2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan

What’s new

  • Minor usability updates on the touchscreen and instrument cluster
  • Revised features availability
  • Part of the second Cadenza generation introduced for 2017

Pros & Cons

  • 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, especially with a sunroof, is a bit tight for tall occupants
  • The ride isn't as composed as that of 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
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MSRP Starting at

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Which Cadenza does Edmunds recommend?

The Cadenza comes loaded with great features right out of the gate, but we think it's worth paying extra for the Technology trim. It's the midgrade trim and it adds several desirable upgrades, including a premium audio system and a host of driver aids. Tall drivers might want to stick with the base Premium, however, because it doesn't have the headroom-reducing panoramic sunroof.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.5 / 10

It's no secret that car shoppers aren't buying large sedans like they used to. Recognizing the downward trend, automakers are ending production of their models or keeping them on life support. There are, however, a few standouts that make a good case for buying a spacious four-door. The 2019 Kia Cadenza might not be the most recognizable name in the class, but it is easily one of the best.

Sedans in this category prioritize passenger comfort above all else, and in this respect, the Cadenza shines. The interior is trimmed with high-quality materials, including seats with partially quilted leather. The overall design is modern and high-tech, and the button placement and user interface remain intuitive for first-timers. You also get plenty of features for the money, with a number of safety systems and creature comforts standard on the base model.

There are a few downsides. The Cadenza comes up a little short on headroom for this class of car, and its lackluster V6 engine and handling abilities mute any sense of driver excitement. But considering its other positive qualities, and the dearth of competition, the 2019 Kia Cadenza is a must-consider if you're in the market for a large sedan.

2019 Kia Cadenza models

The 2019 Kia Cadenza is a large sedan that offers plenty of room for all its occupants. Even in its base Premium form, the Cadenza is well-equipped for what we think is a very reasonable price. The Technology model adds even more luxury features, while the top-trim Limited just might fool your passengers into thinking they're riding in a Lexus. There's one powertrain available: a 3.3-liter V6 (290 horsepower, 253 pound-feet of torque) that's matched to an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive.

The base Premium trim is loaded with features, including 18-inch wheels, foglights, heated and power-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, hands-free trunk opening, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats (with driver two-way lumbar adjustment), a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio, two USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Technology model further adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, automatic high-beam control, a different grille, a panoramic sunroof, LED cabin lighting, a heated steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, and an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and HD radio. Also included are adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping assist system, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

At the top of the range is the Limited trim, which has all of the above, plus unique wheels, automatic wipers with a de-icing function, a power-operated trunklid, a power-adjustable steering wheel with paddle shifters, a head-up display, an upgraded driver information screen, upgraded cabin trim, upgraded leather upholstery, a 10-way driver seat (with four-way lumbar adjustment), two-way lumbar adjustment for the front passenger, driver-seat memory functions, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, side rear sunshades, a power rear sunshade, a 360-degree parking camera, and lane departure warning.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Kia Cadenza Limited (3.3-liter V6 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2017, the current Cadenza has received some revisions, including slight shuffling to its trim feature content. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Cadenza, however.


Overall7.5 / 10


Under the Cadenza's hood is a familiar 3.3-liter V6 engine, carried over from the previous generation but slightly less powerful. The new eight-speed transmission is fuel economy-focused and isn't as refined as some rivals. Like most in the segment, the Cadenza is not particularly fun to drive.


Acceleration from a stop is gradual in every driver mode but Sport. Passing maneuvers require a heavy foot because the transmission is reluctant to downshift and takes a moment even at full throttle. We recorded a 0-60 mph sprint time of 6.8 seconds, a few ticks slower than average for the class.


The brake pedal is easy to engage, with very mild braking pressure occurring as soon as you put your foot down. It's also easy to modulate, with predictable increasing effort. In Edmunds testing, a Cadenza Limited came to a stop from 60 mph in 115 feet, shorter than average for a large sedan.


The steering effort is light in the normal Comfort driving mode, firming up slightly with Sport selected. The steering wheel requires a fair amount of rotation to navigate in turns, and back-to-back transitions get tiring quickly. Steering feel is mostly numb.


Large sedans optimize comfort over athletic ability, and the Cadenza is no exception. A healthy amount of body lean will have you resting on the seat's leg and side bolsters anytime you drive through a corner with some enthusiasm. Midcorner bumps don't affect the Cadenza at all.


