2025 Kia K5 Debuts with Styling Tweaks and a Beefier Base Engine

(Images: Kia)

The 2025 Kia K5 brings in an updated base engine and more tech, as well as some styling updates.

We’re officially back in auto show season as the 2024 Chicago Auto Show gets underway, and Kia seized the opportunity to reveal both the updated K5 sedan and Carnival minivan. The K5, for its part, brings a new (and larger) base engine, fresh design cues and more tech upgrades across the lineup.

At first glance, the 2025 Kia K5 doesn’t look too different than the previous models. There are a few minor tweaks, though, such as new “Star Map” front daytime running lights. The theme continues at the rear, where designers changed up the taillight aesthetic a bit from the outgoing K5. The new trunk lid with an integrated spoiler is standard fare across the whole range, not just the top-end GT. Depending on which trim you choose, each K5 rides on 16-, 18- or 19-inch wheels, with the GT getting Pirelli P-Zero tires.

2025 K5

On the features list, the updated K5 gets “subtle refinements” across the range, per the company’s official statement, with most of the changes homing in on the volume-selling EX trim. Standard equipment on all K5s, including the base LXS, is adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go Assist, as well as front and rear park distance sensors. The EX offers up a more feature-rich option that adds a Bose audio system, a 10-way power driver’s seat, the latest version of Kia’s Digital Key functionality to unlock and start the car by smartphone, a heated steering wheel and power-folding mirrors as standard fare.

The GT-Line sits between the LXS and the EX, offering a sportier look without some of the EX’s features like blind-spot monitoring, surround view monitor and Parking Collision Avoidance Assist. You do, however, get a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting and the 12-speaker Bose system through an available Premium Package.

The top-end GT, for its part, can also add in those extra features through the GT-1 Package. The sportier model also gets 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels as part of that upgrade, as well as a 12.3-inch curved digital instrument cluster. A 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is now included across the whole lineup, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability also part of the package. Over-the-air updates are now possible as well on the updated K5, so owners should hopefully have a more pleasant experience with the onboard technology over time. The HVAC and audio controls have also been revised, along with a new center console with larger cupholders and a wireless charging pad, and front and rear USB-C ports.

2025 K5

The 2025 Kia K5 brings in a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine to replace the 1.6-liter turbo, offering a bit more power. It’s the same powertrain as what comes standard in the Hyundai Sonata, making 191 horsepower (11 more than the old 1.6L) and 181 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the default on the K5, although you can get all-wheel drive on the GT-Line, as you were able to do before.

The GT remains an element of the updated 2025 Kia K5 lineup. With that choice, you get a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine putting out a much beefier 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, making its way to the tires through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Pricing for the current 2024 K5 lineup runs between $26,745 and $33,145. Kia did not include pricing for the updated car as part of its initial release, but we should have that information soon. Given this is a fairly modest update, I would expect prices to increase, but not by a huge amount.