2014 Kia Cadenza: Changing Public Opinion
September 17, 2014
There are a few places I frequent in L.A. where they know what I do for a living. The people at the cheese store, my butcher, my liquor store and my hardwood supply place always ask me, "Whatcha driving today?"
It never fails. When I respond with something that isn't sporty, or luxurious or cool in a traditional sense, they respond with a disappointed, "oh...sorry."
Yes, it happened several times over the weekend when I let them know I was driving a 2014 Kia Cadenza. But I backed it up by telling them it's actually quite pleasant. Besides missing an upscale badge, the Cadenza delivers all the comfort and amenities I'd look for in a luxury sedan. Take the Kia badge off the steering wheel in the picture above and I bet most people would never guess what it is.
In the heat of a Los Angeles August, the strong climate control and ventilated seats kept me cool as a cucumber. The silent cabin kept the maddening world outside from ever intruding on the enjoyment of my music. The ride was unfazed by the potholed and deeply rutted pavement, and the leisurely nature of the Cadenza kept me relaxed and unhurried.
Overall, I tell my friends it's a good honest sedan that over-delivers on expectations. It's pretty much what I say about most current Kia products, actually. It's this type of word-of-mouth testimonial that may eventually change public opinion. They're worth a look in most car segments and you shouldn't disregard them just because of their previous association with cheap and entry-level vehicles.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 15,799 Miles