2014 Kia Cadenza: Huge Wheels = Firm Ride?
March 27, 2014
I spent a weekend with our long-term 2014 Kia Cadenza Limited, and as I expected, it has an expansive interior, plenty of amenities and solid acceleration courtesy of its direct-injected 3.3-liter V6 engine. It also has a pretty firm ride over the ruts and seams on the city streets and highways in Southern California, an issue that Brent hit upon in an earlier update (http://www.edmunds.com/kia/cadenza/2014/long-term-road-test/2014-kia-cadenza-handling-and-ride-comfort.html).
In fairness, we don't have great roads here in spite of the clement weather. So a lot of cars ride too stiffly for my taste. Still, with our Cadenza Limited, there's little doubt that its borderline outlandish wheel/tire package plays some role in my mild discomfort.
This was the scene when I returned to a parking lot on Sunday morning. (Yes, yes, I'm parked in a red-curbed loading zone. Ordinarily, this would be a no-go of course, but on Sunday mornings, the prohibition on parking in a red zone is suspended in this particular parking lot so I'm in the clear with the LAPD in this regard.)
Parked behind the big Kia is a 2001-'03 Lexus LS 430, and the difference in alloy wheel surface area and sidewall thickness is striking. I didn't take the time to check the tire size on the Lexus, so I'm unsure whether these are 225/60R16 tires or 225/55R17s (I'm leaning toward 16s), both of which were available with a chrome-plated wheel option during these years.
Either way, they look positively puny side by side with our Kia Cadenza Limited's zillion-spoke 19-inch wheels and 245/40R19 94V Hankook Optima H426 tires.
If I decided to buy a Cadenza, I'd have to go with the Premium model (which we've tested as well), which has 18-inch wheels. Alternatively, I'd get a Toyota Avalon or Chevy Impala, which might give you the impression I'm getting old. And I'm OK with that, because I'm of the mind that large, front-wheel-drive cars should give priority to ride comfort over wheel fashion.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 5,400 miles