2015 Kia K900: V8 Lust Deepens on Road to Phoenix
July 31, 2015
Our year with our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is almost kaput. Just two weeks to go. We'll soon return it to Kia and introduce its replacement, a brand new Kia Sedona minivan.
My kids are vibrating. As much as they enjoy riding in the back of our large and luxurious K900, the Sedona has become a favorite due to its First Class Lounge Seating. It's like kid heaven back there in the Sedona's second row and the Oldham girls have been looking forward to it all summer.
Whatever. I dig the K900 and a recent 900-mile road trip from Santa Monica to Phoenix and back, during a heat wave in June, has solidified my lust for the big V8-powered, rear-wheel drive sedan.
The run to Phoenix and back was made for the K900. It cruises down the super slab as well as any European or full-size American, swallowing entire states with little effort and demanding even less from its occupants.
Relaxed. Comfortable. Quiet.
But the big Kia can rock when it's kicked. Kia can make a V8 with the best of them. And the K900's 5.0-liter double-overhead cammer is one for the ages. The naturally-aspirated engine doesn't pack the ultimate punch of its turbocharged German competition, but it's plenty stout.
Bottom-end torque is abundant, but the best part is the upper rpm passing power. Nail it at 70 mph and the Kia's 8-speed automatic quickly gives you a few downshifts and that big V8 yanks this big sedan around that 18-wheeler and into the triple digits. There's just enough V8 rumble to make it audibly interesting and the 8-speed clicks off full-throttle upshifts just shy of 7,000 rpm. Real car-guy stuff.
Obviously I wasn't exactly hyper-miling on the interstate and I always (ALWAYS!) drive this car in Sport mode. Still, I averaged 19.7 mpg for the trip, which included about 75 miles of city driving in both Los Angeles and Phoenix. The Kia is rated by the EPA at 23 mpg highway, 15 mpg city and 18 combined.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 18,478 miles