The Kia Cadenza is further proof of Kia's current stature as a manufacturer of high-quality vehicles that are both stylish and affordable. With more luxury amenities and interior room than the typical midsize family sedan, the full-size Cadenza sits above the Optima in the manufacturer's sedan lineup.
All Cadenzas come very well-appointed, which results in a slightly higher starting price than some rivals. Still, given the wealth of standard features offered, the Cadenza represents a compelling value proposition. Offering smooth V6 power, a comfortable ride and outstanding craftsmanship, the Kia Cadenza is a solid pick for shoppers in search of a large sedan that looks and feels more expensive than its price tag suggests.
Current Kia Cadenza Specs
Introduced for 2014, the Kia Cadenza is a large luxury sedan. Two loaded trim levels are offered: Premium and the even more posh Limited.
Standard feature highlights include keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, powered and heated front seats, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker sound system. The Limited further boasts, among others, active xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control and blind spot/lane departure warning systems.
The sole powertrain configuration is a 3.3-liter, 293-horsepower V6 that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The Cadenza shares its platform architecture, engine and transmission with the Hyundai Azera. But Kia tweaked the steering and suspension to give the Cadenza a more sporting personality than its relative. The Kia's exterior styling is quite a bit different, too.
Inside the roomy cabin are well-shaped seats in both the front and rear. Very tall drivers may want to avoid the optional panoramic sunroof, as it eats up a few inches of headroom. Pretty much anybody should be able to find a good driving position, thanks to the wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustments. Even though the Cadenza comes loaded with the latest high-tech gadgets, the controls for the audio, climate, phone and navigation systems are all user-friendly. The Kia's touchscreen display features large virtual buttons and logical menus.
In reviews, we've been impressed with how the Kia Cadenza drives. The V6 is strong, and as a result, passing and merging maneuvers are dispatched swiftly. Power delivery is very smooth, and the transmission provides similarly seamless performance with its undetectable and timely gearchanges. Fuel economy is decent, but there are more frugal choices available in this class. The V6 is the only engine offered, and other models in this segment can be had with hybrid or diesel powertrains.
Around turns, the big Kia feels smaller than it is thanks to its precise steering and buttoned-down attitude. Although the suspension is a bit on the firm side for a luxury car, it's still able to absorb the bumps and ruts of ill-maintained city streets. Long interstate cruises are relaxing thanks to the quiet cabin and comfortable seating.