Kia K5 Problems: 3 Most-Common Issues (Explained)

The Kia K5 has replaced the Kia Optima. It has been designed on Kia’s N3 platform.

This new design now includes next-level technologies, more traction and more turbo. For the most part, it gets good reviews.

Let’s dive into the most typical issues when people experience problems with their Kia K5.

Problems with the Kia 5 Electrical System

There have been a few complaints about the Kia 5 electrical system.

Each complaint has been different. There was a complaint about the Kia K5 losing its wireless car play. Another complaint entailed smoke pouring out of the hood.

Another customer reported a complaint about the warning light on the instrument panel.

The issue was diagnosed at the dealership as having 2 faulty computer chips.

Lastly, another customer complained that they had a sensor malfunction. After the repair was done, the sensor began to malfunction again. This time around, the speedometer, headlights, and tire pressure sensor were affected.

Kia K5 Air Bag Problems

All of the 3 complaints made about the Kia K5 airbag problems involved injuries as a result of the Kia K5 not deploying.

One accident occurred when a deer jumped in front of the car traveling approximately 65 miles an hour on the highway.

It was reported by the police officer on the scene that not many of the car”s airbags installed on this car deployed upon impact.

Another one was a frontal collision with an aged car. The driver of the Kia K5 incurred knee, back and neck injuries because the airbags did not deploy.

It was also reported that the rear folding seat became dislodged upon impact.

This is definitely a safety concern.

The 3rd complaint was similar to this. Two cars collided, and the airbags of the Kia K5 did not deploy.

Kia K5 Engine Problems

The 3 engine problems reported about the Kia K5 all entailed the vehicle catching fire. One customer reported that the engine cover was off and causing unusual noises.

There was also some damage to the fender due to the rubbing wheel. In addition, the fog light housing was hanging.

Lastly, it was reported that the antifreeze leaked out of the cooling system in the car.

The driver of the car reported that he noticed a very strong odor in the garage.

No Manual Gearbox

Kia advertises the new K5 as a sports sedan.

While the car is definitely sporting looking, some drivers may prefer to swap out the automatic transmission for a stick. But this option is not in the K5 lineup.

A good option might be the 2021 Tia 4KGT . That’s definitely a fun car.

The Hybrid Powertrain is not an Option

The new KIA K5 offers efficient fuel economy. At the same time, some people may still prefer the efficiency of a hybrid powertrain. Other brands offer a similar car that is a hybrid model. In addition, that competition offers 40 miles per gallon.

While it may be offered as a hybrid in the future it is not currently offered. 

Is the jury still out on this one. 

So, if you prefer a hybrid, the KIA K5 may not be a good pick for you.

Sloping Roofline can be a Problem for Some Rear Passengers

A lot of people absolutely love the look of the K at K five’s sleek exterior.

But, it could pose an issue for some of your passengers. This car’s sloping roofline can make it difficult for some people to get in-and-out of the car.

Tall adults may have to duck.

So, you’ll have to make sure that everyone in your circle is short.

MAF Sensor Malfunction

If the MAF sensor is dirty, it will not send the right measure values to the control unit. As a result, the optimal amount of fuel cannot be calculated.

This winds up causing too much fuel or too little fuel injected into the chamber. The engine will then run too rich or too lean. It can cause the warning light to light up in the instrument.

There have been some complaints about this happening.

General Pros and Cons of the Kia K5

There are both pros and cons with the Kia K5.

Here is a list of the pros first.

  • The Engine- Its small engine is power packed- This compact car has a turbo-charged 1.6 liter four-cylinder under the hood. That is a lot of power for a smaller car. It definitely packs a punch. It pumps out 180 horsepower and a 194 pounds-feet of torque. Be ready for the takeoff.
  • Automatic Transmission- The automatic transmission is sensational. Many of its competitors are trying to match it.
  • Excellent Standard Multimedia – The Kia K5 now has many more physical controls to make it more user-friendly. It is now very easy to operate while driving the vehicle. Plus, its system supports Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. It’s standard 8″ touchscreen works very well with tuning knobs and volume. All of the mechanical buttons in the Kia K5 are mirrored. Entertainment is at its best in the KIA K5.
  • Smooth and Comfortable Ride- Although the Kia K5 is a sporty car, it delivers a very smooth and comfortable ride on the road. This is a real plus for compact car. Just take to the road and enjoy the ride.
  • Great Brakes- Instead of coming with wire brakes, the Kia K5 has vacuum boosted brakes. These brakes give a good pedal feel. It’s easy to modify the level braking power, and its input is equivalent to its output. Vacuum boosted brakes offer a lot of safety. And that is important when you’re driving a car.It gives you confidence as a driver.
  • Spacious and Roomy Cabin- For a compact car, the Kia K5 has a spacious interior. Its interior materials are also of high quality. Both front and rear seats are easily adjustable and very comfortable. The backseat has excellent head to leg room.
  • Dramatic Exterior Styling- . The new Kia has an exceptional dramatic exterior style to it. It is definitely a show stopper. It has a very sleek body and a muscular facial in the front. Plus, it comes in some cool colors. Choose from colors like passion red and sapphire blue. It’s also very sporty looking with its 18″ wheels and racier bumpers.
  • Cruise Control- The new Kia K5 has very intelligent cruise control. Most other vehicles have adaptive cruise control. Kia has upgraded its version of cruise control. It helps reduce driver fatigue. Also, new to the Kia K5 is its curve control technology. Its navigation system can detect curves and bends in the road. It assists in lowering the vehicle’s speed when approaching a curve or bend.

Here is a list of some of the cons of the Kia K5.

  • Lackluster and Laggy Acceleration- Even when you step on the gas to get more power, the Kia K5 will take a moment or two to do it for you. There is a lag in increasing speed.
    This is due to the transmission downshifting prior to the car actually accelerating. It causes a lag. And Although the sport driving mode and smart driving mode will help with the hesitation, the gas mileage of this vehicle suffers.
  • Optional Multimedia- Although the Standard 8″ touch screen works well, the optional 10.25″ touchscreen system is a different bowl of wax. The system has capacitive buttons instead of mechanical ones. And, there is no tuning knob. It’s multimedia system only works good with the wide version of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I. It’s screen is longer and thinner. It’s different than the standard screen.
  • Active Sound Design- Its active sound design actually augments the engine sound coming through the stereo.. This makes the sound of the Kia K5 come out sounding very short. Although, you should be able to change the sound with the selective settings, each sound sounds the same. It is more noticeable when you are driving the vehicle fast.

What Do the Reviews Say?

According to US News,

“The 2021 Kia K5 has a comfortable ride and comes loaded with standard tech features, but it lags behind rivals when it comes to athleticism and rear-seat headroom.”

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Generous list of standard features
  • Less athletic than rivals
  • Snug rear headroom
  • New for 2021
  • All-new model replaces Optima
  • More-powerful four-cylinder base engine
  • Optional 290-horsepower turbocharged engine
  • Available all-wheel drive

Car and Driver states:

Snazzy interior and exterior, lots of popular features at an accessible price, 290-hp GT model is delightfully quick. The K5 is a stylish and nicely appointed family sedan, and also a great value.

Resale Values of the Kia K5

Year Mileage Price
2022 33 Mpg $29,000
2021 31 Mpg $26,000
2020 30 Mpg $24,000

Final Thoughts

While the Kia K5 does have some cons, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. It is a good value and a good buy. You’ll definitely get some bang for your dollar.

GO BACK: Problems for all Kia models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.