2014 Kia Cadenza: Berkeley Road Trip, Part 2
November 3, 2014
After a quick side trip from Berkeley to Oakland for a fantastic Sunday brunch (yeah, that's right, I said Oakland. I was shocked, too), the four of us climbed into the 2014 Kia Cadenza Limited to head back to southern California to close out the weekend road trip.
Even with four on board for the trip home (we only had three on the way up because my buddy's wife had flown up for school on Wednesday), everyone had plenty of room to stretch out and relax.
Round trip from my palatial, imitation apartment building in Orange County was 864 miles. The Cadenza averaged 25.9 mpg, with plenty of 70-75 mph driving. The best tank was 27.1 mpg, the worst was 25.1.
As I said in Part 1, the Kia Cadenza proved to be a terrific highway hauler. Comfortable, smooth and quiet, with great power for freeway on-ramps or to make passing maneuvers to slot around slower cars.
The one thing that didn't work perfectly was the adaptive cruise control, and really it only had a problem during one specific period of the journey.
On a fairly steep, downhill, slightly curvy portion of Interstate 5 with the cruise control set, a few times it freaked out and stabbed at the brakes suddenly, then got back on the throttle, even though there wasn't a car right in front of us. It seemed to be getting confused by the trucks in the lane to the right of us. It appeared that, because of the angle of the turn, the front of the car was pointing too much at the trucks and the system thought we were heading for them...maybe?
Not sure if this was compounding the problem, but because the lane to our right was a dedicated truck lane it had a solid white line. Anyway, not a huge deal, although a bit disconcerting the first time, then simply annoying after.
So I turned it off during that stretch. The rest of the time it worked fine, and as Phil Reed noted in a previous update, it does seem to allow the Cadenza to follow closer than most of these adaptive systems, which helps cut down on the number of people trying to pull in ahead of you because they feel the gap you're leaving is too large.
It's funny, but for such a supposedly "laid back" state, we're really quite impatient drivers.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 18,104 miles