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Comparison 2022 Kia K5 versus Toyota Camry

Is Kia’s stylish new K5 a better family sedan than Toyota’s well-known Camry?

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2022 Kia K5

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $29,595 CAD

Pros

  • Torque-rich turbo engines
  • AWD available on lower trims
  • Extra-long warranty

Cons

  • Powerful GT model is front-drive only
  • No hybrid variant
  • Tight rear legroom

 

Highlights

All-new last year, replacing the Optima in Kia’s lineup, the 5-passenger K5 builds on all the Optima’s good points, making it an excellent mid-size family sedan. Pricing and equipment levels are all compelling, and the driving experience goes from pleasant to peppery and offers all-wheel-drive (AWD) for the first time.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing in Canadian dollars starts at $29,595 for the base K5 LX trim. Standard equipment includes AWD, automatic transmission, heated steering wheel, and a comprehensive driver assistance safety package. Move up to the top-line front-wheel-drive (FWD) $40,495 K5 GT, and you get a more robust and larger engine, Bose premium sound system, sport bucket front seats, and more.

Inside, the K5’s tidy cabin looks more expensive than it is. The $36,395 GT-Line and GT trims underline their sportiness with features like a black headliner and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The $32,995 EX gets a wood-effect trim to help create a more luxurious atmosphere. Front passengers will enjoy more legroom (1,170 millimetres versus 965) than in the Toyota Camry.

The K5's LX/EX/GT-Line trim levels use a turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder gas engine that develops 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It connects to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Its combined city and highway fuel economy estimate rings in at 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km). The top-line GT model pushes the envelope a little more with a turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine generating 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, with an 8.7 L/100 km combined estimate. The FWD GT's transmission is an 8-speed dual-clutch automated unit, with shift actions quicker than the automatic transmission used with the smaller engine.

In all 2022 K5 trims, the ride quality is comfortable and well-controlled, although the larger wheel/tire combination and sport suspension of the GT make things firmer. The steering has some feel to it, and the cabin remains relatively quiet at highway speeds. And although the GT’s transmission is good for quick gear changes, the regular transmission in the rest of the trims creates no cause for complaint.

 

2022 Toyota Camry

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $27,510 CAD

Pros

  • Led by Hybrid trim, excellent fuel economy
  • Generous rear legroom
  • Class-exclusive V6

Cons

  • So-so base engine
  • AWD not available with V6 or Hybrid

 

 

Highlights

This 8th-generation Toyota Camry launched for the 2018 model year received a refresh last year. The current 2022 Camry is much more engaging than its predecessors. Yet, it continues to include attributes that have always been at the mid-size family sedan’s core—excellent fuel economy (especially with the Hybrid), a class-exclusive V6, roomy rear seat, and the availability of traction at all wheels.

Prices start with the $27,510 base, FWD Camry LE trim. The standard engine is a 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque 2.5-litre 4-cylinder gas engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. AWD is available only with the gas 4-cylinder, starting with the $31,450 SE AWD trim. The highly fuel-efficient (4.9 L/100 km combined city and highway estimate) Camry Hybrid LE starts at $31,050. At the same time, the top-line $41,150 XSE V6 (with its 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque 6-cylinder gas engine) with an optional TRD sport package is a Camry for driving enthusiasts.

Although it has a well-earned reputation or long-term reliability, Toyota's 3-year/60,000-kilometre factory warranty falls short of Kia's 5-year/100,000-km program.

After 30-odd years of making a highly successful car, Toyota knows what works. The 2022 Camry offers a comfortable, 5-passenger cabin where it’s easy to get a good driving position and see out of. The freestanding infotainment display tops off a cleanly designed center console that includes a regular shift lever for the transmission. With 965 millimetres of rear legroom versus 895 in the Kia, passengers will be happier in the Toyota’s back seat.

The Camry's base 4-cylinder engine is tuned for excellent fuel economy rather than blistering acceleration from the driver's seat, but it has sufficient push for most situations. Instead, enjoy the smooth-riding suspension, along with the predictable handling and well-judged steering weight. The 8-speed automatic transmission also functions with quiet efficiency. The V6 makes the Camry feel closer to a Lexus with its power and refinement. The XSE's sportier suspension adds extra agility while retaining the car's innate composure. For more significant emphasis on handling, the optional TRD package's lower-slung and much stiffer suspension and upgraded brakes may tempt you to take your Camry to a track.

If your driving needs are somewhat more prolonged than in a car where the driver is inspired to go faster, then it’s a good thing that the Camry Hybrid is a very comfortable ride.

 

Final Recommendation

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So we’ll leave it up to you which of these stylish mid-size family sedans catches your eye. But based on their respective numbers, both the 2022 Kia K5 and 2022 Toyota Camry offer a wide choice of powertrains, and driving experiences previously unseen in the segment.

If you prefer the feel of torque-rich turbocharged engines, standard AWD, the GT trim’s sharp-shifting dual-clutch auto box, or the security of its more extended warranty, the K5 makes for an exceptional choice.

However, we think the Camry is the better family sedan with excellent fuel economy across all powertrains (including the hyper-efficient Hybrid), generous rear legroom, and class-exclusive V6.

 

Specs

2022 Kia K5

2022 Toyota Camry

Engine(s)

1.6-litre turbocharged I4

2.5-litre turbocharged I4

2.5-litre I4

Hybrid – 2.5-litre I4 + electric motor

3.5-litre V6

Horsepower

1.6T - 180 @ 5,500 rpm

2.5T - 290 @ 5,800 rpm

I4 – 202-206 hp @ 6.600 rpm

Hybrid – 208 hp

V6 - 301 hp @ 6,600 rpm

Torque

1.6T - 195 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

2.5T - 311 lb-ft @ 1,650-4,000 rpm

I4 – 184-186 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

Hybrid – Not available

V6 – 267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Transmission(s)

LX/EX/GT-Line - 8-speed automatic

GT - 8-speed dual-clutch automatic

8-speed automatic

Hybrid – Continuously variable automatic

Drivetrain

Front-wheel-drive: GT

All-wheel-drive: LX/EX/GT-Line

 

Front-wheel-drive: LE/SE/XLE/XSE/TRD/Hybrid

All-wheel-drive: LE/SE/XLE/XSE

Fuel Economy L/100 km (Combined City/Highway)

GT: 8.7

LX/EX/GT-Line: 8.2

 

LE/SE/I4: 7.4

XLE/XSE/I4: 7.6

V6: 9.0

XSE/V6: 9.2

TRD/V6: 9.4

LE/SE/ I4 AWD: 8.2

XLE/XSE/I4 AWD: 8.4

Hybrid LE: 4.9

Hybrid SE/XLE/XSE: 5.1

Warranty

5 years/100,000 kilometres

3 years/60,000 kilometres

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Wheelbase

2,849.9 mm

2,825 mm

Overall Length

4,905 mm

4,880-4,944 mm

Width

1,860 mm

1,839-1,857 mm

Height

1,445 mm

1,430-1,445 mm

Curb Weight

1,505.9 – 1,619.7 kg

1,495-1,620 kg

Headroom, Front

1,020 mm

973 mm

Headroom, Rear

960 mm

965 mm

Legroom, Front

1,170 mm

1,070 mm

Legroom, Rear

895 mm

965 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,474 mm

1,466 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,424 mm

1,415 mm

Trunk Cargo Volume

434 L

428 L

 

 

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