2014 Kia Cadenza: Berkeley Road Trip, Part 1
October 30, 2014
The wife of one of my buddies is enrolled in an executive MBA program at UC Berkeley, and since she goes up there once a month to meet with her group of smarty-pants people, we thought, well, San Francisco is a cool city, and I'd never been to Berkeley...why the heck not make a road trip weekend out of it sometime?
So we did.
We found a cool little place to rent in Berkeley for the weekend via Airbnb, Edmunds car czar Mike Schmidt put us into the 2014 Kia Cadenza Limited, and we were off on a Friday afternoon (don't tell anybody, but I snuck out a few hours early).
Now while my main goal in life is to always be leaving southern California, Friday late afternoon really isn't the best time to do so. Traffic was a bit of a slog, but with friends in the car it went by quickly.
It also helps when the car is a Cadenza. Highway road-tripping is what this big Kia does best. Comfortable seats at all four corners, tons of legroom (helps that none of us are over 5-feet-9 inches) and a plush ride. It's quiet, too, easy to carry on a conversation.
While I think few people would classify the Cadenza as "fun to drive," it's definitely great at the task of transporting three people and their weekend luggage (four on the way home) up to the greater San Francisco area in peaceful bliss. And, in truth, it's fun to delve into the 293 horsepower from the 3.3-liter V6. Always smooth, accessible power everywhere on the tach, and a supple-shifting six-speed automatic, too.
Because there's so much rear seat space, there was room aplenty for our soft cooler to sit just behind the center console in the rear (even with four people in the car), with the snack bag the GF packed in between the rear seats. Easy road-tripping, for sure. We weren't exactly living hard.
One of my friends was impressed with the Cadenza's soft headliner. It makes this $43,250 luxury sedan look/feel even more upscale. It doesn't seem like it's quite Alcantara, but it's a darn close approximation.
Look for average MPG and a complete trip wrap-up in what is sure to be a riveting Part 2.
I know. You can't wait.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 17,672 miles