By on October 15, 2014

 2015 Kia K900When dining at a steakhouse, my father always told me, make sure you ask for your beef to be grilled longer than you would at home, because restaurants always hastily send the food to your table. You want medium-rare? Ask for medium. Want medium? Ask for medium-well.

With the K900, a V8-engined sedan closely related to the Hyundai Equus, Kia asked for rare, and the chef that is the American car consumer collective is sending it out to the table even rarer.

The K900 has only been on sale in the United States since March, but it’s quickly becoming simple to draw conclusions regarding its desirability. Sales peaked at 260 units in its first full month on the market, April, and have declined (month-over-month) ever since. May volume totalled 227 K900s, then 224 in June, 132 in July, 102 in September, and 56 in September.

Keep in mind, we never expected this to be an S-Class-like seller. (Mercedes-Benz USA is selling nearly 1900 S-Classes per month in 2014.) Nor did we assume the K900 would sell like far less popular mid-rung luxury cars such as the Audi A6, sales of which are up 9% to 17,167 this year. In fact, the standards set by the established Hyundai Equus seemed lofty.

But this gradual decline to near nothingness is nevertheless disappointing when one considers the initial expectations for 5000 annual K900 sales. Cars.com shows 626 K900s currently inventoried. The bulk of that inventory was available at this time a month ago.

Kia is sensitive to the sight of low numbers in its monthly sales release. Brand-wide sales are up 7% this year because of vehicles like the Soul (115,579 year-to-date sales), Forte (53,793), and Sportage (32,643). Kia’s Cadenza, at approximately 850 units per month, generates 28% greater volume than the Hyundai Azera. So with two asterisks, Kia USA points out: “2015 K900 V8 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.”

That’s a double-drop of “select” and a “limited” mention, to boot.

And we’re not going to argue with their point. The K900 is supposed to be rare. Moreover, fewer than one-third of the brand’s dealers are eligible to sell the car.

Yet when it quickly becomes rarer than rare – it was outsold by the Scion iQ, Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet SS, Dodge Viper, cancelled Jaguar XK, electric Mercedes-Benz B-Class, defunct Acura TSX, and the BMW i8 in September – the K900 quickly ceases to be relevant for the purpose of brand-building.

It’s easy to make a case that the Hyundai Genesis has elevated the Hyundai brand as a whole. If potential Forte and Optima buyers never even see a K900, can that car pull off the same trick at Kia?

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117 Comments on “Rare Kia K900 Is Becoming Rarer...”


  • avatar
    Jimal

    Kia K900 = Volkswagen Phaeton

    A premium – and by all accounts well built – car from a brand not known for such things, and at a price point that no one is going to touch.

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      Its worse than the Phaeton. At least VW somewhat had the “cache” of being a premium mainstream car maker…Kia is still (perhaps unjustly) seen as the bargain-bin brand in that very same segment.

      Seriously—if you couldnt scrounge up the extra $20K or so to get the German or less than that to get the “premium marque” Japanese equivalent, who wouldnt drop down to a 5 series rather than dumping $65K and parking a KIA in your driveway? Kia (and VW) doesnt seem to get it—at this price point and north, there is a LOT of implied prestige included in these luxury car badges.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’m no market analyst but the slow sales of this car are not surprising. The giant KIA badge seen on hamster-driving Souls and some really horrible late-90s econoboxes doesn’t look desirable on such an expensive luxury sedan.

    Only 1/3 of the dealers are eligible to sell it? That’s good, the one in our town has a really smarmy high-pressure vibe to it, I can’t imagine sitting down with that staff to purchase an expensive car.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      The Kia dealer in this area has an illustrious D- rating by the BBB.
      But never mind that… This business has run commercials shouting the praises of the K900, and how you can test drive it “by invitation only.” Then they have a guy wearing a big hamster head do the moonwalk in front of the camera while a large-busted young lady rubs herself against the hood. Classy!

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I’d like to see that commercial on Youtube. What’s the dealer’s name?

        • 0 avatar
          MrGrieves

          University Kia. They run 30 minute spots on weekends that are beyond absurd. I’m not sure if they’re on YouTube.

          They have a guy dressed as a doctor (scrubs, stethoscope, etc.) who runs their “Credit Clinic”. Another guy wears a glistening Jeri Curl wig and goes by the name “Sno Nuff!” Additionally – they have a gentleman wearing a diaper and bonnet who walks around sucking on a pacifier. Get the point? Classy place to do business.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I found a University Kia in Durham, and one in Huntsville. Couldn’t find any extreme commercials like that. The worst I found was “Kia Kong”, a dude dressed like Fred Flintstone in Columbus, OH.

