290 HP Kia K5 GT Drag Races BMW 330i, Power Gap Creates Surprising Results


A couple of days ago, we showed you a rendering of a K5 “allroad” and suggested that if Kia created an AWD version of the 2.5T model, it would conquer Canada. Well, today, the real K5 GT put its 290 horsepower up against the BMW 330i to prove we were right.

Over the past couple of years, a very interesting phenomenon started in North America where mid-sized sedans began gaining in popularity. It started with the Toyota Camry TRD, but the Kia K5 GT seems to walk in its footsteps, combining a large platform with bold styling and an engine the German premium brands can’t match.

So it all boils down to one question: would you still want a German sedan? Maybe an M340i, but probably not the average 330i. The K5 GT just looks like a Stinger, has more power, and a more spacious cabin. And while it didn’t win every race, the fact that it’s sometimes faster is enough.

Hyundai Group’s 2.5-liter has really spiced up the game, and not only in the premium segment (Genesis). Because of how the European market works, Audi, BMW and Mercedes all have 2.0-liter turbos. But the four-cylinder in the Kia K5 GT is bigger and more powerful, like the one used by the Sonata N-Line.

It makes 290 horsepower, which unfortunately only reaches the front wheels. And even though this DCT gearbox was designed specifically for performance applications, it doesn’t allow full torque at launch, making the K5 somewhat slower than it could be.

Meanwhile, the BMW 330i is rated at only 255 hp. Its drag racing driver Sam CarLegion mentions how German horsepower is usually better. But just because an M5 is a monster on the dyno doesn’t mean the cheapest sedan they offer is the same. The upside for the 3 Series is that it’s smaller and lighter than a Kia, with xDrive AWD giving it a precious advantage.

You’re about to watch several drag races in one, done in different drive modes. But all of them have something in common, and that is the superior power of the K5 GT. The BMW 330i gets an early lead most of the time, but it doesn’t win all the races. And in the roll, it doesn’t stand a chance.