Driving Me Crazy Duo John and Laurie Wiles’ Review of the 2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, History, Pinehurst, NC, Yonkers, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Listen to John and Laurie Wiles’ review of the KIA 2021 K5 GT-Line AWD Sedan on their Driving Me Crazy radio broadcast that airs this Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 10am EST and every Thursday throughout the year at the same time. The broadcast is heard “Live” or “On Demand” by clicking onto this specific hyperlink – http://tobtr.com/s/11854933 . Pease note that the hyperlink is specific to this review. It changes every week. Listeners are welcome to call the broadcast at 347-205-9201 and are asked to stay on topic.

PINEHURST, NC — December 9, 2020 — This week we had a 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line AWD sedan. First and foremost, I like two very important things about this car – its looks and its interior. It was comfortable, handled well, got the prescribed 26mpg around town, so one can presume, that it gets the 34-mpg highway mileage and averages 29-mpg overall. I liked it … after I got the seat adjusted so I didn’t snap my neck trying to get in. My vertically challenged better half stopped putting the seat up so high, and suddenly, what was torture getting in became a pleasant ‘non-event’.

The 1.6L Turbo 4-cylinder engine had the usual hesitation issues, but once they chipmunks got together, the pickup and acceleration were great. I honestly think, and I’m pretty sure Laurie will want to speak to this, that KIA wanted to create some sort of ‘sports car’ idea into the K5 DNA. When you started it up, it had something of a sports car sound, but milder, and something of a muscle car sound, but gentler, so it came across as just a little too noisy without a purpose. The dual exahausts were a nice touch, but this is not a sports car. It’s a sedan, as in ‘family’ sedan, in my opinion.

2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD Sedan.

Remember I said I like the interior? Well, I did, and have included a picture from the driver’s perspective, sort of, that shows the simplicity and ease of us from the ‘cockpit’. Single shifter – Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive – with Manual shift and paddle shifters, if you choose. Wireless charging for the phone was right in front of the arm rest in a vertical slot that allowed you to drop your phone in and forget about it, especially once you had it hooked into the system, which was also easy. The steering wheel had hands free calling with the push of the Voice button, plus audio and cruise control. The standard 8” Touchscreen with Android and Apple Car Play was replaced with a 10.25” Touchscreen as part of the GT-Line AWD Special Addition Package that also included Wolf Gray Paint, a GT Line Red Interior Package, GT-Line Red Syn Tex Seating Material, Nav Smart Cruise Control- Curve with Stop&Go, and Highway Driving Assist (more on that in a minute). We also had LED Reflector Headlights with Auto Off/On, Amber LED Daytime Running Lights, and Acoustic Front Windshield (that helps with noise abatement), LED rear and fog lights, and 18” Sport Alloy Wheels and a Rear Spoiler (again with the sports car idea).

2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD Sedan front seats perspective.

Okay, in the picture you see these aren’t the red seats we had, but you get the idea (literally) of how good looking and comfortable the seats can be. There is seating for five, but you are better off with four, as the center seat back pulls down to over a nice space between the passengers, suitable for drinks, elbows, and a place to lay your phone. The front seats were heated and was the steering wheel (Sorry passengers).

2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD Sedan interior cabin, front and back perspective.

Our KIA 2021 K5 GT-Line AWD starts at $29K, which I think is good and KIA continues to offer what appears to be a quality car at an affordable price. With the Wolf Gray paint and upgrade, our K5 was still only $31K, a lot of car for the money.

Oh, I and I said I would talk more about some of the safety features on the car. First, standard features are outstanding – Forward Collision -Avoidance Assist – Pedestrian, Blind Sport Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, High Beam Assist (a small extra but one I personally appreciate), Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert. [Hadn’t see this one before, but when sitting in a line of traffic at the stop light, when the car in front of me started to move, I got a ding and a line in the dash that said “The vehicle ahead is moving.”, or something akin to that. Clever] There were also an abundance of airbags, Electronic Stability Control, and Tire Pressure Monitoring, which came in handy as the car arrived with low pressure in the front right tire. I took it to the local gas station and pumped it up to spec and it held for the entire week we had the car. I’m not sure what caused the low tire pressure in just one tire, but once righted, all was good in our test drive time. I also wanted to say an additional word about Highway Driving Assist. Highway Driving Assist (HDA) is a driving convenience and safety system that reduces driver burden on highways and motorways by controlling the vehicle’s steering, acceleration and deceleration functions to maintain the speed set by the driver, keep a safe distance from the vehicle directly ahead, and keep the vehicle in the center of its current lane. It is all these things I have mentioned in a safety package idea that is spot on in this reviewer’s opinion. What keeps us safer on the highway is really good stuff. I want it and you should too.

Summary – Except for the ‘sports car wannabe’ syndrome, I like the 2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD a lot. It’s a good family car – affordable, looks good, gets good gas mileage, can get you where you need to go (and in a hurry if the speed limit allows), and has bells and whistles that make the $30K price tag look really affordable. KIA continues to impress. Try one.

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Southern Pines KIA, 10910 US Hwy 15, Southern Pines, NC 28387

  • Sales 910-684-1010
  • Service 910-218-1919
  • Parts 910-242-4664


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  • SALES: 844-327-7844
  • SERVICE: 866-981-4128
  • PARTS: 888-718-4159


John and Laurie WilesDriving Me Crazy Duo John and Laurie Wiles’ Review of the 2021 KIA K5 GT-Line AWD

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