            I grew up with MarK “and you can count on it” Brown commercials from Norton Furniture in Cleveland. Now that’s class! We’re lucky that dude’s not selling cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            People in SE Michigan may be aware of the very late night Canton or Northville Kia Dealer that has the Evangelical style spokesman & spokeswoman doing a 2 hour buy-a-Kia-begathon on Channel 2 (local Fox affiliate).

            Stay classy, Kia.

            Then again, the relatively new Cadillac Dealership about 12 miles from my home just added an even larger Kia dealer to its parcel (same owner, same salespeople, shared between two buildings).

            So, there’s that.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            If Cadillac had any respectability left after the ads with the talking duck in the 80s, which I don’t think they did, they burned that too with the dancing robots this summer.

            Sharing their lot with another upmarket brand like Kia is Ziggy coming home to roost.

          • 0 avatar
            anti121hero

            Jeez and i thought the kia dealer Billy fucillo in cny was bad… IT’S HUGE

    • 0 avatar
      iantm

      Saw one of these in the wild the other day.. It was… odd. I didn’t think they were actually selling these. It looked nice, but I think I’ll go with the Hyundai or pay the premium for the dealer experience at one of the established luxury marques.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Let this be a cautionary tale for all the “brands cant be legit without a RWD S class fighting flagship” zealots.

    Similar entries from brands not currently in the market- Cadillac, Infiniti, Acura, Lincoln- will suffer the same fate, no matter how good their efforts are. Doesn’t matter how good the car is- objectively, and to the F-segment market, subjectively, nothing beats an S-Class. The only way to “establish legitimacy” is by old tried and true business methods- making products people want at prices people are OK to pay. NOBODY wants a store brand S-Class… better to try and attack niches it doesn’t cover; i.e., when the incorrect rumor came out that Caddy’s CT6 would be both a plug in hybrid AND their flagship, I grew hopeful for their situation.

    It’s 2014; manufacturers (and internet armchair brand managers) need to let go of market demands from 1994. People buying >$50K cars generally don’t give a crap about dynamics or RWD or cylinder count- the proliferation of 4 banger 5s/Es and 6 banger 7s/Ss, as well as BMW’s continued sales volume in light of their near complete abandonment of focus on dynamics (as well as forays into new niches and technologies like plug in hybrids) is all proof of this.

    No, Kia/Hyundai would have been wiser to take the money they wasted on the Equus/K900 and put that back into developing hybrid/plug in tech, as well as hiring some chassis engineers. The F-segment is about half as relevant as it was at its peak, sales wise- profits are in CUVs and the future is in efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      100% agree, except for the fact that the Equus/K900 sell well enough in their home market to justify their existence.

      I also think that the whole FWD/RWD debate is irrelevant. Almost everything in this price range is AWD, and it’s never driven hard enough to spill the CEO’s coffee.

      Kia would do well to market these to the Oldsmobile crowd: understated luxury for the bling-adverse.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I think there is room for such a car as this, however they aimed too high with price and features for their brand. They should have created a “Lexus” brand and perhaps had the success the Ls has had. The other option would be to price it up and content it up against the Chrysler 300 so its potential buyers could actually afford it.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Its a totally different market. Lexus was born off the profits and in the midst of a global bubble. The LS was a loss leader and the Germans’ offerings were old and crappy. There was pretty much no competition in the luxury market.

        Today the luxury market is at saturation and cutthroat. The current S-Class is the best S-Class of all time by a landslide. Earnings are earned, not printed or borrowed like around the inception of Lexus’. And this segment is nowhere near what it used to be. If Kia were to go for luxury, IMO they should have made some CUVs. The executive SUV is ripe for the taking IMO. I agree that if they absolutely had to do this they should have come up with another brand… but that would require more dealerships etc.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        I feel that Hyundai/Kia need to decide which brand is going after which market segments. Making a Lexus-y sub-brand is a fine idea, and one Hyundai started to do a half-assed job at with the Genesis and Equus lines. But at present both brands seem to be using a scatter-shot approach, targeting every segment from econoboxes all they way to luxobarges. Segmenting the two a little would make sense, especially pushing Kia slightly toward the family/youth/budget segments where they seem to do well, while pulling Hyundai upmarket slightly, or leaving its lineup alone and spinning Genesis off in a Toyota/Lexus-type arrangement.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          This. They don’t need Lexus necesssarily, but they could use a Buick or Acura. I really have no idea what the difference between a Kia and a Hyundai is *supposed* to be.

