By on February 24, 2017

2017 Kia Cadenza blue front quarter, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

3.3-liter V6, DOHC (290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm, 253 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

20 city / 28 highway / 23 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

22.3 (Observed, MPG)

Base price: $32,890

As Tested (Limited): $45,290

Prices include $900 destination charge.

The squeals of delight from the back seat were nearly deafening. My eight-year-old had discovered the rear seat heater button while pawing at the door-mounted armrest.

She tends to underdress for the climate, and as usual, she was sporting shorts for her basketball game that morning — in 38 degree weather. Mercifully, the Kia Cadenza took the chill off both the leather seats and her butt, saving mine from a deserved berating from her mother.

The little details Kia sweated in creating this new Cadenza have added up to a remarkable luxury sedan that should be the benchmark for the class but instead will likely remain a second-tier player due to Kia’s history.

Shame, because I’m quite sure this Cadenza is a magnificent Buick.

2017 Kia Cadenza blue front, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

Take a look at that concave grille, all chromed and toothy. Wouldn’t that be right at home on a Buick? Too bad about the spinach stuck between the teeth; that opaque, front-and-center plastic panel hiding the Cadenza’s radar-based features looks a little tacked on. The lighting up front is handsome if a bit contrived, with three lamps for the headlamps, a quartet of fog lamps on either side, and a Z-shaped LED strip for the daytime running lamps.

2017 Kia Cadenza blue rear quarter, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

A horizontal line leads rearward from the headlamp, forms the top of the fender front and rear, and makes its way into a horizontal chrome strip that wraps around the trunk. The headlamp “Z” is echoed out back on the taillamps, linked together by that chrome bar. The optional 19-inch alloy wheels look a little busy, but the dark finish will hide brake dust nicely. It’s handsome, yet understated.

2017 Kia Cadenza blue rear, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

It’s easy to see an Optima with a stretch when inspecting the Cadenza, and there are few significant differences besides 2 extra inches of wheelbase (112.4 inches on the Cadenza versus 110.4 inches for Optima) and 4.6 extra inches of overall length when you compare them dimensionally. The wheelbase difference adds 1.6 inches of rear legroom on the Cadenza, and I can assure you the rear seat occupants were never wanting for foot space during my time with the big Kia. That extra length brings roughly 500 pounds (depending on trim) of heft along with it versus the Optima, but at least there’s a 3.3 liter V6 to pull it along, which produces 290 horsepower, 45 over the Kia midsizer’s top-trim turbo four.

2017 Kia Cadenza seats, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

The interior is at once simple and elegant. The optional white Nappa leather seating looks marvelous, though I can’t imagine what my kids and their dusty cleats would do to it after a long weekend of soccer. The 14-way adjustable driver’s seat accommodated my awkward frame quite nicely, with the extending thigh support especially welcome after yet another extended highway cruise. The heated steering wheel warmed quickly on those brisk February mornings, allowing me to drive glove-free.

Above is a panoramic sunroof, though I’d forgotten it was there by the end of my time with the Kia. Ohio winters will do that to you, as will the Kia’s surprising surplus of head room even with the big glass panel. I’ll typically brush my hair against a sunroof in most cars, but not so with the Cadenza. I even had space for the noggin in the rear of the cabin. Try that in a sloped-roof four-door “coupe.”

The center console compartment opens a bit differently than most. It’s split in the center, and opens as if it were a side-by-side refrigerator. I’d expected my elbow to be irritated by the seam, but it was no bother.

2017 Kia Cadenza interior, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

The Cadenza V6 offers plenty of power for this stately sedan — enough power for extra-legal cruising speeds and backroad passing, but nothing to suggest you might want to hassle street racers. The six is quiet and silken, only allowing a bit of noise to seep into the cabin as redline approaches. The eight-speed automatic transmission is competent and basically invisible. While sport mode does firm the shifts somewhat, I saw no reason to do so. Ditto the shift paddles, which worked as expected, but I didn’t find myself hunting apexes and dropping two gears to power out of corners in the Cadenza.

It’s not that the big Kia drives poorly, nor does it keel over when turning. It’s simply not what the Cadenza is all about. The suspension was firm yet yielding to pavement imperfections, swallowing expansion joints with little more than a muted thump from the big 19-inch tires. The electrically-assisted power steering is a bit numb, however, with little feedback when cornering.

