Highlight: The lead interior designer for the Cadenza is John Paxton, Kia’s first black car designer.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $45,290 (base model $32,890)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; rear camera; a tire pressure monitoring system; a hill start control system; a traction control system; and an electronic stability control system
Standard Equipment Base Premium Model: 18-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; an 8-inch infotainment screen; leather seats; heated front seats; power front seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; automatic adjusting headlights; dual zone ventilation system; a navigation system; and a push-button ignition starter
Standard Equipment Limited Model: 19-inch wheels Nappa quilted leather seats; a two position memory setting for the driver’s seat, exterior mirrors and the steering wheel; heated rear seats; bi-function projection headlights; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; a keyless activated trunk; power folding heated outside mirrors; a panoramic sunroof; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; manually adjustable side rear window shades; a power rear sunshade; a 12-speaker Harman Kardon 630-watt audio system; a smartphone wireless in-car charging system; an electronic parking brake with an auto hold feature; a blind spot detection system; a rear traffic cross alert system; a back up warning system; a lane change assist system; high beam assist headlights; a forward collision braking system; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane departure warning system; a forward collision braking system; a surround view monitor; and a heads up display system.
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/HD with Sirius
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.3-liter, 6-cylinder/290-hp
Recommended Fuel: Unleaded
Standard Fuel Mileage:
What’s New: The all-new second generation Cadenza feels and looks more like a premium vehicle, while offering a distinctive style.
Why: The 2017 Kia Cadenza, with its balanced suspension to adapt to most roads, is available in three trims: Premium, Technology and Limited. With its new distinctive styling and plush amenities, Kia shows they are serious about being in the luxury car game.
The new Cadenza is outfitted with one powertrain like a number of competitors in the segment, a 6-cylinder, 290-horespower engine. And we praise Kia for designing the vehicle to run off of unleaded fuel.
In fact, the interior instrument layout of the Kia mimics its sister brand, the Genesis G80, which was formerly known as the Genesis sedan. Like the upscale G80, the infotainment system and gauges or appropriately arranged and easy to use. There is no second trip required to the dealership, spending time learning how to operate the infotainment system, which includes the navigation, audio and ventilation systems. It’s all relatively simple to master.
Furthermore, there is a noticeable difference in the comfortable, but supportive seats, especially when outfitted with the higher quality Nappa quilted leather that draped the Cadenza Limited we reviewed. By the way, the front seats can be cooled or heated at the touch of a button. Kia didn't forget about including comfort features to support passengers in the rear of the cabin. The Cadenza includes power a rear shade and a manual rear operating side shades to protect the occupants from the outside or elements.
Yes, overall Kia covered everything in the Cadenza. With one of the best new car and powertrain warranties in the segment, the Korean automaker has managed to do all of this at an affordable price point, too.
But: Unlike the Soul, the Forte and the Rio, which all targets the Millennials, a CD player should be available in this premium sedan. This vehicle is not targeting the smartphone users who like to play music directly from their music devices. This vehicle is geared toward a more mature demographic.
Moreover, for buyers seeking a more fuel-efficient alternative to the 6-cylinder engine being offered by Kia, they’ll have to look to the Impala, the Taurus or the Avalon hybrid to fill that niche, with their 4-cylinder offerings.
Lastly, while there are three distinct driving modes for the steering, it was difficult for the driver to distinguish or notice an obvious change while sorting through the different steering modes.
Verdict: While we know it is not Kia’s intention, the restyled Cadenza easily gives the K900, the brand’s $60,000 plus flagship a run for the money, with literally a $20,000 savings to bank on other investments. The second generation Cadenza proves Kia is truly ready to compete in the premium sedan segment, especially for those who step up to the well-equipped Limited. Unlike the first generation Cadenza, which was a sort of a generic, met-too type of vehicle, the new Cadenza is a standout. In fact, the 2017 Cadenza, which is a quiet sleeper in the segment, can easily rival Lexus’ ES 350. The only drawback to luxury car buyers whose appetite is drawn toward snob appeal might be the Kia name.
Luxury Competition: Lexus ES