          In general, it feels like giant Korean conglomerates have a hard time understanding how to market in the US. Samsung seems to succeed in spite of its own marketing in much the same way.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The K900 is no Lexus LS460, let alone a LS430 – far from either.

        It’s a very plain, even more dull, more generic, vehicle, lacking the true and deep quality of either Lexi underneath the sheet metal and padded dash/instrument cluster, and has some disturbing reminders that Kia, even given the best of its technology and engineering know how, can’t remotely match Lexus when the vehicle hits road imperfections.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          To be fair, I thought the current-gen LS460 *was* a mid-price Korean sedan when I first saw it (before the spindle facelift).

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Lexus diminished the luxury of the LS when they transitioned from the 430 to the 460, and they dropped the build/interior quality a notch or so, too, in that process IMO.

            But honestly, anyone who ends up paying anything over 50k for a K900 will be wind up paying far more than someone paying near MSRP for the LS460 due to the much steeper depreciation the K900 is going to have.

            I’ve only sat in the K900, but have driven in the Equus, and neither Hyundai nor Kia can yet credibly compete in large Lexus sedan space (the Equus felt like a very well trimmed Buick).

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          And yet, numerous reviewers have stated that the new Genesis is like the original LS400, which many still regard as the best LS out of the 3 generations.

          Both the Equus and K900 will be replaced in a few years with the new platform.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Uhm, H/K already have hybrids and the new Sonata and upcoming new Optima will have also offer a plug-in hybrid as well as a regular hybrid.

      And they didn’t “waste” $$ on the Equus and K900 since they developed them primarily for their domestic market (plus, the Equus isn’t doing top badly in the US for a RWD model w/o AWD and the next gen model should do better).

  • avatar
    hudson

    Whatever happened to low volume, (somewhat) practical and barebones fun cars? From what I’ve read about this and just about every other new car is an overpowered electronic entertainment system that happens to get you somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Ask Mazda how the Mazda2 is selling.

      People don’t buy barebones fun cars. You might make a case for barebones cars that can coddle you somewhat (eg, like the Yaris or more basic Corollas) but even that’s not a huge market. There never really was; even back before the Great Malaise-Era Market Correction, most people didn’t buy particularly sporting cars.

      Add in the fact that, in modern manufacturing, it’s actually more expensive to produce a hairshirt-spec trim level then it is to just make one model that satisfies 90% of the customer base.

      • 0 avatar
        hudson

        I understand your argument. Maybe I’m a tiny percentage of the market. My wife and I had an essentially limitless budget for a new vehicle this summer and hit all the dealerships.

        The newest car we were considering, that was exciting and practical, was a mid 90s M5 Touring. My wife got cold feet on it, and I instead bought a 70s French 4 door sports sedan.

        We’ll keep the 7 year old Saturn Astra for winter and other chores.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Same thing that happened to having 9 million different platforms under one corporate umbrella, or weird little wacky offshoots like the Mazda AZ-1

      The end of market conditions that enabled bad business.

      Besides, there are plenty of bare bones cars out there. Nothing stopping you from buying an unloaded Fiesta 1.0 and swapping in the ST suspension. There you go, cheap, bare bones, slow, “fun” car.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Hyundai really needs to figure out what it wants Kia to be, at least in North America.

    Is it Hyundai with less objectionable styling and a 5% discount (otherwise known as “the Korean Pontiac” to Hyundai’s Chevy). If that’s the case, then perhaps an examination of what happened to the original Pontiac might be in order?

    Is Kia supposed to be “sporty”? If so, why to they get an Azera clone, while Hyundai gets the Veloster and Genesis coupe?

    Are they a youth brand? Again: Hyundai gets the Veloster, Genesis Coupe and a couple of hatchbacks.

    Or is Kia a VW/Audi competitor?

    I get the impression Hyundai and Kia’s marketing teams are suffering from GM Disease: a misunderstanding of Sloan’s “A car for every purse and purpose” as “A car for every purse and purposes _for each brand_”.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      I don’t believe the corporate relationship between Hyundai and Kia is that simple. Hyundai doesn’t get to decide what niches Kia gets to fill.

