What Is It?
2014 Kia Cadenza
What's Special About It?
Although the Kia Cadenza is already on sale in South Korea as the K7, the U.S. version of this full-size sedan just debuted at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. It goes on sale in the second quarter of 2013.
The 2014 Kia Cadenza follows the dimensions of the 2012 Hyundai Azera (same wheelbase), but much like the smaller Optima, it's a far more dashing car than its Hyundai counterpart.
You can thank Kia's chief designer, Peter Schreyer, for steering the Cadenza's styling in a riskier direction. As usual, Schreyer was on hand for the press conference, and this time he participated in performance art on the stage. A Schreyer doppelganger appeared on stage with a box on his head, and each of the four outward-facing sides had a video feed of the designer's face. Before long, Schreyer, who always wears black-rimmed glasses, came to stand next to his twin. It didn't have anything to do with the Cadenza, but it was strange and fun and typical of a Kia auto show press conference. Of course, there were also dancers, and if you look through the pictures, you'll see they were neither old nor unattractive.
In that vein, the 2014 Cadenza is the first Kia model to get the new direct-injected 3.3-liter V6. As in the Azera, it's potent, with ratings of 295 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard, and because Kias are meant to have a sporty persona, there are paddle shifters. All Cadenzas will be front-wheel drive. Expect EPA ratings to land somewhere near the Azera's 20 city/29 highway/23 combined mpg, and figure on a 0-60-mph time of around 6.7 seconds.
Kia didn't release pricing, but we expect it to be close to the high-$30Ks price tag on the Azera we tested. There won't be a range of trim levels, rather a single model available with two large option packages. Leather upholstery, Infinity audio, navigation (8-inch screen) and the UVO voice control interface are standard. The Premium package will add higher-grade leather, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive HID headlights, an upgraded instrument panel (with a 7-inch TFT display), heated/ventilated seats, and a heated, power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Pile on the Technology package and your Cadenza will have adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system, both of which are Kia firsts, plus a blind spot monitoring system and 19-inch wheels (18s are standard).
What Edmunds Says:
Front-wheel-drive full-size sedans are rarely the heroes of an auto show, but the 2014 Kia Cadenza is truly handsome. We foresee a significant portion of people buying it just because it looks good.
Base Price: TBA
Engine: Direct-injected 3.3-liter V6
Gearbox: Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Power: 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, 255 pound-feet at 5,200 rpm
Dimensions: 195.9-inch length, 72.8-inch width, 58.1-inch height, 112-inch wheelbase
On-Sale Date: Second quarter 2013