2017 Kia Cadenza instruments, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

A welcome safety feature is a heads-up display, which projects road speed, blind spot, lane departure, and navigation functions on the windscreen. I did find the display muted somewhat when wearing polarized sunglasses, though switching the speed display color from white to green helped.

Parking a sedan as long as the Cadenza might be challenging, but the top-down camera view coupled with the rear view camera made parking a breeze in a cramped downtown garage for a hockey game. I tested the emergency braking that evening as well, when the moron in front of me, driving without lights, abruptly stopped for a drunk pedestrian sprinting across the street. Not a scenario the manufacturer will put on a commercial, but it’s clearly a worthwhile feature.

2017 Kia Cadenza infotainment, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

The UVO infotainment system, paired with the 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, pounds out clear, deep sounds from Bluetooth or SiriusXM, and works beautifully with Android Auto. We have no Apple devices in our household, so I couldn’t test Apple CarPlay, but both are available. The wireless charging mat sits immediately below the HVAC controls, sized perfectly for my Samsung Galaxy S7. I don’t know that a larger phone (say, an explosive Note 7) would fit in that space, though. The infotainment controls on the touchscreen and the steering wheel are simple to use and operate intuitively.

The stout V6 powertrain does come with a drawback in fuel economy. The EPA rates the Cadenza at 20 miles per gallon in city driving, 28 highway, and 23 combined. I was close to the combined number at 22.3 mpg with a suburban two-lane driving mix. The onboard mileage computer was spot-on that figure, too, and registered just over 30 mpg during a two-hour, 70+ mph early morning drive to a meeting. That drive highlighted the beauty of the adaptive cruise control — despite the funky plastic blemish on the grille — which kept me sane in the fast-moving traffic.

If I didn’t have what others call a minivan fetish, I’m certain the Cadenza would be near the top of my shopping list. The serene ride combined with the ample passenger and cargo room make this big Kia a great family car.

No, it’s not inexpensive, with an as-tested price of $45,290 for this top-spec Limited trim. I’d probably choose the dazzling Granite Brown (Brown Car Appreciation Society represent!) with the matching brown leather. Beyond the color, I’d probably choose very nearly this exact car, as the kids would insist on those heated rear seats.

2017 Kia Cadenza blue profile, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

[Images © 2017 Chris Tonn]

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83 Comments on “2017 Kia Cadenza Limited Review – A Better Buick...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    FYI a quick AutoTrader search revealed dealers with BRAND NEW 2015 Cadenzas for sale. (But not advertising good discounts.)

    I’m glad you made the Buick comment.

    Looks like the bastard child of a Park Avenue and a BMW 5 series sedan, but Buick would sue for full custody.

    Oddly I like it but honestly I’ve never seen one in the wild.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “but honestly I’ve never seen one in the wild.”

      Two reasons for that: a) Kia only sells about 400/month, b) you may have seen one, but mistaken it for an Optima. I have an Optima, and still have a hard time telling the difference.

      The 2017 looks more distinct from the front, however.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      KIA is trying to reach the Infiniti and Lexus buyer with this car.

      If comparing this to Buick. The Cadenza is few steps above any Buick. You won’t find any mismatched leather in the seats and the door panels will ,atch up with the dash. Meaning fit and finish of this car far exceeds any Buick built to date.

    • 0 avatar
      VJW

      I have a 2014 Cadenza and I put the K badging on the body and tires. People come up to me all the time wondering what kind of car is it? They love the way it looks and so do I. There are only about 400 in Canada – very rare – seen 3 or 4 in 3 years.
      The trunk is huge but i wish the rear seats folded down.
      I was surprised the new 2017 does not offer the Lane keeping assist?
      I am happy with my 2014 which I think looks better than the 2017 anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Is $5,000 enough on a 2017 Limited? How about $12,000 off on a 2016 Limited? Is 20% off enough of discount?

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I just can’t pay that much for a Credenza.. Sorry! kidding aside, it is a nice looking car, nice dimensions and no ungainly angles to it. The speedo/tach layout is very VW and that shifter looks cheap to me- and too many goddamn buttons.. can’t they simplify this new button thing? At least standardize things? Kia does it one way, Honda another, Nissan etc.. That said, won’t shoppers simply opt for the more popular equivalents? And 22.3 mpg observed? No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Too many buttons? I’m starting to think there is no such thing. Much more elegant than adding in two screens, like Honda and Nissan are doing with Acura/Infiniti. And the buttons will likely still be working 10 years from now.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      It’s a nigh-300HP six in a full-size-ish sedan.

