August 5, 2015
If anything is true about the 2015 Kia K900, it's that Kia's first foray into the luxury sedan market is a smoking good deal. Our long-termer is in top-tier Luxury trim with the $6,000 VIP Package, the only available option. At $66,400, the car is loaded with niceties such as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera, LED adaptive headlights and outboard heated and ventilated seats. So far, the K900 checks all the major boxes a buyer could want in an executive sedan.
But K900 sales are a fraction of the segment's leaders. Consider the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which sells 14 units to every one K900. The S-Class starts at $95,325, a considerable amount more than the K900 before the Merc's substantial options list comes into play.
We recently tested a new S550 and I took a moment to reflect on the differences between two cars that, on paper, serve the same purpose.
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.
July 14, 2015
If you want great air conditioning buy a Kia K900.
I'm serious. If there's one thing I never joke about, it's air conditioning.
I just drove our long-term 2015 Kia K900 from Santa Monica to Phoenix and back. During a heat wave. In June. After the first 70 miles, temps exceeded 105 degrees and stayed there for the duration of the five-day trip, peaking at 117 degrees (indicated on the Kia's instrument cluster) near the California Arizona border.
June 2, 2015
Well, this is awkward. After my farewell letter to the 2015 Kia K900, I was asked to put some miles on it for a short trip to San Francisco. So I told the K900, "I know I've said some hurtful things to you recently, but we're both adults here with a job to do. Let's put the past behind us and be professionals."
I took Interstate 5 both on the way up and back. U.S. Route 101 is more scenic, but would have taken about an hour longer. The trip wasn't for pleasure, so I opted for the shorter drive. Like other awkward moments with an ex, I remembered things I liked and disliked with twinges of regret and relief.
May 26, 2015
Admittedly, I don't fall directly in the demographic for our long-term 2015 Kia K900. No spouse, no kids, nobody named Bruce Wayne to chauffer around in the back seat. Having driven the K900 for a solid week in various conditions though, I've decided this isn't a car I could live with in Los Angeles, or in any city for that matter.
May 25, 2015
Over the span of a week, I put about 330 miles on our long-term 2015 Kia K900. I drove it to and from work all week, and on the weekend took a 200-mile road trip to visit my mother. We've been critical of the K900's overall ride quality, but the interior is very likeable. I thought I'd show you around.
Here's a short look-around at the K900 interior, highlighting a few of my favorite aspects and a few features that I'm not a big fan of:
April 1, 2015
Simple, sturdy and covered in nice materials, the steering wheel in our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is one of my favorite features on the car. We've got the optional "Leather-Wrapped & Genuine Wood" steering wheel that is heated, has a simple three-spoke design and several small, but easy-to-find, buttons for audio and cruise control.
March 20, 2015
The Kid finds no shortage of fun in our 2015 Kia K900. It's huge, roomy, and she thinks it's hilarious to control the front climate control from the rear seat. At least she's helping us get our money's worth from the $6,000 VIP package.
March 18, 2015
On my recent drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix in our long-term 2015 Kia K900, I observed that the car's multimedia screen washes out in direct sunlight. This renders it, at best, difficult to view. Usually it ends up unreadable.
March 17, 2015
I recently drove our long-term 2015 Kia K900 from Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ, and back. One freeway, Interstate 10, connects the cities at either end. It's a straight shot, 390-mile run through the desert, with little elevation change and no turns to speak of. An ideal environment for this car...right?
As it turns out, no, it isn't.
February 13, 2015
A construction project has turned traffic into a mental meltdown. Drivers are raging through intersections. Horns blare and tempers go rabid. On-ramps close, then magically reopen, offering hope. But it's a trap, leading into a dead-end clump of unmoving cars.
January 20, 2015
You'd need smell-o-vision to know what was going on inside our 2015 Kia K900 sedan at the moment captured in the above image. The noxious reek was intense as we drove past a massive dairy farm on Interstate 5 on the way home from Oregon.
But the K900's Recirc button offered no relief. The methane and manure funk stayed with us for miles as if the car remained in fresh mode. The same thing happened at other times on the trip, too, when the cabin air recirculation mode did a poor job of shutting out the offending smells of decrepit diesels and overly-rich carbureted 60s classics.
And that's only half of it.
January 15, 2015
We heard it more than once during our Oregon holiday trip. "This thing's a low rider." The thing in question was our 2015 Kia K900 sedan, and they were right.
But there were just four of us on board: me driving plus my wife in the shotgun seat and our two daughters in back. Each of them weighs no more than 115 pounds apiece, well below the mythical SAE passenger allowance of 68 kilograms/150 pounds. And we had an open seat in back, too.
Sure, we had suitcases and plenty of presents in the trunk. But we packed relatively light using duffle bags. And most of our wrapped presents were comprised of air and tissue wrap. No one was getting a bowling ball or a full set of encyclopedias from Santa. We had less than 100 pounds back there.
Northern California and Oregon highways are generally smooth asphalt ribbons in reasonably good condition. Much of Highway 101 north of Ukiah is gracefully sinuous with sweeping 55 to 60 mph corners. But this is earthquake country, and the rain-soaked land beneath tends to slump and sag here and there. Cars with overly soft suspensions and/or short suspension travel do not excel in these parts.
January 6, 2015
They say the first step is admitting the problem? Well, I have an addiction to seat heaters. Doesn't matter how tepid the ambient temp, if there's a seat heater available, I've got it cranking full hot.
But the 2015 Kia K900 has the first seat heater system I actually had to turn down.
December 12, 2014
Whether it's a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or a Kia K900, there's nothing quite like driving a full-size luxury car on a road trip. The grand size, the whisper quiet, the supreme comfort, the abundant power, the copious equipment and the excellent sound system are all qualities that make a road trip easier and better. Instead of arriving at your destination beat and ready to take a nap, you feel nearly as refreshed as when you left.
November 20, 2014
While the driver seat of the 2015 Kia K900 is a nice place to be, rear passengers get some love from Kia, too.
Our long-termer comes standard with heated rear seats, a power rear window sunshade, manual side sunshades and a rear seat USB charging port.
October 21, 2014
A few weeks ago, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, told assembled reporters to "r-e-l-a-x" regarding the team's suboptimal early games. Ah, but how to relax? How about taking a drive in a 2015 Kia K900?
October 14, 2014
I drove our long-term 2015 Kia K900 for the first time last night and the word that kept coming to mind was "buttery." As in buttery smooth. The throttle tip-in and initial surge from the 5.0-liter V8 engine: buttery. The shifts from its eight-speed automatic: buttery. The cosseting ride quality: buttery. The nice-and-easy steering: buttery. I can't quite describe the leather as buttery soft, but it is certainly nice.
September 24, 2014
The interior of our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is quiet, like really quiet. The 5.0-liter V8 gives a good rumble when you give it the beans, but this thing is exceptionally quiet on the highway and in city traffic. In fact, it is one of the quietest cars in our long-term fleet. To see just how quiet it is, I turned to our official testing numbers.
August 25, 2014
Perhaps it's because our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is in a non-descript shade of gray/silver, but driving home last evening I was practically invisible in it. This may not have anything to do with the color and looks of the K900, it may have more to do with a bunch of bored commuters trying to get home. But I was cut off left and right, pulled out on, almost plowed into, or generally ignored. Maybe everyone one was texting. Or maybe they just weren't interested.