Lately Kia has been reminding me of those late 80’s romantic comedy movies where the most unappealing girl under goes a makeover and suddenly blossoms into the most beautiful woman in the room. The all new Kia Cadenza fits perfectly in the plot line of those cheesy movies. Seeing a Cadenza for the first time rolling down the street unexpectedly becomes a slow motion scene and is instantaneously the prettiest car on the road.
Sometimes it’s not always about being brash, but about being sophisticated and elegant. That’s what I see when looking at the Cadenza. It’s not overwhelming with energetic curves; no, instead Kia made the Cadenza smooth and suave; it’s classy. Clad in smoky blue, the halo LED head lights lures you in and prepares for your entry as the power folding mirrors unfold when approaching. The Cadenza is all about style; not bling, with minimum chrome trim layout, LED tail lights, 19” 20-spoke alloy wheels and dual integrated chrome exhaust.
What was supposed to be your average business saloon turns out to be a top executive luxurious sedan. Against the smoky blue paint, the white Nappa leather interior with premium suede headliner trim is top notch and looks magnificent. You won’t find any cheap plastic throughout the cabin. The dash is covered in soft touch black leather and dark wood accents while the door panels continue the white Nappa leather look as the dark wood trim is carried over.
Our Cadenza came very well equipped offering the $3,000 Luxury Package that included a Panoramic Sun Roof, HID Adaptive Headlights, Ventilated Driver Seat, Heated Rear Seats, Heated Steering Wheel, and Power Rear Sunshade. Seating in the Cadenza is superbly comfortable for 4 passengers. The driver and front passenger lounge comfortably in power adjustable heated seats and dual zone climate control while the rear passengers can enjoy plush carpets, plentiful leg room and heated surfaces. There was no shortage of storage capacity; there is a home for everything from your sunglasses to the large trunk capacity.
Kia has certainly stepped up their game in technology. Their technology goes above and beyond with the optional $3,000 Technology Packaging that offers Advance Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Electronic Parking Brake, and Hydrophobic Front Door Windows – laymen terms: Self Cleaning Windows. The Cadenza comes standard with an 8” touch screen Navigation display that works with Kia’s new UVO Connect. With UVO you can enjoy Sirius XM Satellite Radio w/ Infinity Premium Surround Sound, Live up-to-date Traffic, eServices Telematics’, and a fantastic rear view monitor. Using this Navigation is so easy to use and understand – this system is snappy and quick to the touch. The voice recognition software is splendid to use and understands commands which is ideal for being on the move.
Only one engine type is available across its line-up, a 3.3L Gasoline Direct Injection V6 that delivers 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. It takes just over 6 seconds to achieve 60 mph; though I highly doubt you’ll be racing between the lights. Either way, you can expect smooth acceleration and smooth gear changes through the 6-speed automatic and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. When you do put the petal to the metal, acknowledging your speed is very clear on the large 7” LCD digital color display. And when the power gets to be too much the 12.6” front and 11.2” rear anti-lock brakes are firm and well balanced for an abrupt stop.
Everything about the Cadenza is smooth, from the exterior body to the suspension system. There is a road on my route home that is a suspensions worst nightmare with massive scattered pot holes and awful uneven surfaces. The Cadenza handled itself surprising well – the front Gas Shock Absorbers and Rear Multi-Link suspension is utterly smooth and absorbs the worst bumps punishable to any vehicle. Using the leather wrapped steering wheel; handling was so light it would glide through your fingertips. And the 19” Alloy wheels provide unnoticeable low road noise.
Fuel economy was about lower than expected – averaging 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with a combined average of 23.5 mpg. I used Premium Grade fuel to fuel the 18.5 gallon tank that cost under $50 from a quarter tank with an expected fuel range of 400 miles… that is if you play nice with the throttle.
It was pretty hard to find something that I didn’t like from the Cadenza. But if I had to point something out, it would be the low roof line with the Panoramic Moon Roof caused some head scraping. The B-Pillar design did pose a blind spot issue, but then the blind spot detection came in handy for that. And the touch screen display was a little far away to reach.
One of the things I truly loved about the Cadenza is its attention to detail. This may sound a bit outlandish, but take the touch screen display… the font matched the font on the dash, steering wheel and into the instrument cluster. I enjoyed the grandfather clock in the center; it’s a bit flashy for my taste, though it fits the Cadenza nicely. Even the key is delightfully decorated in black and satin nickel finish.
I cannot express how much I enjoyed Kia’s new luxury sedan. It has everything a proper luxury sedan needs and then some. Kia has certainly come a long way, and the new Cadenza is just start of what’s to come.