      22 observed in mixed driving is … what one should expect.

      If that’s problematic, you are not the car’s market.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have seen a few in the wild and they look pretty good, maybe a good use buy but to have that folks would have to buy/lease them new, that white interior would look like crap in about one month in my house. Not sure I would go for 19 in wheels but to each their own.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    They try so hard but they’re not real bright.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I like this thing.

    Then again, at 45k, it’s heading precariously into Genesis G80 territory – not quite with equivalent options, but maybe close enough to make the G80 more tempting.

    Also, it has the issue of looking better in white, and I can’t drive a white car because I live on a… well, it’s not a dirt road, but it’s a dir*ty* road, and it would never be clean.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      It’s a warmed over HYUNDAI Azera….and it cost more ???
      I owned an Azera it it was a great trouble free car. The Azera never sold much over 4-500 units per month.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Kia positioned the Cadenza somewhere in between the large premium (i.e. – Toyota Avalon) and large FWD “luxury” sedans (Lexus ES) and in SX-L trim is considerably more luxurious than the Azera.

        But that “tweener” positioning is part of the problem – buyers get confused (it’s too expensive when compared against the likes of the very good Impala, and people have a hard time understanding that a Kia (in SX-L trim) can go toe to toe with the ES.

        Yes, the fully-loaded SX-L trim seems pricey, but load up any model and will add 40%+ to the base price these days.

        The Cadenza starts at $32k which is lower than the starting price of the Avalon, much less the LaCrosse, and the ES starts at $39k – so if one eschews the top trim and go for a more modest equipped Cadenza, would be a good value.

        The Cadenza is a good bit better than its predecessor (which, in turn, was already better than the Azera).

        Looks more upscale than either the LaCrosse or the ES; only downside is that the sheetmetal (Kia did a pretty good job limiting the FWD overhangs) makes one think that the Cadenza would be sportier than it is (really not sporty at all), but I guess that’s what the upcoming Stinger GT is for.

        Kia needs a bigger advertising budget for the Cadenza and bring the hybrid version over, but likely not going to get either.

        • 0 avatar
          skygreenleopard

          I’ve noticed Kia definitely likes this “tweener” sizing. Main reason my wife got a Sorento – the CR-V and Rav4 were too small for the cargo she carries but the next size up of Murano/Pilot/Highlander are huge.

          Their business is doing well so maybe this is working. Optimas sell like hotcakes, we’ll see about these full-size alternatives.

          Personally, I’d consider one a couple years old accounting for the high depreciation that 1) large cars and 2) Kias go through. That plus 8 years left on the 10 year warranty? Sounds like a cheap, trouble-free cushy purchase.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    I have to say, the way they inset the grille fins like that? Pretty damn clever. Too bad the radar plate ruins the look, and the hood cut ain’t great either.

  • avatar
    ajla

    For a Sun Belter I’m not sure what this brings to the table over a RWD G80 3.8L.

    The Genesis is $40K – $50K depending on the trim level and according to the EPA it has the same interior volume as the Kia. Overall MPG is one worse on the Genesis (although the G80 still has more range), but highway MPG is the same and the G80 is nontrivially faster. I’d expect you might get a little better service from the Genesis dealer than the local Kia one as well.

    Also doesn’t the Cadenza have the worst residuals this side of the 500L? A G80 is by no means a resale powerhouse, but I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as the Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Yes, you can get a great deal on a used one, just like the Genesis.

      Everyone that’s confused about this car still fails to see this is the sort of car that they have to make for the Korean market. The fact that they sell it here is just an afterthought, much like the Azera. The G80 was developed with an entirely different goal in mind.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        ^Exactly, it goes back to the XG and the Kia Amanti. Built for the Korean Executive market (where people are driven to work much more than here), and they just happen to sell a few here.

        They are good for Uber and Lyft due to the fact that they’re designed with comforts and room in the back with rear seat passengers given a lot of attention, because that’s what their primary customer uses. The low residuals make them ideal if bought used.

        I’m still wanting an Amanti to do Uber with, I just had to put it on hold for the time being.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Genesis G80 starts at nearly $10k more than the Cadenza – that’s a pretty big disparity in price.

      The smaller G70, as well as the Kia Stinger, will priced alongside the Cadenza (kind of like how the Lexus IS and ES overlap in price – or one price segment up, the CTS and XTS).

