It wasn't that long ago that the full-size sedan was seen as the paragon of luxury in America. But tastes change, and crossover SUVs have slowly supplanted large sedans as the vehicle of choice for families and drivers who prefer a tall seating position. If you don't need to ride up high or require the vertical cargo space, a sedan is still a good choice. For the price of a modestly equipped midsize crossover, you could get a car such as the 2017 Kia Cadenza, replete with safety and technology features, along with exceptional rear seat room and a lust-worthy cabin.
The Cadenza has been redesigned for 2017, just three years after its debut. Although the first-generation car was just fine, we thought its ride wasn't as comfortable as others in the class and interior materials quality wasn't up to snuff in the pricier trims. The new model's ride is much better sorted, with less harshness from road imperfections. The cabin looks premium and may actually dissuade buyers looking to get into a new Lexus or Lincoln. Some issues remain, such as uninspiring handling and tight headroom for tall occupants. But provided you aren't a professional basketball player living in the Hollywood Hills, you'll probably like it just fine.
- Well-equipped for the price, especially in the base Premium trim
- Vast amount of legroom allows all passengers to stretch out
- Generous warranty coverage
- Lots of available advanced safety features
- Headroom is a bit tight for tall occupants (especially with sunroof)
- The ride not as comfortable and composed as in segment leaders
- Trunk is smaller than rivals, and rear seats don't fold down
- From acceleration to handling, the Cadenza isn't much fun to drive