By on November 21, 2013

kia-k900-la-auto-show-12

Following stablemate Hyundai’s move upmarket with the Genesis and Equus sedans, Kia is introducing the K900 to North America. Called the K9 elsewhere, the K900 is based on the same platform as the Hyundai luxury sedans  and like them it comes standard with a 311 hp 3.8-liter V6 engine or an optional 420 hp 5.0-liter “Tau” V8. An eight speed automatic transmission is standard, though each engine will get gearboxes with specific gear ratios. The K900 is expected to arrive at Kia’s North American dealers in the first quarter of 2014.

Leather upholstery will be standard, with Nappa grade leather an option, and that upholstery gets standard heating and cooling in the front. A VIP package brings hot and cold seats to the back passengers, and buyers can choose between white sycamore and charcoal poplar for the real wood inlays.  Rear seat passengers have their own climate controls.

Kia is promoting safety technology on the K900, including an “Around View” parking monitor to give drivers a bird’s eye view while backing up. Other safety features include land departure warnings, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring, pre-tensioning seatbelts, collision warnings and pre-pressurized braking before an anticipated collision. V8 models come with Kia’s first cross traffic alert system.

The interior features a 12.3 inch TFT instrument panel, Kia’s largest so far, and it can be configured with a variety of themes. The stereo has 17 drivers situated across the car and they are driven with a 900 watt amp.

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39 Comments on “Los Angeles 2013: Kia K900, Kia Goes Further Upmarket...”


  • avatar
    Spartan

    Had some passenger seat time in one here in Korea, the Kia K9. It’s a nice car, but when it comes to the Korean full size luxury cars, Koreans want either a Equus or a Chairman W. This car isn’t really on the radar.

    I’m sure it will be more of the same here in the states, especially if they don’t include a lot of the features that are on the KDM models.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’ve read that the US versions of the RWD H/K cars tend to be better equipped (and cheaper) than the KDM versions.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, the KDM versions tend to be much better equipped than the USDM versions (the only thing the USDM versions have up on the KDM versions is engine displacement).

        For instance, the KDM Genesis (and for other overseas markets like the Middle East) has an adjustable air suspension, a cooled front passenger seat (the US version inexplicably does not have it), front blind spot cameras, powered trunk gate, etc. – whereas the US version does not (in order to keep the price down).

        Supposedly, the new Genesis will include a lot more features/amenities and thus get a significant price hike.

        The K9 hasn’t sold as well in Korea as Kia would like, selling about half the volume of the Equus, but the Korean market is very conservative and the more conservative sheetmetal of the Equus befits the target market.

        On the other hand, the Cadenza outsells the Azera in the US.

        The K900 will likely handily outsell the Equus (due to the lower pricepoint of the V6 model) but won’t come close to sales of the Genesis sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Hyundai and Chrysler are the only companies still making a full sized car with a V8 engine that costs less than $60,000. Lincoln and Cadillac SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.

      that said, although the interiors in Hyundai’s/Kia’s look better than my SRTs, I’d never buy one. They just don’t have a soul. Nothing I’d be proud to own.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Eh, Cadillac will have the Omega based flagship sedan in a couple of years and it won’t be for under $60k (and the Equus starts at $61k) – probably will start north of $70k.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    KIA nine-thoussssaaaannnnddd.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    That seems strange to take all that time to develop luxury car and then call it the K900. It sounds like an emblem you’d see on the side of a big box truck or something.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s a nice car. I really like the interior, with the exception of that steering wheel…which looks awkward because the two side spokes are considerably larger than the bottom ones. It reminds me quite a bit of the three-spoke wheels in the third-generation (1996–2000) Chrysler minivans

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Would you like a large car which looks like an Optima, and is priced like an Equus or a large German car, but with a more rubbish badge?

    Nine thousand!

  • avatar
    golfslave

    I dunno, I’m just not feeling this one, especially the light colors. The wheel design is poor (83 tempo?) and the wheels are too small for how thick the body seems. The rocker panels seem to be 90deg to the ground, which looks really bad on a Camry, let alone a 70k car. Interior seems nice tho.