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I was thinking more specifically about the Cadenza Limited against the G80 Premium. That’s a much smaller $1700 price difference and the G80 isn’t some stripped down luxury car at that price.

        I’m no expert on Kia’s inventories so it’s possible that everything on the ground is a $34K equipment-level and the high dollar trim only exists on websites and in press fleets. It also sounds like Kia doesn’t really need to sell many of these in North America anyway.

        Still, beyond winter traction, if someone is spending $40K+ on an H/K product I can’t see how the G80 loses to the Cadenza. Maybe if someone *really* wants to fly under the radar?

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          While the Premium trim of the G80 isn’t stripped down, it doesn’t have nearly all the “goodies” as the top trim of the Cadenza.

          Really would depend on what the buyer prefers – having all the latest tech and safety aides or getting RWD.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Yes, this would make a damn nice Buick, but the problem is that Buick already sells a damn nice $45,000 sedan, and so does Lexus. Given that, the Cadenza’s low sales figures make sense.

    And, Chris, if this is a “better Buick,” how does it compare to the LaCrosse?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m just pleasantly surprised that they’re not comparing it to $80K Euro sedans, then claiming they’re a great deal because they cost less.

      The reality is, these things compete in their own price range and they’ve plenty of competition. Maybe the the automotive press’ love affair with Hyundai/Kia is ending?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      For one thing, it starts $1,000 less than the LaCrosse. It probably should have been mentioned that this is a car that starts $32K, and can probably be had brand new for thousands less.

      Not bad for a full size car that comes with leather and a V6 standard.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The current LaCrosse has a more powerful std engine with considerably more torque, better FWD mileage figures at 21/31 or 20/29 AWD which is still better than this Kia’s 20/28 figure, offers AWD which the Kia does not, handles better with the optional 20″ wheels and hyper strut front suspension. The LaCrosse is also quieter, has more front and back seat legroom and Buick has a std 8″ touchscreen vs Kia’s 7″. The 8″ is only offered with the Navigation upgrade. Note too that the LaCrosse offers massaging seats which the Kia does not, a nice added luxury touch.

      The Kia counters with a bit more upscale interior thought the pictures in this article sure don’t really show that, a slightly lower base price, a longer warranty and a tad larger trunk. This article below gives them a virtual toss up which rather belies the better Buick comment I think. Will test drive both extensively to make my own conclusions.

      http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1107137_2017-buick-lacrosse-vs-2017-kia-cadenza-compare-cars

  • avatar
    make_light

    Sat in this and the new Lacrosse recently. Cadenza’s interior is MILES better. I was actually shocked at how flimsy the Lacrosse interior felt- maybe it was a bad example? Two adjacent panels near the center stack flexed against each other. I actually think the previous Lacrosse interior felt far more solid.
    This Kia looks like a really strong effort. I wish it’d do well in sales, but that seems unlikely. It’s not cheap, but why should it be when it’s put together so nicely?

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Interesting. I just purchased a 14′ Lacrosse and find the interior much better than the previous generation <13. Overall I am quite pleased with it, quiet with plenty of power and the AWD was nice last night in the ice and snow from the airport. Test drove 14' GS 350 AWD along with the Lacrosse, found the Lacrosse (obvious since i bought it) to be a much nicer car for substantially less money with more options. The big notices vs the Lexus: quieter (which could be tire selection), faster, same mpg but Buick likes pump gas vs Lexus likes the premium.

      Admittedly, I did not even think to sit in a Kia, so I can't compare.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      That seems like a gross overstatement. We too sat in both and did find the Kia a bit better in certain fits but materials were similar and the LaCrosses pleasant cream and brown was preferred over the boring black and grey that was on display. The Buick felt warmer overall and seat comfort was similar. I did like the shift lever in the Kia much better than the silly joy stick affair in the LaCrosse.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice review, Chris.

    You did mention ‘this new’ Cadenza, but it’s worth noting that the 2017 has a slightly larger interior than the 2016 model.

    At 6’6″, I always found the older version very cramped, which I don’t understand because its dimensions look ok on paper.

    When I bought my leftover 13 Optima Hybrid in 2014, the dealer had a leftover 13 Cadenza for $10k off, so its starting price was $26k. I’ll bet deals like that are still available.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    At $45K it is encroaching on loaded $48K Lexus ES territory. Factor in probable depreciation and you may as well call that a tie. I wonder how well the Kia does on that playing field. The ES isn’t quite what it used to be and the Kia is reasonably handsome and upscale from the outside and the interior looks very nicely detailed in photos. Not sure the Kia’s powertrain matches up, though.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      It’s not a tie considering the discounts you can get on a new Cadenza. My dad was offered $7000 on one without any haggling.

