By on November 12, 2015

Kia Cadenza teaser

The Kia Cadenza, a car I think is probably the best front-wheel drive Lincoln that Ford never built, will get redesigned for 2017. What surprises me more than the Cadenza’s ability to be an effortlessly comfortable full-size sedan is that it will get a second generation at all.

Kia revealed three teaser images for their Amanti successor on Thursday. From the looks of the drawings, it likely won’t change much. That’s not such a bad thing, is it?

Kia Cadenza teaser

Kia’s Big Comfy Car, which arrived in our market in 2013 but has been around in other markets since 2010, is powered by the same 293-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 you’ll find in some of the automaker’s other offerings. And there’s nothing wrong with that if it doesn’t change. Nothing at all. Right?

Kia Cadenza teaser

Unfortunately, Kia hasn’t put much marketing weight behind the Cadenza, which sells about as well in a year as the soon-to-be-cancelled Ford Taurus does in a month in the United States. Kia’s large sedan only cracked 9,267 sales last year compared to the 62,629 sales Ford managed with the Dead Man Walking of the full-size sedan segment, according to Good Car Bad Car.

And because the Cadenza probably won’t change much, likely neither will its sales. Which is too bad. The Cadenza is a really good car. Seriously. It is.

Hey, you! Why are you laughing?

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28 Comments on “Kia Cadenza Will Get a Second Chance...”

  • avatar

    Ford really need to sort out their problem with Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar

      You beat me to it.

      There are a LOT of naysayers online who criticize my praise of HYUNDAI and my disdain for the current Cadillac and Lincoln…

      Simple fact is: Cadillac and Lincoln aren’t putting any thought or soul into their vehicles anymore.

      Hyundai’s newest “concepts” will more than likely make production very similar to their concept form. Lincoln and Cadillac issue disappointment after disappointment.

      THE ONLY THING protecting Lincoln and Cadillac are the retirees old enough to remember when owning a Cadillac or Lincoln garnered as much praise/attention as the current day S-Class and 7-series.

      Lincoln’s cars are BORING, soul-less econoboxes.

      Cadillac’s cars are BORING, soul-less econoboxes.

      I drove the new CTS-V this week. The C.U.E. system ruins the experience and the rest of the car is a SNORE.

      There are plenty of tards who want to talk about “cuves” and “turns” and “handling” – but the simple facts are:

      #1 fewer than 5% of them will EVER see a track.

      #2 At $93,000 loaded – these things are PITIFUL compared to the Hellcats and current German sedans for that price.

      #3 Styling is dated.

      Cadillac is better than Lincoln, but both companies need a serious shake-up.

      I’m seeing more Genesises and Kias on the road than ever before. Even the Cadenza and K900.

      Apparently the market for a full-sized car with a V8 ENGINE isn’t as scarce as the MORONs claim it is…

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, c’mon.

        The CTS has gotten pretty much universal praise as a sports sedan and many regard the CTS-V as bettering the Germans at their own game.

        Now, the CTS is lagging in interior room and could do better in several other areas, but it seems like those have largely been addressed with the CT6.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Last year, when I bought my leftover 2013 Optima Hybrid, there was a beautiful $36k Cadenza on the lot marked down to $26k – and that’s before negotiating. The dealer had it parked right by the front door, and obviously wanted to move it.

    This year, the Cadenza comprises about 1.1% of Kia’s US sales. Too bad it’s so low; it makes a nice alternative to an Avalon, for example, which sells about 8x as many.

    Cheers to Kia for returning with a new Cadenza. Perhaps they can give it the same mojo the new Sedona received to compete a little better than the prior model.

  • avatar

    How Cadenza compares with Cadillac CT-6? Any opinions?

    • 0 avatar

      The CT6 isn’t released yet, so that would be a difficult comparison.

    • 0 avatar

      No real comparison.

      The Cadenza kinda slots btwn the Azera/Avalon (upscale large FWD sedans) and the ES )”luxury FWD sedan) and presumably, the new Cadenza will creep closer to the ES-side of luxury.

      The CT6 is a RWD SWB flagship with the Kia K900 (OK, maybe the next gen model) being the appropriate comparison vehicle.

  • avatar

    When I lived in the Seattle area, a couple in my apartment complex had a Cadenza. It always seemed much more expensive than it is. It always took me a minute to remember that its a Kia.

  • avatar

    One of the reasons I tend to find C/D roadtests much better than the Internet kind is that they have more than one person drive the car and comment on it.

    The Internet iconoclast is left to pour forth only his/her feelings and to be noticed in the immense din, tries to break down myths they assume to exist. Or waxes rhapsodic if for some reason the car appeals.

