Kia America chose the concrete corridors of Chicago to pull the wraps off the refreshed 2025 K5 midsize sedan today at the opening of the Chicago Auto Show. The show played host to the sporty sedan’s North American debut, which features a new-for-K5 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine, updated design cues inside and out, drivetrain refinements and numerous tech upgrades across five trim levels: LXS, EX, GT-Line (in front or all-wheel drive) and the hot-blooded turbocharged GT.
“The K5 can be almost anything to anyone looking for a five-passenger midsize sedan,” commented Steven Center, COO & EVP, Kia America. “With a lineup of variants, including available all-wheel drive for places just like Chicago in the wintertime, the new 2025 K5 continues to offer a unique and striking alternative in an otherwise stalwart segment. The updates for 2025 position the K5 in the sweet spot for those needing room for five but prefer to make a bold statement when it comes to their vehicle.”
For the 2025 model year, subtle refinements highlight more standard features across the lineup with a focus on the popular EX trim. Standard items for the EX include a Bose[i] Premium Audio System with Active Sound Design, a 10-way powered driver’s seat includes two-way lumbar support. Digital Key 2[ii], heated steering wheel, and power folding mirrors with integrated LED turn signals are all standard.
Designed to Stand Out
Already a standout in the midsize sedan segment, the 2025 Kia K5’s design enhancements better align with Kia’s Opposites United typography. Most notable are the new standard Star Map LED front DRLs. The standard amber positioning lights cut a striking eyebrow over the standard LED headlights and accentuate the leading edge of the front fender. Below these reside a new front fascia. While lower trims gain a darkened lower air intake opening, the GT nets dramatically flared satin-metal-look fins that angle upward, further defining the new honeycomb lower grille.
Around back, the Star Map theme continues. The taillights reach across the wide deck lid and take a decidedly angular downward turn at the corners, mimicking the aggressive nature of the front end’s illuminated eyebrows. They cast a bright red glow just beneath the new trunk lid, which is highlighted by a standard integrated spoiler across all trims. The angularity continues into the new lower fascia. Dual muffler garnish and a dark lower bumper can be found on all but the GT trim. The same satin-finish details found on the front clip of the GT make another appearance at the rear, with triangular fins complementing the dual mufflers with quad-tip garnish.
K5’s wheel program includes several sporty multi-spoke alloy designs. The LXS rides on 16-inch wheels while EX and GT-Line come standard with their own unique 18-inch wheel designs. The GT gets 19-inch wheels shod with performance-focused 245/40R-19 Pirelli P-Zero tires and the available GT1 Package found on the GT earns 19-inch Custom Gloss Black wheels. Standard on GT are eye-catching bright green brake calipers that complement the interior seat stitching.
More updates can be found inside. Front and center to the driver is a new available single-pane curved display that houses the 12-inch instrument screen and a new standard 12.3-inch touchscreen navigation unit. Complementing the new display is wireless Apple CarPlay[i] and Android Auto[ii] which is now standard across the K5 line. Kia’s new Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) system processes faster and in higher fidelity, with frequently used Quick Controls available with a swipe on the screen. Over The Air (OTA)[iii] updates are now possible, enhancing the ownership experience.
Below the new instrument panel is a revised HVAC/audio-access display. Flanked by two easily accessible knobs, the slim screen can be toggled between the two functions with the touch of finger. A revised center console with larger cupholders and a wireless charging pad, along with USB-C charge ports front and rear, round out the major interior upgrades for 2025.
New Year, More Power
Spearheading the enhancements under the hood is a new 2.5-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that drive the front wheels. Found in LXS, EX and GT-Line, power for the new engine is increased by 11 horsepower over the previous 1.6-liter turbo. Torque comes in at a robust 181 lb.-ft. For those who live where the weather can be inhospitable, all-wheel drive is available on the GT-Line.
The GT’s powertrain for 2025 remains unchanged. Producing 290 horsepower and a stout 311 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine is mated to an 8-speed dual clutch transmission that drives the front wheels.
The K5 line sees an uptick in standard Advanced Driving Assist Systems (ADAS)[iv]. Starting with the base LXS:
- Fusion type Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/S&G)[v] with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)[vi] that incorporates junction turning and cyclist detection.
- Park Distance Warning – Forward
- Park Distance Warning – Reverse
Standard or available on EX, GT-L and GT ADAS equipment adds:
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC)[vii]
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA)[viii]
- Blind View Monitor (BVM) (standard on EX, not available on GT-Line, available on GT)
- Surround View Monitor (SVM) (standard on EX, not available on GT-Line, available on GT)
- Parking Collision Avoidance Assist – Reverse (PCA-R) (standard on EX, not available on GT-Line, available on GT)
- Park Distance Warning – Side (PDW-S) (standard on EX, not available on GT-Line, available on GT)
A GT-Line Premium Package is available for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive variants and includes:
- Panoramic sunroof
- LED interior lighting
- 12-speaker Bose1 Premium Audio
Enhancements to the GT-1 Package available on GT add:
- Digital Key 22
- Blind View Monitor (BVM)
- Park Distance Warning – Side (PDW-S)
- 19-inch Gloss Black alloy wheels
- 12.3-inch curved meter cluster
[i] CarPlay runs on smartphone cellular data service. Normal data rates apply. Apple and CarPlay are trademarks of Apple.com.
[ii] Android Auto vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play store and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, and Google Play are trademarks of Google LLC.
[iii] Over-the-Air features and updates may require an additional cost and may vary by model, model year, and trim level. Features, specifications, and fees are subject to change. Kia Connect subscription is required and Kia Connect terms and conditions apply.
[iv] Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects around the vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[v]When engaged, the Smart Cruise Control w/Stop&Go system is not a substitute for safe driving and cruise-control procedures. This is not an auto-pilot feature. Always drive safely and use caution. The Smart Cruise Control system may not detect every object in front of the vehicle.
[vi] When engaged, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist is not a substitute for safe driving and may not detect all objects in front of vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[vii] When engaged, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) is not a substitute for safe driving and cruise-control procedures. This is not an auto-pilot feature. It may not detect every object around the vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[viii] When engaged, Highway Driving Assist is not a substitute for safe driving, may not detect all objects surrounding the vehicle, and only functions on certain federal highways. Always drive safely and use caution.
[i] Bose is a registered trademark of Bose Corporation
[ii] Kia Digital Key requires an eligible Kia Connect subscription and a compatible smart device with an active data plan. Normal cellular service rates may apply when using a smart device.