2019 Kia K900 First Look

Updated Flagship Aims to Lure Luxury Buyers

Kia reveals the 2019 Kia K900, a large sedan packed to the gills with luxury and technology features, at the 2018 New York Auto Show. You may remember the old Kia K900, which was a bit of a swing and a miss for Kia. It was built on the original Hyundai Equus platform and lacked refinement in both interior quality and driving dynamics. Considering how much Kia's recent products have improved — and how much we like the new K900's closest relative, the Genesis G90 — we have high hopes that this new K900 will be a luxury alternative worth considering.

Power comes from the Kia Stinger GT's (and the Genesis G90's) twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 engine, producing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic. The K900 will come standard with an all-wheel-drive system that's rear-biased for a sportier feel. Up to 80 percent of the available power can be pushed to the rear wheels.

2019 Kia K900

Inside, Kia is promising to increase its luxury game with improved materials and all the features and trappings expected in the upper class, including leather upholstery and heated and ventilated front seats with a 20-way adjustable driver's seat. Available executive rear seating comes with 12-way adjustability on the driver's side and 14-way on the passenger, and separate HVAC controls are an option. There's a 64-color ambient lighting system that senses when the driver is reaching for controls on the dash and brightens the nearby lighting.

Watch nerds may be interested in the Maurice Lacroix-branded dashboard clock. It's no $160,000 Breitling Tourbillon like the one found in the Bentley Bentayga, but if you're an analog fan it's nice to see automakers finding ways to make vehicle clocks more interesting.

To complement the redesigned interior, Kia has done extensive work to tame noise, vibration and harshness and to provide a smooth and sporty ride. We'll see how well it's succeeded when we get a K900 on the road.

New technology in the 2019 K900 includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay hooked up to a 900-watt, 17-speaker Harmon Kardon/Lexicon stereo. The touchscreen runs a special version of Kia's excellent Uvo infotainment system called Uvo Luxe. This system allows for remote access to telematics, the car location, remote start and cabin temperature settings. K900 buyers also get a direct line to a dedicated service consultant, part of Kia's effort to cater to higher-end buyers.

The K900's dash comes with either a 7-inch information screen or an optional 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. There's also an optional 9.7-inch head-up display. All the expected driver aids are present, including a 360-degree camera and a complete suite of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and Kia's recently introduced Safe Exit system, which alerts passengers if they're about to open a door in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

As loaded and luxurious as the K900 is, premium-priced Kia-badged products have struggled for acceptance in the past. But the well-received Stinger is already on the road, and Hyundai's Genesis brand is proving that the South Korean automaker can compete with the big names.

The new 2019 Kia K900 is slated to go on sale in late 2018. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.