    One person does not a well-rounded review make. A group of people in sane discussion at work will normally come to a much more rounded conclusion.

    It is for this reason that I have never thought much about the Cadenza. Yes, it has a wonderful interior, a nice engine transmission and a pillow ride most of the time. But in this comparison test, C/D found the Hyundai Azera/Kia Cadenza lacking. Lack of structure over hard bumps, bad steering and so-so brakes were the culprits.

    However, his doesn’t explain the low sales among the typical plodding masses who’ve never read a car road test in their lives. It’s something else, whatever it may be. Nevertheless C/D’s review put me off from even looking – some criteria for weeding out the good from the mediocre is necessary for me.

    I know that most readers here would rather adopt the posture that car magazines are passe and that some unknown web scribbler provides better tests on this or that website.

    I disagree with regard to C/D in particular. I find their tests superior to any alternative, including TTAC. The usual internet commenter/denigrator has decided C/D is in bed with its advertisers, and therefore must produce rubbish. The same attitude is put forth about Consumer Reports from the opposite angle.

    It’s always obvious to me that thee people don’t even read the publications in question, or they would not promulgate such narrow-minded opinions. Too bad for them.

    • 0 avatar

      That review keeps you from test driving one? It’s far from bad. None of those cars are bad. Take out the “as-tested price” number, for example, and the Kia is only 3 points from 2nd place. Out of a possible 240 points.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t say that. The dude is already made up his mind . Maybe not this particular comparison test, but I have seen several Car and Driver comparison test that use different drivers, how of the drivers never drove another vehicle the only drove one.

    • 0 avatar

      “the typical plodding masses”
      Can you even still plod unassisted?

      “The usual internet commenter/denigrator”

    • 0 avatar

      Eh, Motor Trend, otoh, placed the Cadenza 1st with the Avalon 3rd behind the Impala.

      C/D places too much of an emphasis on “handling” (the lighter weight of the Avalon helps in this regard) and totally overlooks what is more important in this segment – ride quality of which both MT and C/D dinged the Avalon.

  • avatar

    The outgoing Cadenza at least seems better sorted than its loathsome platform twin Hyundai Azera, which is at the absolute bottom of the barrel of the fullsize class. Most of Hyundai’s cars are now at least pretty competent if not necessarily class leaders, but the Azera is a hold over from the days when you bought a Hyundai purely because it cost less than the other guys. I’m curious what will happen to that car with the launch of Hyundai’s Genesis brand, maybe that will take some of the pressure off for them to make the Azera a better car than it’s ever been before, similar to how the Avalon is now a better car than the Lexus ES.

    I’m curious how the new version will turn out, according to some early reviews at least, the new Optima is both a much better car than it replaces, as well as much better than the new Sonata which is average at best. It’s strange that Hyundai and Kia’s fortunes seem to have flipped from where they were a few years ago.

  • avatar

    I bought a 2015 Cadenza Premium w/Luxury Package in early October. Everything that wmba stated above, per C&D, is spot-on: the car is cushy, powerful, and generally well-sorted over anything but extremely rough road surfaces. Steering and (especially) brakes leave something to be desired, but as long as you drive it like the Korean Buick it’s intended to be, it’s extremely competent.

    It’s my first Kia, and I did have some misgivings with the prospect of spending money on one with a nearly-$40K sticker price (suffice it to say that I paid much less than that.) The Cadenza was really the only car in the segment that appealed to me, though, and I was encouraged with the generally favorable experiences that Edmunds has had with recent Kias, including a 2014 Cadenza. (Alex Dykes’ excellent video review also helped sway my decision.) The dealer experience was also surprisingly pleasant, and painless.

    • 0 avatar

      On the Kia website, it says the Cadenza has “ski door” in the back seat, but not a fold down 60/40 rear seat. Is that true? Like the Avalon, that’s a deal killer for me.

      I’m looking to replace my 2000 Impala, which has a 60/40 rear seat and still gets 33 mpg on the highway, albeit with the 180 HP 3.4L V6.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s true, and while I wish it did have a fold-down rear seatback, I also can’t remember the last time I folded down the seat on any of my previous vehicles that did have one. So it wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but I can definitely see how it could be for others.

        (I’m the OP, just playing with display names.)

  • avatar

    I remember the release of the original Cadenza and thinking… “this is a real competant car”.

    The problem is being competant in this class isnt enough when you’re Kia.

    Hell I dont know what you need to do. Maybe not even compete in the quasi luxury FWD market? They compete because they can. Even the Nissan Q50 whatever being RWD doesnt help things.