The transmission is smart enough to hold a low gear up steep grades, even in the gas-friendly Eco mode. In the normal Comfort setting, the Cadenza gets into high gears quickly. There's a noticeable lag when leaving from a stop; the engine gets louder, but you don't move until a moment later.


The Cadenza is a comfort-focused sedan, and it performs its primary function well. We like the hushed cabin at high speeds and the car's effective climate controls. But the ride is less refined than in some rivals, and the front seats aren't great for road trips.

Seat comfort

The seats are initially comfortable, with plenty of cushion and soft leather. Even without the ventilation function, the seats feel breathable. They are best suited for short trips because thigh support isn't great; long-distance driving required multiple adjustments to alleviate driver fatigue.

Ride comfort

The comfort-tuned suspension glides over most rough road surfaces, but dips in the asphalt cause the body to lean and rock to the side more than in other large sedans. Impacts are better controlled and much less noticeable than in the previous Cadenza.

Noise & vibration

The cabin is quiet enough that you never need to raise your voice to talk. Wind and tire noise is noticeable but not overpowering, and you will hear the engine's groan at low speeds. Vibration at idle is nonexistent to the point that you might think there's an engine stop-start system.

Climate control

Heated front seats are standard on all Cadenzas, with the midtier Technology trim adding a heated steering wheel. Ventilated front seats and heated rears come only on the Limited. All seats get nice and hot, and the cooling effect is greater than in many rivals. Rear air vents keep passengers happy.


The cabin of the Cadenza can only be described as expansive. There's plenty of room for front and rear passengers. Even when the Easy Entry feature scoots the seat back, the driver won't hit the knees of the occupant behind. The quality of materials is particularly impressive.

Ease of use

All buttons and knobs on the center stack are within arm's reach of the driver and the front passenger. But the touchscreen is a little far away. Either front occupant will have to lean forward slightly to press the virtual buttons accurately.

Getting in/getting out

The wide doors, tall door openings, narrow side sills and unobtrusive seat bolsters make it easy to get into and out of the front seats. A gently sloping roofline facilitates access in and out of the back row.

Driving position

The driver's seat offers a number of adjustments, including four-way lumbar and an extendable thigh bolster. The power steering wheel telescopes out pretty far, making it easy for tall drivers to find a comfortable position. It's also easy to see over the low hood.


The Cadenza's large interior provides ample room all around for most occupants. Legroom is generous, allowing 6-foot adults to sit behind each other without knees hitting the seatback. Only very tall passengers in a sunroof-equipped Cadenza will brush up against the headliner.


The tall, wide front windows promote excellent forward and side visibility. The rear roof pillars are thick, but the associated small windows help reduce the blind spots. The rear window is generously sized, so it's easy to see out the back.


The Cadenza Limited's materials quality seems appropriate given its price tag. Quilted seat bolsters are an unexpected touch in this class, and thoughtful details such as a padded driver knee rest are appreciated. The glossy piano black and wood trim do not reflect glaring sunlight.


You'll find many places to store small items, including a deep glove compartment and a pocket in each door. The trunk is large overall compared to those of most sedans, though it is slightly smaller than some in its class. The rear seat doesn't fold to expand the cargo area.

Small-item storage

Front-seat occupants get a cubby beneath the center stack and a bin under the armrest to store small items. There's not much storage in the rear, aside from the seatback map pockets. All doors have a cutout with room for a small water bottle. Four normally sized cupholders are split between front and rear.

Cargo space

The cargo load floor is large and mostly flat, aside from a slight hump in the middle to provide room for the spare tire jack underneath. The cargo area measures 16 cubic feet, average for the segment but less than in the Impala and the Taurus. There is a ski pass-through, but the rear seats don't fold.

Child safety seat accommodation

Four lower LATCH anchors are hidden beneath plastic covers on the outboard seats that fold down under pressure but cannot be removed. Three upper anchors are located on the rear shelf and are also concealed under covers. All are easy to access.


The Cadenza offers the latest tech features, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera and Apple CarPlay. Execution is lacking, mostly due to the infotainment system's menu structure and the wonky logic of driver aids. Navigation doesn't use predictive city and street names.

Smartphone integration

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come on every Cadenza, while the Technology and Limited trims add a wireless phone charging pad under the center stack. Apple CarPlay is unusually difficult to find in the touchscreen menus. There's one USB port in front and another behind the center console.