      The 3.5L V6 in the Toyota is obviously one of the best in the business, but this 3.3L puts down similar numbers. It’s been in the previous Cadenza for years. So your choice boils down to spending more on a good car that keeps its value, or spending less on a good car that isn’t hideous.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Sure, you’d need to do your research on exact resale value vs. pricing flexibility and see how it pans out. That’s more work than I’m willing to do for a comment, but looking up C&D stats is super-EZ for me, and it shows a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds for the ES and 6.7 for the Cadenza so I will desperately claim victory on the powertrain argument. That’s a substantial difference and would matter to me even if I were shopping for a FWD isolation chamber.

        I’m also shallow enough that the Lexus badge would be worth something to me over a Kia, and how much more I’m not sure. Probably not $7000 more.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I find the Kia badge embarrassing on anything but economy cars. They should use the KDM stylized K badge for their uplevel cars here.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          C&D stats aren’t always very accurate, and they also haven’t tested the new Cadenza, those are the old 6-speed’s numbers. Aaaanyway, yes, the giant KIA badge is awful.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            2017 w/ 8spd:

            http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-kia-cadenza-test-review

            Not sure what to say about the accuracy. If you have a more reliable source, let me know and I’ll check it out.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            C&D test of 2017 Cadenza with 8-speed:

            http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-kia-cadenza-test-review

            Motortrend test of 8-speed Cadenza:

            http://www.motortrend.com/cars/kia/cadenza/2017/2017-kia-cadenza-first-test-review/

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Alex got a 6.5s 0-60 time with the Cadenza in hot, humid conditions which he states is quicker than the Avalon or ES.

            https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alex+autos+cadenza

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I ask for a more reliable source than C&D’s standardized condition-corrected test procedure and I get a reference to Alex Dykes with a phone app.

            From the H/K employee.

            Come on.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Well, EXCUUUUSE me (Alex is an extremely well-regarded auto reviewer and whatever method he applies for his 0-60 times shouldn’t matter as it applies to every vehicle he tests).

            Here’s Alex’s full test of the Cadenza back on his home turf.

            As Alex points out, a comparably equipped ES is $15k more and while it has real wood trim, the leather seats aren’t as nice and doesn’t have the full upper suede interior trim.

            And nice, lame ad hominem attack (so creative and original!).

            For the record, I give high marks to the Cadenza b/c it’s deserving (and that’s backed up by pretty much all the reviews); same for the Chevy Impala (gee, guess that makes me a “Chevy salesman”).

            The Azera, otoh, is ho-hum.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Take a look at that concave grille, all chromed and toothy. Wouldn’t that be right at home on a Buick?”

    Yes, but it looks more like the nose on the Maserati Levante:

    http://images.car.bauercdn.com/pagefiles/27977/mlev-004.jpg

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    At a MSRP of $45k as equipped, Kia will sell 179 of these monthly, with 83.7% of those sales going to owners, sales managers and anyone else in relatively upper-management positions at Kia Dealerships that will be pressured to take these by Kia HQ (they will purchase on last day of month to meet incredibly low-as-is quota at huge discount, have relatives drive for a few weeks, then put them on used car CPO lot), another 10% going to rental agencies, and the remaining 2.3% sold to the general public.

    How are sales of the Kia K900 (horse-glue adhesive aroma special) going?

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      DW, I’m sincerely not smart enough to know the answer to this question, so bear with me here: Are you doing standup here, or are you saying the “relatives drive for a few weeks, then CPO” drill is actually done with significant numbers of top-line Kias?

      If so, I assume those CPOs figure to be screaming deals.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Within 300 to 500 miles of me (yeah I know I live in the middle of nowhere) it is rare that I can even find a CPO Cadenza or K900. Generally about once a month I’ll stroll over to Auto Trader and look at “large premium/near premium sedans” just as a mental exercise thinking about the next vehicle.

        I can find CPO Genesis no problem but not “premium” Kias.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Right. The thing, DeadWeight, is that Kia doesn’t try too hard to sell premium sedans here. Few get sent to dealers at all. Both the Cadenza and the K900, when they were brought to the U.S., had been in the KDM market for a while; we were just an afterthought market. It’s hard to make fun of the unpopular kid when he genuinely doesn’t try or care to be in the “in-crowd”.

