The new K5 launches in Korea to herald a new design language for the brand.
Kia has been releasing a steady stream of teasers for its upcoming next-generation Optima, and it looks like we'll still have to wait a bit longer to get the full picture. But in the meantime, the Korean automaker has released the first full images of the new sedan's exterior design, and suffice it to say, it looks rather handsome.
Revealed in its home market as the Kia K5, the new fifth-generation Optima heralds a new design direction for the marque. That starts right up front with a new take on Kia's signature "tiger-nose" grille that's been expanded to incorporate the attractively angular headlights.
Unlike the traditional trunks on past versions of the Optima, the new K5 also appears to incorporate a rear liftgate, potentially increasing its utility and enabling an even more rakish fastback roofline (though that could potentially change for the US market). The flanks are cinched in between the wheel arches for a more muscular stance, with chrome trim highlighting the frameless windows.
The fresh styling is also applied over a larger footprint. The wheelbase is longer by 1.7 inches and the overall length from bumper to bumper extends two inches further. It's also an inch wider, but the roof has dropped by 0.8 inches to further accentuate the low-slung profile.
The new Kia K5 is set to reach dealers in South Korea already next month. We've yet to receive official confirmation on when we'll see the new Optima for the North American market, but we won't be surprised if it shows up at the 2019 LA Auto Show later this month.
Whenever it does arrive, the new Optima will put to rest a model that's been on the market since 2015 and has proven a hot seller for Kia, which has sold almost 83,000 of them so far this year (as of October's end) in the US alone. That makes the Optima its second most popular model, just behind the Soul, and – bucking the industry trend – ahead of all its other crossovers.