Driver aids

The adaptive cruise control accurately maintains the correct speed, even on downhill grades. Unfortunately, it's slow to reapply acceleration if the car in front of you has turned or changed lanes. Lane departure warning is too sensitive, triggering an alarm with little provocation.

Voice control

Kia's voice recognition software could use some work because the navigation system is easily confused by numbered streets (e.g., "5th Street") and north-south-east-west descriptors. The phone book recognition is better. Siri Eyes Free is available if an iPhone is connected.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2019 Kia Cadenza.

Trending topics in reviews

    Features & Specs

    Technology 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Technology 4dr Sedan
    3.3L 6cyl 8A
    MPG 20 city / 27 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower290 hp @ 6400 rpm
    See all for sale
    Premium 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Premium 4dr Sedan
    3.3L 6cyl 8A
    MPG 20 city / 27 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower290 hp @ 6400 rpm
    See all for sale
    Limited 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Limited 4dr Sedan
    3.3L 6cyl 8A
    MPG 20 city / 27 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower290 hp @ 6400 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan features & specs


    Our experts’ favorite Cadenza safety features:

    Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
    Automatically applies the brakes if a front collision with a vehicle or a pedestrian is deemed imminent.
    Blind-Spot Collision Warning
    Detects whether a vehicle is in the left- or right-side blind spot and sounds an alert if the turn signal is engaged in that direction.
    Parking Distance Warning-Reverse
    Sounds an alert as the Cadenza approaches an object while reversing.
    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Roof Strength Test
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test

    Kia Cadenza vs. the competition

    Kia Cadenza vs. Kia Optima

    The Kia Optima is the Cadenza's little sibling, but the Optima still offers plenty of passenger and cargo room. It's also less expensive, and its engines are more fuel-efficient than the Cadenza's V6. On the other hand, the Cadenza's cabin is more luxurious, and it offers more amenities. To learn more about the Optima of this generation, read Edmunds' long-term road test of a 2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6T.

    Compare Kia Cadenza & Kia Optima features

    Kia Cadenza vs. Toyota Avalon

    The Toyota Avalon is the Cadenza's primary competition in the large-sedan category. Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Avalon's upgraded interior and superlative ride comfort make it feel like a bargain-priced Lexus. The Cadenza is a solid choice in the segment, but the Avalon has a more distinctive personality.

    Compare Kia Cadenza & Toyota Avalon features

    Kia Cadenza vs. Kia K900

    The K900 is the next step up from the Cadenza in Kia's sedan lineup. This executive sedan pulls out all the stops, with a powerful twin-turbo V6, power-adjustable rear seats, and more features than you can count. It's much more expensive than the Cadenza, but you're getting your money's worth.

    Compare Kia Cadenza & Kia K900 features


    Is the Kia Cadenza a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 Cadenza both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.5 out of 10. You probably care about Kia Cadenza fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Cadenza gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Cadenza has 16.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Cadenza. Learn more
    What's new in the 2019 Kia Cadenza?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Kia Cadenza:

    • Minor usability updates on the touchscreen and instrument cluster
    • Revised features availability
    • Part of the second Cadenza generation introduced for 2017
    Learn more
    Is the Kia Cadenza reliable?
    To determine whether the Kia Cadenza is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Cadenza. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Cadenza's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2019 Kia Cadenza a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Kia Cadenza is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2019 Cadenza and gave it a 7.5 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 Cadenza is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2019 Kia Cadenza?

    The least-expensive 2019 Kia Cadenza is the 2019 Kia Cadenza Premium 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $33,100.

    Other versions include:

    • Technology 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $38,200
    • Premium 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $33,100
    • Limited 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $44,100
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Kia Cadenza?
    If you're interested in the Kia Cadenza, the next question is, which Cadenza model is right for you? Cadenza variants include Technology 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A), Premium 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A), and Limited 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A). For a full list of Cadenza models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2019 Kia Cadenza

    2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan Overview

    The 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan is offered in the following styles: Technology 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A), Premium 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A), and Limited 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A).

    What do people think of the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2019 Cadenza Sedan.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 Cadenza Sedan featuring deep dives into trim levels including Technology, Premium, Limited, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Read our full review of the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan here.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan?

    Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

    Which 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedans are available in my area?

    2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan Listings and Inventory

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    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan and all available trim types: Premium, Technology, Limited. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2019 Kia Cadenza Sedan?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Kia lease specials