If you’re a BMW 3 Series fan, you might want to give the Kia K5 GT a shot

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The auto industry has changed a lot in recent years. Once the leaders of the premium market, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are now being given a run for their money by brands previously known to produce cheap and uninspiring cars. Like Kia and Hyundai.

BMW was also known for being THE driver’s car, but this feat has been diluted as well. Recently to the point where the so-called uninspiring brands deliver vehicles with matching or even better performance. Before you say that a Kia can’t be as good as BMW (you’re probably going to quote driving dynamics), you need to look at a comparison by AMCI Testing, which reveals that the new Kia K5 out-performs the BMW 330i.

What is AMCI Testing?

The Numbers Are In and the 2021 Kia K5 Really Does Outperform the BMW 3 Series Exterior
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Before we move forward, you should know that AMCI Testing is a company that provides unbiased research and certified testing for production models. Its clients include the biggest automotive manufacturers out there, who are looking for a critical and truthful evaluation of their products. AMCI Testing is basically evaluating car performance in order to deliver data that carmakers will then use in marketing campaigns. AMCI also makes sure that you as the consumer receive verified facts from automakers. In business for 35 years as of 2020, AMCI Testing is widely viewed as one of the last truly impartial testing companies in this field.

Kia K5 vs. BMW 330i

The Numbers Are In and the 2021 Kia K5 Really Does Outperform the BMW 3 Series Exterior
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As reported by The Drive, AMCI recently benchmarked the Kia K5 to the BMW 330i with surprising results. For BMW fans, that is!

According to AMCI's test, the K5 is not only quicker in a straight line, but it also handles better during spirited driving, a test that the BMW should have one given all the PR the Germans make around their car's driving dynamics.

The cars were put through seven different trials, including 0 to 60 mph acceleration, quarter mile time and speed, 20-65 mph and 40-70 mph highway merging, and slaloms, 180-degree cornering, and double lane change testing in both dry and wet conditions.

To keep things fair, AMCI tested the vehicles with their respective stock tires. The Kia is fitted with Pirelli P-Zero all-season rubber, while the BMW comes with Bridgestone Turanza all-season run-flats.

2019 BMW 3 Series
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The acceleration test, performed with traction control off and no rollout, revealed that the K5 is almost three tenths quicker. The Korean sedan hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the 330i did it in 5.98 seconds. Likewise, the Kia ran the quarter-mile quicker at 14.21 seconds, versus the Bimmer’s 14.41-second time. The K5’s trap speed was also superior at 103.3 mph, 3.8 mph more than the Bimmer’s.

The Numbers Are In and the 2021 Kia K5 Really Does Outperform the BMW 3 Series Exterior
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It should be noted that the Kia K5 used in the test is fitted with the range-topping Smartstream 2.5-liter engine, rated at 286 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The BMW 330i features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist. The K5 benefits from an extra 31 horses and 16 pound-feet, so it’s not surprising that it won these tests.

However, the K5 GT also came on top during highway merging, needing 327 feet to accelerate from 20 to 65 mph.

The 330i needed an extra 47 feet at 374 feet. In the handling test, the K5 pulled 0.945 g in the fast 180-degree corners, whereas the BMW managed 0.920 g. The Kia was also a bit faster during the slalom at 60.27 mph, while the 330i clocked 59.05 mph. The K5 GT is obviously the more dynamic vehicle here, while the Bimmer is a bit more prone to spinning.

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Why is this test important? Well, the Kia K5 GT is some $10,000 cheaper than the BMW 330i. And that’s a huge amount you can save (or spend on extra options) by choosing by the figures and not by the badge or the marketing campaign.

How did Kia did it?

The Numbers Are In and the 2021 Kia K5 Really Does Outperform the BMW 3 Series Exterior
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Well, that requires a deep dive into Kia’s engineering department, something that’s not easy to achieve, but it also has something to do with the fact the Korean brand’s R&D department is being run by Albert Biermann, BMW M’s former vice president of engineering. Biermann was poached by Hyundai back in 2015 and put in charge of the N performance brand. He oversaw the release of the Kia Stinger, Genesis G70, and Hyundai Veloster N before he was sent out to lead research and development of new models for both Hyundai and Kia in 2018. The Kia K5 GT is the twin sister of the new Hyundai Sonata N Line, both of which have been designed, apparently, with higher-spec BMWs in mind by the man who once created M models for the German firm. Sneaky!

Source: The Drive

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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