  • avatar
    Mr Mk3

    What’s the point of moving KIA upmarket? All this thing is good for is cannibalizing the already meager sales of big Hyundai’s. A down market Chrysler 300 segment competitor would be a better use of their rear drive platform. Other KIA’s sell fine as stylized Hyundais, but I doubt the formula works on the high end.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Kia already has this model for the Korean market, so it doesn’t cost them much to federalize it.

      And Kia will be bringing a lower cost midsize RWD sedan based on the GT concept in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Terrible name, but looks nice in any color but silver, a car color I’ve come to despise.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I speculate that Kia’s problem in the US is that the demographic favorably impressed with their vastly improved products over the past 10 years isn’t upwardly mobile. They can’t buy high-end anything because their lives, jobs and communities are disintegrating.

    Kia just came too late with too little for a market that every passing day further deteriorates. Guess that leaves China.

    • 0 avatar
      Trauto

      + 1

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Actually, the opposite.

      The Kia Cadenza outsells the Azera and the refreshed Optima SX-L got an upgrade in luxury (now starting at around $37k) due to customer demand (the pre-refreshed SX-L is selling very well for Kia).

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “The Kia Cadenza outsells the Azera”

        What doesn’t?

        “Optima SX-L got an upgrade in luxury (now starting at around $37k) due to customer demand”

        Unsupportable assertion = marketing flak

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport outsells both the Cadenza and Azera, combined.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Not unsupportable at all.

          Last month the Optima had a higher ATP than the Accord and unless the Fusion had a higher ATP, would have had the highest ATP for the segment.

          And the point is that Hyundai is a more established brand than Kia, and yet, Kia sells more the higher priced Cadenza (tha the Azera) and the Optima has a higher ATP than the Sonata.

          Now, the K900 won’t outsell the Genesis sedan (which outsells the Lexus GS and Infiniti M), but it should outsell the Equus.

  • avatar
    cardood

    K900? Stupid name. I think Canine Hundred is much better.

    c|d

  • avatar
    el scotto

    One part of me goes “oh look at all the luxury goodies so much less than a Benz”. The other part goes “dude it doesn’t matter it has those luxury goodies; it’s still a KIA”. Shuddering as I think of the salesperson saying “we can get you some competitive interest rates, very competitive”. A truly misguided effort.

  • avatar
    EX35

    it just seems completely outclassed by the $60K+ competition.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I wonder what people at Lincoln are feeling right now, if even Kia can put together a RWD, V-8 powered luxury car with tons of technology. Probably for less than the cost of a base MKS, let alone a loaded one. Must be frustrating.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I saw a Genesis yesterday for the first time and actually rode alongside of it for a mile or two, I’ve got to say that fit, finish, paint color depth, just the overall look was quality on par with any “S” Class I’ve ever seen. It looked expensive. A little later on I also saw a dirty Tesla and was surprised, I didn’t think Teslas got dirty

    If the K900 is anything like the Genesis, it’s probably pretty nice

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Will be interesting to see how this prices out relative to the Genesis (when equipped as desired). I hope their distribution plan is better than that of the Equus. It’s almost impossible to find a dealer with one within reasonable driving distance. I know they’ll bring it to your home, but who wants a guy sitting in your driveway while you try to evaluate a car? BTW – I live in a suburb immediately adjacent to the city of Chicago so it’s frustrating to have to work to find their product.

  • avatar
    th009

    Oh, I see now, they are naming the new models based on the amplifier output …

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Cadillac, Lincoln and Buick should all hang there heads in shame over this car. Yes a freakin Kia offers a full sized RWD V8 powered sedan. Something those other 3 totally lack and should have. With that said the odd looking interior of this just lacks soul and creativity and the exterior like so many foreign makes is forgettable.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      What’s really nauseating are the prices those companies charge for their inferior engines. Does anyone want a CTS with a 4-turbo? Wouldn’t a V-8 be tempting in that scenario, especially if it cost less?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The new CTS has already won numerous awards and has taken over the mantle as the best-handling midsize, luxury sedan, and the new Cadillac flagship is only a couple of years away.

      One can make a case for Lincoln (and Acura), but Buick does not compete in this market (actually competes with the FWD Lincolns, Acuras and Lexus models).

  • avatar

    This automobile looks frag’n beautiful. To 99% of drivers, this thing looks so good.


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