ‘heart beat’ daytime running light signature expressing the raised levels of emotion the car is meant to inspire. The K5 features a more aggressive front, with the grille nestled beneath a subtle overhang on the hood’s leading edge, parenthesized by angular air curtains and a wider air intake in the lower half of the bumper.
In profile, the K5 displays a greater sense of muscularity, with the body narrowing slightly at the midpoint between wheel arches – inspired by the ‘coke bottle’ shape of the Stinger’s body. The shoulder line gradually rises, narrowing the glasshouse towards the rear of the car and giving the car a sportier, ‘lean-forward’ stance when viewed from the side. The K5’s proportions are key to its sportier attitude. While the height of the vehicle has been cut by 20 mm (to 1,445 mm), the car’s overall length has been extended by 50 mm (to 4,905 mm), its width by 25 mm (to 1,860 mm), and its wheelbase by 45 mm (to 2,850 mm). Longer, lower and wider than ever, the K5’s demeanor on the road is transformed into one of greater on-road stability and maximum driver engagement.
In addition to a distinctive crease that runs along the K5’s bodywork, the car also features a modern interpretation of the chrome window line that has historically adorned executive sedans. Lunging backwards from the base of the A-pillar and over the top edge of the glasshouse, it unifies the side and rear design by looping around the base of the rear screen, and back around the other side, adding greater drama to its flowing, fastback roofline.
Topped by this flash of chrome, the rear of the K5 also boasts a new lighting signature, with its predecessor’s standalone light units replaced by a new LED daytime running light which spans the width of the rear deck. The dashes of light that extend across the tailgate echo the ‘heart beat’ shape of the front lights, while a subtle ducktail shape to its rear deck is matched by a sportier lower bumper design and a chrome dual muffler design.
The K5 is available with a choice of 16-, 17- and 18-inch machine-cut aluminum alloy wheel designs and a wide range of paint colors.
K5 GT models will also be offered with a unique 19-inch wheel design, as well as more aggressive front and rear bumpers, special ‘GT’ badges, as well as dual twin exhaust tips.
Elegant by design, and with a timeless, minimalist layout, the interior of the new K5 provides the driver and passengers with a peaceful retreat in which to spend time. The futuristic driver-oriented interior of the K5 is trimmed in a selection of tactile materials while the wide and horizontal symmetry creates a sense of space and harmony.
The wide dashboard shape is characterized by the integration of Kia’s latest infotainment systems, showing the next-generation design language that the brand will adopt across other models in the future. Replacing the infotainment screen integrated into the surface of the previous-generation’s dashboard, the new car sports a wide infotainment display which is physically attached to the instrument cluster in front of the driver. In certain models, the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen sits alongside Kia’s new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, displaying information clearly just below the driver’s line of sight over the road ahead.
Additional technologies are subtly integrated into the cabin of the K5, with an available Mood Lighting system, emitting soft ambient light from panels in the doors and crash pad, and wireless phone charging.
The K5 also features a powerful 12-speaker BOSE® surround-sound audio system for the ultimate immersive in-car listening experience.
Depending on market, the new K5’s cabin can be upholstered in a wide range of single- and two-tone color schemes, with cloth, synthetic leather and leather options. The dashboard is finished in a series of metallic and wood-effect surfaces for a more sophisticated appearance and feel, depending on vehicle specification.
The new K5 is available with a range of new ‘Smartstream’ powertrains from Kia, and – for the first time – a new all-wheel drive system. The powertrain of the K5 delivers greater confidence, greater efficiency and greater refinement in performance than ever.
One of the most important new introductions for the latest-generation K5 is the availability of a new all-wheel drive (AWD) system – the first time such a drivetrain has been offered on Kia’s D-segment sedan. Available with certain engines depending on market, the AWD system offers buyers enhanced dynamic capability in conditions where traction is reduced, shifting power to the rear axle based on driver inputs and road conditions. The K5 remains front-wheel drive as standard.
The K5 is available with a choice of gasoline engines. For customers in North America and Kia’s domestic Korean market, a new ‘Smartstream’ 1.6-liter T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine is available, featuring Kia’s new Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. CVVD regulates valve duration according to driving conditions, instead of operating on a fixed duration, boosting performance at low-to-mid engine speeds and boosting fuel efficiency. The 1.6-liter T-GDi engine works up to a peak 180 ps at 5,500 rpm, with a 265 Nm torque output across a wide range of engine speeds (1,500-4,500 rpm).
Depending on market, other engine options include a 2.0-liter MPI (multi-point injection) engine (152 ps, 192 Nm); a 2.0-liter engine with continuously-variable valve lift (CVVL) technology (160 ps, 196 Nm); and a 2.5-liter GDi engine (194 ps, 246 Nm).
The K5 offers a tailored driving experience thanks to its Drive Mode Select system, which enables drivers to adapt the car’s acceleration, steering and gear shift characteristics on the fly. ‘Smart’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Custom’ modes allow drivers to alternately maximize fuel efficiency, refine the handling experience, or enhance the responses of their vehicle to driver inputs.
The K5’s suite of advanced safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies make it one of the most high-tech, comprehensively-equipped cars in its class. The range of features are designed to make driving safer and less stressful, providing total ease of use.
The K5’s voice recognition software allows drivers to use voice commands to control a range of features in the car, including climate control, electric windows, heating for the steering wheel, seats and rear glass, and the audio system. This new addition to the K5 allows drivers to keep two hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road ahead.
The cabin incorporates an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, incorporating audio-visual navigation, and Kia’s new 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster, providing crystal-clear information to the driver.
The K5 is also available with an 8.0-inch head-up display, which projects driving information on to a small glass panel in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s numerous driver assistance technologies, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
The K5 is available with a powerful 12-speaker BOSE® surround-sound audio system for the ultimate immersive in-car listening experience. A new ‘Sound of Nature’ ambient sound function for certain markets enables occupants to select from a range of relaxing natural soundscapes for the cabin.
The K5 boasts a range of passive and active safety and driver assist systems, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey. Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving.
Depending on market and vehicle specifications, the ADAS range in the new K5 includes Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) with Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist (BCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Highway Driving Assist (HDA).
Kia’s ‘level two’ autonomous driving technology, Lane Following Assist (LFA), controls steering depending on the vehicles in front. LFA uses camera to monitor road markings to keep the K5 in the centre of its lane. In addition, the K5 features a Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) and Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist (RCCA).
The new K5 is also the first Kia available with the company’s new Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which enables drivers to move their car autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob. This is designed to make it easier to get in and out of the car in tight parking spaces, or if another driver parks too close to access any of the doors.
The K5 is fitted with up to nine airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. All K5 models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.