    • 0 avatar

      For one thing, Hyundai only owns 34% of Kia. That means that both companies typically use the same structural, mechanical and electronic components, but Hyundai doesn’t really manage the way that Kia markets its cars. For another, it seems that Hyundai is more the mainstream brand, while Kia cars seem to be a bit sportier and less-practical, and they carry a price-premium. You will typically spend more on an Optima, for example, than a Sonata.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        In my view, KIA was the lower-end brand partner of Hyundai. Stretching lower and topping out lower than Hyundai ever did. I think the perception in Korea was this as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Kia is supposed to be the “sportier”/more youthful brand but that doesn’t mean that the 2 don’t compete in the same segments or fill different segments (Hyundai has far greater resources than Kia and thus can fill more segments).

      What it does mean is that when the 2 compete in the same segment, the Kia version is usually sportier (see Optima vs. Sonata or K900 vs. Equus or the upcoming GT vs. Genesis).

      They haven’t exactly done a good job in such differentiation (Kia USA is reticent in moving too much away from the “comfort” segment which make up the bulk of the US marketplace) but supposedly will do more so down the road.

      And while Kia, overall, has a lower brand-strength than Hyundai, it is Kia that actually offers a higher end trim with the SX-L that is pricier than the top Hyundai trim – which is why it is the Optima and not the Sonata that is in the top 4-5 ATPs for the midsize sedan segment.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    the badge needs to go! “KIA” in that sad looking font looks bad on a cheap car, and it will not ever work on a luxury car. Something stylish with an image and cursive font.

    A subname would be good too. Even if it is a Kia, give it an out so it doesn’t have to be called a Kia. Telling the guys at the office you have a “Draconis K900” sounds a hell of a lot more impressive than a “Kia K900.”

    Perception is what sells in this space.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Interestingly, Kia has a very nice logo in Korea: Google “Kia 3.0 K Logo” and you’ll see something like a Mazda logo, rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

      Why they choose to keep the North American “KIA” badge is beyond me.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        There’s a guy who parks a black Optima near my work with a set of those logos. It’s a gorgeous car, Kia or not.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          The Optima really is the apex of Kia’s design. Sadly, the K900 and new Soul presage something awful.

          • 0 avatar
            MLS

            The mid-cycle refresh didn’t do the current-generation Optima any favors, either. It’s still a nice looking mid-size sedan, to be sure, but less elegant than Peter Schreyer’s original design.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “the K900 and new Soul presage something awful.”

            What’s wrong with the new Soul?

            It’s taller than the previous version; that’s an unarguable advantage for us creaky old farts who buy them.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The refresh totally ruined the rear when they changed the shape of the tail-lights from among the best to just another amorphous blob.

            As for the Soul, didn’t think would like it at 1st, but the 2G Soul is not bad looking for a box-ute (esp. compared to the likes of the xB, Cube, Element, etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I have seen Kias here in the US with that replacement SK market badging.

      • 0 avatar
        genuineleather

        Our local Kia dealer calls that badge the “Flying K” and about half of the Optima SXLs I see (including the one my mother drives) running around have it.

        It’s not a *great* logo, but anything is better than that hideous, design-free “KIA” badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      kvndoom: Perception is what sells in this space.

      Exactly. Very, very few people want to pay over $40k for a car with no status/snob appeal. I’m sure the K900 is a good car that is priced lower than similarly equipped luxury cars, but once a buyer is paying over $40k they want to be proud of the badge on the hood.

      A big part of having a luxury car is status. The Kia badge represents economy, not status, so sales are slow. This cannot be a surprise to anybody at Kia. Most people paying K900 money want to be able to show off a little.

      • 0 avatar

        “The Kia badge represents economy, not status, so sales are slow.”

        Sort of. Generally, as with Hyundai, there has been widespread acceptance of Kia cars in the mainstream market. There aren’t nearly as many people these days who have qualms about dropping $30K on an Optima EX. And a lot of that is down to design and feature content. *That* said, once you move into higher tiers, those negative feelings start to come back. “Kia wants $60K for this sedan?! After that horrible Sephia they made?!” Even with other mainstream brands and second-tier luxury automakers, it’d be a problem. Acura, Volvo Lincoln would (and do) have a hard time selling cars at that price-point. $50K and up is the big-leagues range.

