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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Kia Cadenza Premium include 3.3L V-6 290hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.
Starting at: $31,990
*Termination fee for all states except CO, IN, IA, KS, ME, OK, SC, WI, WV & WY. WI termination fee: The amount of the base monthly lease payment or $400, whichever is less. CO, IA, KS, ME, OK, WV & WY termination fee: The amount of two times the base monthly lease payment or $400, whichever is less. IN & SC termination fee: The amount of three times the base monthly lease payment or $400, whichever is less. Not all incentive programs are compatible. Additional terms and conditions apply. All matters of program eligibility and qualification will be resolved by Kia Motors America, Inc. ("KMA") in its sole discretion, and KMA reserves the right to change product and program specifications at any time without incurring any obligations. Cannot exceed 12000 miles per year.
Visually, the 2017 Cadenza might suggest a European sports sedan, but sportiness isn’t its forte. A Cadenza isn’t as composed on the road as some of its rivals, lacking the crisp responses that several other large sedans can provide.
Instead, Kia has focused strongly on comfort and, especially, refinement. Occupants can expect a gentle ride in a nearly-silent motoring environment, attributes that are helped by the sedan’s stiffer structure and a softening of its suspension. The Cadenza can anticipate a relaxed session behind the wheel.
Performance isn’t quite a strong suit, largely because the 3.3-liter V6 fails to provide a bounty of torque at lower engine speeds. To elicit satisfying response, the gas pedal needs to be pushed a bit harder than usual. On the plus side, the new 8-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and downshifts promptly when needed.
Four drive modes are selectable: Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart. Each provides slightly different road behavior, but Comfort typically seems to yield the best result. Steering is on the heavy side normally; but if you choose Sport mode, it becomes heavier yet, inappropriate for a large sedan. Suspension’s settings are unaffected by mode choice, but definitely oriented toward comfort. Still, body control bests that of some rival sedans, and brakes are strong.
At highway speeds, wind noise is practically absent and road rumble minimal. Though helped by the 8-speed automatic, fuel economy trails most prominent rivals, EPA-rated at 20/28 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined.
Dimensionally, the 2017 Cadenza is virtually identical to its predecessor, though a longer roofline boosts rear headroom for taller riders. Wheelbase has grown a bit, increasing leg space.
Even though this second-generation design is evolutionary, the 2017 Cadenza does display a slightly more organic appearance than before. Influence of European sedan styling is clearly evident. Fewer sheetmetal creases are visible, and brightwork has increased. In contrast to the original Cadenza’s simple grille, its replacement looks more ornate.
All models have Z-shaped LED running lights. Full LED headlights and foglamps are included with Technology and SLX trim levels, which also get a mildly different front fascia.
At a glance, the cabin looks like a modest evolution of the first-generation, but plenty of differences may be discerned. Especially noticeable is the greater emphasis on upgraded materials and seemingly hand-crafted details.
Though still conservative overall, the car has moved subtly upscale, achieving a softer and warmer tone. Door panels and the dashboard display actual stitching. Soft leather is found in more places. Even Premium-trim occupants get leather seats. SXL models get softer-yet Nappa leather with quilted bolsters and diamond-theme stitching.
Dashboard buttons are logically positioned. A touchscreen sits high, between climate-control vents. One feature deserves special applause: a traditional-type gearshift lever, rather than one of the gadgety controllers that have become common.
Passenger accommodations also have moved well ahead. A lower driver’s seat, for instance, yields greater head clearance. A new cushion can be extended to please taller drivers. Immense back-seat space, coupled with a hushed cabin, have turned the Cadenza into a veritable benchmark for full-size sedans. Cadenzas promise excellent space for five occupants, and real stretch-out room for four.
Trunk volume is substantial at 16 cubic feet.
The new 2017 Kia Cadenza scores highly for front- and rear-seat roominess, overall fit and finish, and the capacity to seat five occupants in exemplary comfort. Shoppers who aren’t tied to a specific brand can get a serious luxury-sedan feel, as well as abundant features, in a Cadenza.
Driving impressions by Andrew Ganz, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.
The 2017 Kia Cadenza is available in Premium, Technology, SXL trim levels. Cadenza Premium comes with leather seat trim, heated front seats, heated power mirrors, foglamps, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker audio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, rearview camera, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Cadenza Technology adds a batch of safety technology, led by automatic high-beam LED headlights, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection with cross-traffic alert, lane-departure and forward collision warnings, and adaptive cruise control. Also standard are ventilated front seats, a sunroof, paddle shifters, 19-inch wheels, LED foglamps, power tilt/telescopic steering column, navigation, heated steering wheel, and Harman Kardon 12-speaker 630-watt audio.
Cadenza SXL adds a head-up display, hands-free trunk opener, power rear sunshade, rear side window shades, Nappa quilted leather, Dark Satin 19-inch wheels, and heated outboard rear seats.