    I expect another good looking, fine driving, well equipped car that everyone will ignore.

    On the other side, stripped model Merc C class, Audi A3/A4 sedans and BMW 3s walk out.

    No one aspires to own a Cadenza. Except me and I dont even like 4,000lb FWD luxo buckets.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed that Kia is far from an aspirational brand; the only “modification” I’ve made to mine so far is replacing the KIA badges with Korean-market “K” branding, which to me looks a bit classier. I’m amazed that KMA hasn’t made that change already.

      As far as establishing/improving its reputation, though, I think Kia is doing good things right now. Along with Hyundai’s Sonata, Kia finally landed on a styling language that worked with the 2011 Optima (thanks Schreyer!) and both manufacturers have been wise to not mess with their respective formulas very much ever since. That allows them to focus on continuous refinement versus constant reinvention.

      I knew when I wrote the check that I wasn’t buying a Honda. Panel fits are precise, inside and out… but the matte finish on the dash buttons is known to start wearing off within the first 10,000 miles (a common malady on all modern Kias) and the shine to the pearl white paint is flatter than you see on most competing makes. The weather stripping around the panoramic roof panels could be fitted more precisely, too, although it’s still better than an MKZ in that regard.

      Things like ventilated seats are nice, but the telematics could be better. The navigation system is finicky with its directions, and updating the UVO system to the current software required me to reenter all of my audio presets afterwards.

      Kia still has a bit more distance to travel before it can be seriously considered in the same breath as the manufacturers it’s targeting… but holy cow, it’s REALLY close, and I felt it was worth taking a chance on. I’m also looking forward to seeing how much closer they get with the 2017 Cadenza.

      • 0 avatar

        Aren’t you upset that something which cost $40,000 or thereabouts has button wear and paint depth issues at 10k miles? I don’t really find that acceptable in 2015.

        • 0 avatar

          Surprisingly, not really… which kind of surprises me, as I used to be a stickler about issues like that.

          Ninety-nine percent of owners would never notice the paint (more accurate to say that the paint contains a “flatter” metallic than others I’ve seen; it isn’t dull or faded) but it sticks out to me as someone who’s a) worked in a body shop, and b) owned three other pearl/metallic white cars. The paint is admirably free of orange peel.

          As for the buttons, it’s just something to live with should I decide to keep it longer than 10,000 – 20,000 miles, which would be longer than I’ve kept either of my last two cars. The coating doesn’t wear off completely – no backlighting shows through where it shouldn’t – just the matte finish, revealing shinier plastic underneath.

        • 0 avatar

          What about cracked dashboards which has been a problem for Acura?

          And based on long-term tests of the Cadenza, doesn’t seem to be an issue.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve honestly never seen any buttons wear down like how GM’s did on any “modern” KIA. 100K on the 2011, 45K on the 2012, and 36K on `14 and the buttons haven’t worn down by any stretch. Even the key fobs looked good—some wear from being in the pocket though.

        Only issues have been the reverse camera on the `12 Soul becoming blurry (Warranty), and the transmission cooling lines started to leak on the `11 (not under warranty, but the dealer picked up the labor cost).

        I’m hoping my Accord turns out to be just as reliable as the KIA, although it’s not doing the daily driver duty until I retire the Soul.

        • 0 avatar

          That bodes well! Edmunds noted the button wear on their 2011 Optima SX long-term tester, and I saw similar wear inside a 2014 Optima (22K miles) I was considering at CarMax. Maybe it’s just an Optima thing, but I think Kia uses the same materials throughout their line. I only have 1,100 on mine so far.

  • avatar

    Just think about how well the K900 must be selling, as it’s a price and size level ABOVE the no-sale Cadenza!

    • 0 avatar

      The larger vehicle is selling rather poorly. You can go pretty much anywhere on any used car site and see that it is selling used with about 10,000 miles on it in 2015, for about $35,000 fully loaded. As it used car buyer this is my dream a v8 35000 dollars, fully loaded.

    • 0 avatar

      The K900 and Equus sit out an outdated platform (which doesn’t have available AWD) and yet the 2 sell about as well as the LS460, A8 and XJ.

  • avatar

    The current Cadenza is better than the its cousin, the Azera, and the new one should be even that much better.

    But doubt sales will increase much (in a declining segment), but Kia can help sales by doing a few things.

    1. Offer a lower-priced base trim.

    2. Bring over the hybrid for the new generation; hybrid versions do fairly well in this segment (also will help if the new Cadenza is lighter and has better fuel economy to begin with).

    3. More advertising, but probably not really worth if for Kia to do much Cadenza-specific advertising for a relatively low volume model.

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