        That said, I seriously don’t think Kia meant to sell too many of these…

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        A big part of having a luxury car is status. The Kia badge represents economy, not status, so sales are slow. This cannot be a surprise to anybody at Kia. Most people paying K900 money want to be able to show off a little.

        The Kia badge to me only screams one thing and that is ‘Look at me! I got approved!’

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        A loaded Kia Optima SX-L has an MSRP of around $38k and a loaded Sorento SXL and the new Sedona SXL are $40k+.

        Also, the Genesis sedan has done well for Hyundai w/o the lux badge and better than the Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70 and Acura RLX which all have lux badges.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    For fun I went to the Kia site and spec’d one of these. Grand total $60,400 MSRP. I can’t imagine how hard I would have to hit my head to go to a dealership that’s primary advertising medium is either: 1. I wanna see ya in a Kia with no money down or 2. Advertised by hamsters which are rodents, and I really don’t like rodents.

    For 60k I think I would purchase something that has a prayer of retaining its resale value.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    People looking for a good land barge at rock bottom prices will love a 2-3 year old k900.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    While I wouldn’t pretend to know what direction Kia should take regarding its upper line vehicle sales, I will say that your father’s advice about ordering steak is astonishingly wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      It’s been astonishingly on the mark for decades both in fine dining locations and unregulated Mexican backyards. I do recall, however, being at a darkened wedding reception where we were not offered a choice and beef was served that couldn’t have encountered heat. Not sure what advice applies in those circumstances.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I think you must just have a different idea of what “rare” is from the mainstream. Typically I’ve found restaurants to err on the side of having the steak more done than the medium rare I ask for, which is why I ask for medium rare and not medium. Steak beyond medium is just nasty.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I have to agree with you guys, and thought the same thing reading the article. If I want something medium I ask for medium rare. Usually it will be medium or medium well. Can’t order a steak rare though, and expect medium rare for some reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        Having worked in a few commercial steakhouse kitchen, the chances are that you steak will more cooked on the wrong side of done than it will be more rare. Steaks are put into the broiler and set on timers, which means that in a brigade kitchen, it will never come out more rare than it was supposed to be. The chances are that it will be left in a little bit longer than the calculated and calibrated amount for any given steak because no one was able to pull the steak because they were busy doing something else. I’ve seen oven timers go off and while no one attend to it for a full minute.

        It’s basically impossible at a proper steakhouse for a steak to be plated to go out undercooked because no one is going to open the oven before the timer goes off.

        The only possibility for a steak to go out before it’s ready is if the server plates the steak before it’s properly rested out of the oven, in which case the advice should be, leave your steak on the plate after it’s hit your table for a couple before cutting it.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        While I’m sure you’re father gives sage advice, you’re getting it backwards. Order the steak one level “done-news” down as you’re neighborhood outback is cooking your steak on a 1200 degree salamander and at best, pops Jenn-aire oven can do is 500. You’re steak is still cooking while being plated and sent out of the window at steaks r us

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      My first thought was “dude eats in some crappy steakhouses.” Ruth’s Chris always brings my steak exactly, exactly how I ordered it: rare.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        I went to Ruth’s Chris once. And only once. Mediocre steak for 100 bucks a plate isn’t my idea of fine dining. Then I went to my local butcher and paid 15.99 for a 1 lb grass fed freshly butchered Scottish Highland beef flat iron that I properly grilled over hardwood with a nice nappa cabernet. Frankly I don’t know how rk can even stay in business.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I had a similar experience at Ruth Chris’. Got better steak at the County Line in TX.

          Still, it was an experience, albeit never to be repeated.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I went to RC in San Diego and ordered lamb, medium rare. I got lamb, medium rare.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Drzhivago138, in SDCA, I highly recommend “The Fish Market” Restaurant on Harbor Drive, in the vicinity of the Star of India Clipper.

            I have never had a bad meal or bad service there and it remains one of my must-go-to places whenever I visit my #2 son who lives in the Clairemont Suburb, on Waco.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          “Frankly I don’t know how rk can even stay in business.”

          Maybe it’s the badge/logo and what people think it is?

