2015 Kia K900: Too Much Isolation
December 10, 2014
Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is a luxury car that doesn't have a sporting bolt in its body. Not that it isn't quick — on the contrary, it's plenty rapid — but becoming one with the road isn't what the K900 is about.
Ruminations and impressions after the jump.
First, its ride quality is very, very soft. It even goes a bit too far in this regard, wallowing over low-frequency freeway heaves and recovering in a somewhat underdamped manner. In its attempt to isolate, it gives up too much control, by my estimation.
Engine-wise, the power is there definitely, but throttle response is overly damped and is calibrated to provide a bit too much initial gain. In other words, it's easy to overdo your initial throttle application when leaving the line. It goes like this: nothing, nothing, whoa! It does move out smartly when called upon, however.
The steering is overboosted, requiring very little effort. Strangely, at very slow speeds like when you're cranking the wheel around in order to park, the assistance can't keep up and the steering goes abruptly stiff. Another area of the K900's steering that needs help is the stiction it exhibits when you move the wheel from a fixed position. There is also zero steering feel.
Its steering effort is a touch less absurdly overboosted in Sport mode. Sport mode also remaps the transmission so that first gear is selected when enabled from a standstill (normally it launches in second gear), holds gears longer, and locks out its top gear. Ideally I'd like to pair the Sport steering setting and Normal powertrain settings, but I haven't found a way to do that. Seems to be all or nothing, unless I'm missing something.
I'll say this, though: The K900 is quiet. Very quiet. It's a big, soft, quiet car. Drivers need not apply.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 5,160 miles.