• Kia Fires A Few Shots At BMW In Its New K5 Sedan Commercial

Kia could rue the day that it threw the gauntlet at the feet of BMW

LISTEN 04:04

If there’s anything we know about Kia, it’s that the automaker isn’t afraid to crosshairs with its rivals as it did in this new commercial for the new K5 sedan. The K5 is Kia’s latest pride and joy; it’s a four-door premium sedan that’s set to compete with some of the most entrenched models in its segment, including the BMW 3 Series.

Yes, Kia is packaging the K5 as a competitor to the 3 Series, so much so that this K5 commercial isn’t really so much about singing the K5’s praises as it is mocking Bimmer’s 330i sedan. They say that one should never tug at Superman’s cape, but it seems that Kia didn’t get that memo, or at least it did but completely ignored it.

Is Kia biting off more than it can chew with this commercial?

See, Kia claims that its front-wheel-drive sedan is capable of not only faster acceleration than the BMW 3 Series 330i, but that it also handles a lot better than the German sedan.

While there might be some truth to that, Kia is actually referring to the range-topping K5 GT, which takes 5.6 seconds to run from 0 to 60 mph. That’s 0.2 seconds quicker than the 5.8 seconds it takes the rear-wheel-drive BMW 330i to cover the same ground.

So, yes. Kia’s claims are accurate, at least if it’s referring to the RWD 330i. But it’s a completely different scenario if the Kia K5 GT lines up against the 330i xDrive, which can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. That’s 0.4 seconds quicker than the top-of-the-line K5.

Kia’s claim that the K5 can out-handle the 330i is also subjective, at best. Then again, this is Kia’s commercial. It can make whatever claim it wants as long as it has the results to back it up. And, to be fair, it does. The K5 GT is faster than the rear-wheel-drive 330i. But it’s also an incomplete picture if Kia’s going to claim that the GT is faster than the 330i without mentioning the xDrive trim of the latter.

The Kia K5 is still a step-up from the Optima, right?

Kia Fires A Few Shots At BMW In Its New K5 Sedan Commercial
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We’re not here to throw shade on the Kia K5 because the sedan does have plenty of promise. It takes the reins from the Optima as the automaker’s resident compact premium sedan, and it has lived up to that billing. It’s one of the most provocative-looking models in its class — we love the bold exterior look — and the interior is a true cocoon of luxury. Kia promised the K5 could compete with the titans from Germany, and it has lived up to that promise.

On the performance side, Kia is smartly offering a choice of engines for the K5.
Kia Fires A Few Shots At BMW In Its New K5 Sedan Commercial
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The base engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the two front wheels. All-wheel-drive is available but as an option. The top-spec K5, known as the K5 GT, will be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The engine is also paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

Kia Fires A Few Shots At BMW In Its New K5 Sedan Commercial
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The K5’s design is great. The interior is everything we expected it to be. The engine options are potent, too. Everything Kia promised about its Optima replacement is right there for the taking. But is Kia’s claims that the K5 is a better car than the BMW 3 Series a legitimate one or a flight of fancy? The commercial will tell you one thing, but like most things in the world, there are two sides to any argument.

Here’s to hoping that BMW responds soon. That’d be fun.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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