          If you’re in Dallas, Bob’s Steak and Chop House is supposed to be great.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          It’s all in the name. Frankly I’m surprised steakhouses are so popular in general. For half the price and half an hour you can have a much better steak at home. I like to go out to eat stuff I can’t cook myself.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I was thinking the steak must have been from lower-end establishments as well. The fine dining places I go to round here make very concerted efforts to make sure your steak is cooked as ordered. I have had only one problem restaurant, and no longer eat there. Everyone else is pretty much spot on, all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The best steak I’ve ever had, for whatever reason, was Del Frisco’s in Vegas (off the strip), and not at the newer high end steak emporiums like CraftSteak or even Prime. As far as I’m concerned, RC, Morton’s, Fleming’s – all overrated and overpriced.

      Here’s a tip – I’ve never gotten a bad steak yet at Texas Road House. It has the consistency and the quality to put Outback on the ropes. Order the New York Strip and they will cook it properly. And it’s fairly priced (you’re getting choice USDA beef, that tastes close to many steakhouses’ prime beef, from one of two sources they use internally).

  • avatar

    Where did Kia make its sales projections? I’ve not seen any evidence that their execs meant to sell very many examples of the K900. They’ve only certified a third of the dealers nationwide to sell it, they *barely* advertise it, and they know full well that someone in the market for a nicely-equipped E-Class, A6 or 5-Series isn’t going to suddenly jump ship and get a Kia. If anything, it’s (a) an aspirational item for some of their loyal customers, and (b) it makes the $20K and $30K cars in the showroom look that much nicer…

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I’ll disagree with the advertising, Kia was heavily advertising the K900 this summer in the Economist, Car and Driver, and Dwell magazines, as well as a few others. I thought they went overboard with print media, and probably wiped out any profitability trying to bring awareness to the model. But I’m sure Lawrence Fishburne will retire quite nicely!

  • avatar
    NeilM

    With all due respect to your father, that’s the worst steak ordering advice I’ve ever heard.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I prefer a rare steak and will settle for a raw one. Asking for the rare one has never been rewarded with raw. It usually gets you a medium. Observing other people’s plates, asking for a medium well or even a well will also usually get you a medium.

    It’s not a saving 45 seconds from what the customer asked for thing. It’s a not listening to the customer in the first place thing.

    Which isn’t Kia. It’s VW.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    At this price point people are buying either the badge, in which case you go new or cert preowned Benz or BMW. If its luxury and extreme reliability than you get the LS 460 and call it a day. I don’t get the upscale Korean twins at all.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Yeah, if you can afford a $60k Kia, you can probably afford an entry LS460 at $72k. Given the resale values, the Lexus is probably a better financial proposition.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I just don’t get why carmakers keep on failing to understand that you can’t sell luxury-priced cars without two things:

    1) a badge that connotes luxury
    2) a dealership that is a luxury destination.

    There are some exceptions for trucks and sports cars, but none whatsoever for mainstream segments like sedans and CUVs. You can’t price a mainstream-brand car sold in standard snake-oil dealers over $50,000. You just can’t. Every single attempt that is not a sports car or a truck has failed. Every single one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think Kia is just seeing if they could get away with it, and now they know they can’t. They didn’t even de-badge it, which is what they should have done (same vein as the Genesis).

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        They should have known without going to the trouble of federalizing their car. Debadging didn’t work for the original Aurora. It works for the Genesis, but only for the lower-cost versions — Hyundai doesn’t sell many 5.0s at all. If the Genesis were V8-only and had a $50k base sticker, it would be a total failure.

  • avatar
    stodge

    I sat in the Cadenza and K900 at a local Kia dealer. I loved that the K900’s driver seat base can be moved back and forth independent of the seat as a whole. Other than that I thought the interiors still felt like a 25k car. The paddle shifters in the Cadenza felt like they would break the first time I used them in anger. Sure the interiors look nice but they don’t feel like quality materials. And if the interior materials you can see and touch aren’t top quality in a 60k car, what do you expect the engine and suspension will be like? Ok, so maybe the engine is decent – I believe the K900 and/or Cadenza share engines with the Genesis and Equus, and they seem to get decent comments. But the suspension? I’m not convinced.

  • avatar
    Pebble

    I work at a Kia dealer, and the K900 just doesn’t impress me that much. The Cadenza is, I think, a far better deal.

    As for steak, I want mine well-done, and most restaurants have no idea of properly well-done. My “well” steak always comes half raw, and I will send it back multiple times if necessary until they actually cook it.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      That’s because a well-done steak is a crime against nature. If you want shoe leather, just eat shoe leather.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Agree with this too. If it’s a good cut of meat you’re ruining it by getting well-done. It will be more tender, juicy, have more flavor, and a better overall texture at medium. Medium is plenty!