          But this is a solid effort. Fit-and-finish issues notwithstanding, I still think it’s stupid to buy a Korean luxury or premium car new, since they depreciate fairly steeply. Buy it used.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        TonyCaDenza – 1st, we all know that there’s all kinds of shady $hit going down at auto dealerships (from BMW to Fiat to Nissan; double or triple that shady $hit when it comes to KIA).

        2nd – We all know you a) have a raging boner for promoting all things Kia because you sell them.

        3rd – These cars, along with the even more rare in the North American market, K900s, are more exotic than just about anything (K900s are more unicorn than Ferraris, bro), and it’s not because they’re desirable/in demand.

        • 0 avatar
          Chocolatedeath

          DW..I get it you dont like them…I dont that much. However I did drive a K900 last year for a day and its really not that bad of a car. ITs the Town Car of my youth and now that I am 50 I have found I dont need next level steering or prestige.
          These make a great value on the used car market and its were I may get one when its time to get a new vehicle in 3 years…thats if I dont get a end of production FLEX>

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Um, the starting price is $32k.

      A loaded Focus Titanium goes for around $28k (almost double its starting base price).

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I’m not so hot on the Saturn Ion-like bumper car steering wheel, but I do like the contrast of the flush headlights against the tomato slicer grille. And the tail light treatment is just enough to be distinctive without becoming ungainly.

    I like this style job, and I think this car used for $10 grand in a few years would be a great buy.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I really do not like the 4 LED flashlights that Kia uses as driving lights on several of their models. Trying way too hard.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think this is the most handsomely-styled Kia sedan since…ever, really. It even looks better than that RWD GT they’ll soon be peddling. And, yes, it looks nicer than the LaCrosse. But, yeah, I’m sure it will be an also-ran just because buyers in this segment are reluctant to choose Kia. The smart money says to buy it after a year for a shade over $20K, due to Kia’s historically-poor sedan resale values (especially on its full-sized ones).

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      You are so right Kyree..Luckily for a person like me I dont care about resale value..I drive it to the wheels fall off. I will buy either this or a K900 used in about two-three years. It is the best looking one to date.
      When you can get a modern day Town Car(K900) for less than 35k with only about 9k miles on the odometer its a good thing.
      I dont understand why so many think these cars are horrible.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I was in Korea a few months ago, and these were common. I really liked the new grille. I’m glad they brought it here, I figured the Cadenza was likely to be terminated since it’s such a poor seller.

    This car starts at less than $1,000 more than a V6 Accord or Camry sedan. And I bet Kia dealers are willing to sell it at thousands less than either of those cars. I don’t see how anyone looking to hold on to their car for a long time wouldn’t be well served by checking out the Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      They are common in Korea because that’s the market they were designed for.

      Not calling you stupid, lol, just pointing out as others have that North America gets these because their R&D, tooling, etc are paid for by domestic (Korean) sales, as well as other Asian countries it sells in (China?). We get them because they’re already there, not because they think they’ll be toe-to-toe with Accord on the sales charts.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I’m fully aware of why H/K sends their premium cars to the US. I regularly raise this point whenever someone says, “duh, why dey think dey can compete with Kia900?”

        As to their ubiquity in Korea, I’m only pointing out that it’s a good looking sedan. I like looking at the K7. I never said Kia was going after Camcord sales with this car. That’s obviously what the K5 is for. But any informed shopper, looking for a V6 sedan in the low $30’s, would be well served to look at this car vs. the Camcord. If anything, I think that’s a market Kia should target, were they to bother in advertising the car at all.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Looks like a Volvo S90 to me. Cadenza’s would be great cars to buy used. Looks like 2 year old Cadenzas sell for 1/2 MSRP.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If given the choice between this and a Buick, I’d go with the Buick.

    Because it’s NOT A KIA.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Awhile back I drove a two year old example of whatever the high end Kia was. I forget the model.

    Anyway, before buying something like this from the Koreans (or anyone, really), go drive a two year, off lease, under 30K mile example.

    You’ll realize why a friend of mine said what he said, as he described that he bought a Hyundai and his wife bought a Kia: “We know who has the longest warranty. We also know who has the better car.”

    That two year old high end Kia was a piece of crap. It doesn’t age or wear well.

