2014 Kia Cadenza: Handling and Ride Comfort
March 17, 2014
In its news releases supplied to automotive reviewers, Kia says its 2014 Cadenza "promises to appeal to shoppers who want both comfort and performance from a premium-level sedan." For the most part, I think Kia has been successful in that promise.
We've already noted in previous updates that the Cadenza has a strong V6, so I thought I'd focus more on the car's handling and ride comfort. First of all, though, you do have to check your expectations. This is a large, heavy sedan, and you'll feel it the first time you drive through a turn with a respectable amount of speed. There's a real sense of mass with the car (more than you'd get with a midsize, like an Optima), and the steering can feel heavy and not very communicative. But for this class of car, I'd say the Kia Cadenza is still one of the better handling models. It's not overly soft. You can have some confidence with how you drive it.
There is a small trade-off for this. Overall, the Cadenza has a comfortable ride, and it handles dips and bumps with ease. But there is a firmness to the suspension that can show up when you drive over sharper impacts like potholes or expansion joints. It's not off-putting necessarily, but if you're expecting traditional large-sedan levels of comfy as you drive down a rutted street, you won't get it here.
I'd love the opportunity to drive our Cadenza back-to-back with a new Chevrolet Impala or Chrysler 300 as I suspect they also offer a similar, balanced mix of handling capabilities and ride comfort. For now, though, our Cadenza seems pretty good to me.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 4,586 miles