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Shoe Leather is a bit extreme. Another name for a well done steak: Beef Jerky.

        One only needs to go to 7 Eleven to find great examples, not sure why one would go to a Steakhouse of any repute to purchase said item.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Grilling a steak is like choosing a car: different people want different things. There is no “right” way to cook a steak any more than there is a “right” car to buy.

      That said, I would prefer my steak well done vs. rare. I’m too high on the food chain for raw meat.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      In my not so humble opinion, if you like your steak well-done, you don’t deserve to eat beef. It ruins the meat, and that’s true even if you think it’s possible to cook a well-done steak without over-cooking it. It’s not.

      If red juicy meat makes you squeamish I have news for you: an animal had to DIE to get put on your plate. That animal was killed, hung, bled, gutted, carved, and butchered. Deal with it, and enjoy it.

      One more thing. Those restaurants that refuse to ruin a steak and you keep sending it back? Those are MY kind of restaurants. As in, the cook is good enough to not give a crap about you as a customer, he doesn’t want to ruin a steak even if means you go online and complain and give bad reviews.

      So there. (Sorry for the rant, not personal! cheers)

  • avatar
    cirats

    For whatever it’s worth, I finally saw one of these on the road the other day and remarked at what a nice looking vehicle it was. Looked to me a lot like a bigger Optima (which is itself a fine-looking car) with some of the awkward wrinkles ironed out. Not that I want to drop $40k to $60k on one.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    bd2 should be here shortly, to expound upon us how this car is superior to the S-Class, and is only selling in small numbers because Kia restricts ownership to those it deems worthy.

  • avatar
    JD321

    It’s tasteless and expensive…Try again with designers that have adult minds and a sense of class. That’s all it will take.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Not terribly surprising. The Kia badge just doesn’t have the pull for the “prestige” buyer. They have to rely on the value buyer of which there are relatively few in this vehicle/price class.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    I don’t see the K900 on the market long. KIA is at least smart enough to know when to pull the plug—I’m looking at you Borrego.

    It doesn’t mean they’re getting out of the RWD sedans business though. The RWD GT was approved for production in some form or another.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      GT is a far better idea than the K900. Barring the A7 and 6GC there’s no answer to it anywhere else on the market. And IMO it looks way way way better than both of those, and seems like it will be sportier as well, which makes it a much better value proposition. The luxury market is absolutely starved for style right now… the GT is a smart approach.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      For a second I thought you were referring to the Kia GT4 Stinger. That’s something I’d really like to see get made, another small sports coupe to fight against the Toyobaru twins.

      As for the K900, they’ll keep making it. I’m sure they move in South Korea.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Kia REALLY struggles to justify their higher price points. The Optima is still the sweet spot: for $35k (less inevitable discounts/rebates), a buyer gets a turbo engine, pano roof, chrome donks, Nappa leather heated/cooled seats, and nav, all wrapped up in a pretty bodyshell. You’d have to spend $25k more to get (an admittedly much more luxe-feeling) similarly sized and optioned German car.

    The Cadenza costs $10k more for what amounts to a nicer interior and a marginally more powerful engine. It feels no bigger inside and is dowdier outside.

    The K900 is worse. The interior feels about as nice as the Cadenza, but it costs another $20k on top of THAT inflated price. The only way the K900 could work in this market is *if* it was as good as the S-Class/7-Series for 40% less. Rides the same, handles the same, looks as good, feels as luxurious, but costs significantly less to compensate for the badge.

    Instead, it’s a lesser product for a lesser price. What’s the value?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      How is that any different from the Camry vs. Avalon/ES vs. LS?

      Yes, the Optima gets that “premium” interior in the SXL trim which Toyota doesn’t offer in the Camry (but does in the Camry+ aka Avalon), and the interior of the K900 is way nicer than that of the Optima SXL.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I saw a commercial for McDonald’s Monopoly promotion and found it rather amusing that LeBron James and the Monopoly mascot were shown driving up to the McD’s in one of these rather than a Benz or Mercedes…

    Nice try Mickey D’s, but we all know actual rich people aren’t driving these around.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The depreciation of Genesis sedans has been steeper than I thought it would be (taking a quick look at AutoTrader) and I know the few of these that are sold will depreciate mightily. I almost want to have one to de-badge and take to “Cars and Coffee” 20 years from now so most of those in attendance can have a WTF moment.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I noticed that too, Equus was trading mid to high 30s after 2yrs. Hyundai simply does not have the resale appeal of Lexus.