    Compare that to the two year old Buick I drove, the high zoot, 6 speed model. That was also a piece of crap, but I could tell that was by design–not simply wear.

    There’s a reason Lexus exists.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      The reason Lexus exists is Toyota

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      A relative owns a 9 year old Kia (has over 110k miles) and despite putting little care in terms of upkeep (busy professional with kids), the interior has held up (just some minor wear on the leather seats).

      The Kia has held up better than the luxury cars they own.

      There’s a Lexus LS owner who ended up purchasing a Sedona SX-L for wife/kids and is quite happy with it.

      Got the Sedona over the Sienna or Odyssey b/c the Sedona looked better and had the more luxurious interior.

    • 0 avatar
      skygreenleopard

      The reason Lexus exists is because Americans are gullible to marketing from Toyota and others, as your post shows (ragging on Korean reputation based on… nothing, really, then excusing Buick’s crap quality as “it’s a feature, not a bug!”).

  • avatar
    S197GT

    tried to get my wife interested in a 2014 or 15 CPO Cadenza. Watched a CPO 2014 drop in price to $17,500 with only 30-some thousand miles on the clock.

    she won’t do it. it is a kia.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Considering the tester has $12k worth of options at msrp, they should be itemized along with some discussion of whether they are available on cars like Accords and Altimas. I’m curious how the base model compares with V6 CamCordImas. I’m pretty sure 19″ wheels, pano roof, and HUD are all optional; I don’t think that would account for $12k though.

    A pricing discussion compared to possible and even unlikely competition is critical to a car like this. $45k is a rough price bracket. Maybe the idea was to leave that to the “B&B”?
    * Base MSRP on a 340i is about $48k. I suspect leasing deals on BMWs are more favorable than something with the KIA’s depreciation curve.
    * If performance sedans are your thing, a Charger Scat Pack stickers for $5k less, and Dodge will probably deal from there.
    * Really want the engine mounted sideways and well ahead of the front axle for some reason? There is the Fusion Sport that for a similar base price gets you more power and AWD, and will be well equipped for less.

    I guess there is a market for it, but I have a hard time with a FWD family sedan platform priced in the high 30s, nevermind 45. If I’m going over $32k I want to put the power down with some dignity, and I want an engine that sounds good doing it.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I really try so hard not to be a brand snob.

    But for whatever reason KIA remains on my no-go list. Even at lower ends of the market.

    I know its a shame, they seem like fine cars, many with good styling. And yet every time I see “KIA” staring back at me, I just think no-way.

    So yeah, I’d be all over just about anything else. Even a Hyundai is far more respectable.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re missing out on some nice cars. I have two Kias in my driveway – no regrets after 10 combined years of ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I’m the same. We occasionally come across the older Kia Amanti’s and they don’t seem to hold up very well with time. Doors that open really hard. Rust holes in strange places like the roof. Flaking peeling wheel finishes. Iffy paint. And they go through the auctions for a song and deservedly so.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It’s not a cheap car, but the price doesn’t seem horribly inappropriate for what it is. The trouble is having to deal with Kia dealers to buy one.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Just cannot understand the irrational brand snobbery comments. Much like saying “I only buy German” or “I only buy GM”. After over 40 years of buying vehicles, I can categorically state that the 2nd easiest and most professional negotiation I have had was with a Kia dealer. 2nd only because we dealt for a decade with one sales rep for the entire family. And the Kia dealer provided the 2nd best service of any dealer I have ever dealt with.

    Now I wouldn’t pay $45k for one of these. But not just based on its badge.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Chrysler 300S anyone?

    They need to be in the 30’s for this to make sense.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Generic rice pudding. Better flavors out there for a bit more coin.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    White leather?!? Reminds me of 70s-80s Cadillacs with white seats and navy or burgundy carpets.

    I have had really good luck with Korean cars, we have a 2006 Kia Sportage in our household with 160k miles…reliable as can be and the perforated leather seats hardly show any wear at all.

    Would I drop $45k on a Korean car? Nope, but to be fair I would be hard-pressed to spend that on ANY car, at least until the kids are out of college in a couple of years.

    My real beef with light colored leather is that blue dye from denim fabric gets ground into the surface and it’s almost impossible to get rid of the stains…give me a chestnut interior, or charcoal gray.

  • avatar
    probert

    So it’s just a really good looking sedan that performs really well, is very comfortable, everything works as it should, great stereo… How dare they!!! I want more – and I want it now!

    You know how you say Buick in German: Audi.


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