      Here us is MY14 Equus Signature, Signature starts at 61,2

      09/09/14 ORLANDO Factory $43,800 31 Avg BLACK 8G A No
      10/07/14 ARENA IL Factory $43,750 1,870 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
      09/17/14 DALLAS Regular $43,000 4,702 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
      09/09/14 ARENA IL Factory $36,900 5,832 Below BROWN 8G A No
      09/19/14 PA Factory $43,800 10,161 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
      10/07/14 ARENA IL Factory $44,500 10,909 Above BROWN 8G A Yes
      10/07/14 ARENA IL Factory $44,500 11,982 Above BLACK 8G A Yes

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I wouldn’t mind a cheap Equus or Genesis V8 sedan…probably any Lexus LS of similar price is on the 3rd owner and being used as a daily beater.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Its Lex or go home for me.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            At this point, I’ll take anything that comes with a V8, RWD, a nice interior, and is sufficiently reliable.

            I love my T-Bird, but it’s not a luxury car. It’s the modern equivalent of an 80s high school guy driving an early 70s Monte Carlo with a “stinkbug stance” (or whatever they call the classic practice of jacking up cars at the back end) and headers. :P

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            FYI some quick searching reveals that the V8 in the K900 is listed at 307 cubic inches.

            “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 2015 Kia 88 Royale!”

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Quick, make four different new brands, give them all a wagon with fake woodgrain, and put this motor in it!

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I feel like all the cars in this segment have pretty gnarly depreciation. The S550 was ~90K new; a 2 year old one goes for about $50K.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    FWIW, Car and Driver is having good luck with their K900:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-kia-k900-v-8-long-term-test-update-review“

  • avatar
    Jimmy7

    Kia should be leasing these with covered maintenance and no mileage restrictions to livery companies. Make it the new ‘black car’ until the updated model comes out, and by then people will be familiar with them. It would be a way to get prospective buyers some back seat time on airport runs and to get feedback from guys that live with their cars. They’re already committed to losing money…this way they might build an audience for the future.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Due to the fact that faster-than-average depreciation is imminent, I have a feeling that the K900 will be quickly destined to BHPH lots. Just like with the Hyundai XG and the Kia Amanti, and to a lesser extent, the Genesis.

    I predict that they will be maintenance nightmares to their eventual owners who will not be able to afford the upkeep, and this is especially an issue since Kia is new to the V8 RWD game and who knows how the drivetrain will hold up. Your typical BHPH customer that will be driving these very soon will see past reality and will get in over their heads.

    The typical will happen: the paint job will be faded, the interior will be trashed, the engine will burn oil, and then shortly after, the cars will quickly disappear off of the roads with no trace.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The problem for Kia with the K900 is that it did not have a model slotted underneath like Hyundai had with the Genesis (which set the stage for the Equus).

    Kia tried to do it with the Cadenza (making it more of an ES than an Avalon competitor) but that didn’t quite work.

    Optimally, Kia should have waited to launch the K900 until the next gen model – which gets the new platform underpinning the Genesis (but stretched some) and available AWD – since by that time, the GT already have hit the marketplace.

    But sans the GT, Kia made several missteps.

    1. Don’t spend most of your K900 advertising $$ on expensive Super Bowl commercials. Yes – live sports is one of the few programming that retains a large no. of viewers for commercials, but the dearth of advertising since then has hurt (most people probably don’t know that the K900 exists).

    2. Should have launched the lower priced V6 model at around the same time as the V8 model.

    The lower priced V6 trim would have increased sales volume from the start and there was no reason not to do so. The fact that the V6 is still not yet available 7 months from launch is just ridiculous (esp. since Kia blew most of the K900’s ad budget back in February).

    3. Kia should have offered a lower priced base model for the V8 (not everyone wants all the tech gadgets) and should do so for the V6 when it launches.

    LeBron James supposedly got intrigued by the K900 and picked one up and now has a marketing partnership with Kia for the K900.

    While I am a bit dubious about celebrity-centric marketing when it comes to things like autos, any bit of extra publicity for the K900 helps as its biggest problem is that most have no idea that it exists.

    The launch of the V6 model should help sales (assuming that Kia will spend some on marketing at that point) some, but the K900 won’t gain any real traction in sales until the next gen model when it should have the companion GT model (presumably will be the K800).

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