by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on October 27, 2015
The 2015 Kia K900 was our second go-around with a luxury product from the greater Hyundai works, picking up where we left off with a 2011 Hyundai Equus. We thought the K900 would make an interesting case study: will Americans pay outsize luxury money for a big sedan from an automaker better known for sporty and quirky character? We had a year to gain some insight.
Our verdict? The K900 is legit.
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 1, 2015
I agree that it's very convenient to have a visual warning appear in the head-up display when a vehicle enters your blind-spot. But what I cannot stand is the audio alert that goes along with it.
June 26, 2015
Doesn't matter which 2015 Kia K900 sedan you choose, Premium or Luxury trim, they both come standard with a glorious 40-inch panoramic sunroof with a power-retractable sunshade.
June 22, 2015
There are a handful of differences between the entry-level 2015 Kia K900 Premium, and the K900 Luxury model in our test fleet. Besides adding a standard blind-spot monitoring system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, and a lane departure warning system, moving up to the Luxury trim exchanges High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights for state-of-the-art LED lamps, with all of its tiny, penetrating bulbs.
June 5, 2015
A road trip to San Francisco and the search for a future long-term vehicle pushed our 2015 Kia K900 slightly over 16,000 miles. According to the service intervals outlined in the manual and the K900's onboard distance-based maintenance minder, we were due for service at 15,900 miles.
We had good experiences with Kia of Cerritos servicing our 2014 Kia Cadenza, so we returned with the K900. I used the dealership's website to schedule an appointment on a Thursday at 10:30 am.
May 21, 2015
I put a few hundred miles on the long-term 2015 Kia K900 in the past few days and it prompted me to leave the following imaginary note inside the K900.
May 13, 2015
Our 2015 Kia K900 is so well-equipped that I continue to find features I had either forgotten about or didn't realize were included in our $66,000 luxury sedan. This week's discovery: power soft-close door latches, included as part of the $6,000 VIP package.
Watch this three-second video for a demonstration:
April 24, 2015
After nearly 15,000 miles of threading our 2015 Kia K900 through L.A traffic and stretching it out over the occasional road trip, the luxury sedan's bright, shiny chrome wheels have taken a few hits.
I noticed this 3-inch scrape on the right rear wheel while fueling up. Ouch.
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.
March 5, 2015
Our parking garage at the office can get pretty crowded and we double up cars in tandem spots fairly often. Some vehicles are large enough to take up a whole spot right up to the white divider lines. Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is very helpful in this type of situation.
I first relied on this feature at a busy supermarket parking lot. The lot was crowded and spaces were difficult to find. As I pulled slowly into a spot, the front parking sensor camera came on to help me know how far I could pull into the spot before coming too close to the car parked opposite. When this front camera comes on, so does the all-around overhead view, showing the parking lines on both sides of the K900.
February 17, 2015
For people shopping for a large luxury sedan, the 2015 Kia K900 might not immediately come to mind. It's a new car, and the Kia brand name isn't exactly synonymous with "flagship luxury sedan" yet. But I think if a friend were to ask me about what kind of large sedan he or she should consider, I'd certainly mention the K900.
February 11, 2015
We added our 2015 Kia K900 to our long-term fleet back in August of last year. Approximately six months on, we've cleared 10,000 miles. That puts us right on track for our typical goal of getting 20,000 miles on test cars.
Halfway into our test, it would seem the K900 is pretty well liked by our team.
February 4, 2015
Fair warning: I'm not a fan of lane departure warning (LDW) systems. Most of these systems aren't very accurate and tend to repeatedly fire off false alarms. Active lane keeping assist isn't much better, as most bounce the car to and fro within the lane like a drunkard is at the wheel.
February 3, 2015
There's something so wonderful about waking up before the sun comes up and pointing a car north to head to a racetrack. One of the better tracks near Southern California is Buttonwillow Raceway. But every now and then, the weather tends to complicate things.
December 26, 2014
I'm quite used to activating the front collision alert on most test cars when I pull into my garage at home. Especially in long cars like the 2015 Kia K900, which measures a full 16 feet and 8.6 inches (200.6 inches), I have to nose all the way in to my husband's tool chest before the vehicle's rear end will clear the garage door.
December 23, 2014
Last night a parent stopped me in the school parking lot to ask some questions about the 2015 Kia K900. The mother had recently been in an accident, and was looking to replace her 2009 Toyota Avalon. Since safety was now at the forefront of her mind, we discussed some of the K900's features.
We covered the usual: airbags, ABS, additional brake assist, stability and traction control, etc. Figuring I failed to mention some of the available items, I pulled up the list when I got home.
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.
December 9, 2014
I'm not Mike "I hope you have a big trunk, 'cuz I'm gonna put my bike into it" Monticello, but I was surprised by how cavernous the cargo area of our long-term 2015 Kia K900 really is.
December 5, 2014
Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 added a hair more than 825 miles to its odometer while consuming just shy of 47 gallons of California's best premium 91-octane gasoline. Using all fingers and toes, this calculates to 17.6 mpg for the month.
November 26, 2014
Our long-term 2015 Kia K900 and the Hyundai Equus are cousins. Aside from the fact that the Hyundai has the optional air suspension, the two cars are pretty much equal. I would argue that the Kia has a better looking exterior, but that is a matter of taste.
October 30, 2014
A couple of months ago, Donna wrote how she felt "practically invisible" in our long-term 2015 Kia K900. I can relate to that. In my experience, the K900 just goes about its business without attracting much attention from other motorists. Only when people have had a few minutes to actually notice it do they get curious. And when they learn that it's a Kia and not a Lexus or BMW, they get even more interested.
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.
August 19, 2014
This is Kia's statement car. It's big, expensive and designed to compete with the best luxury sedans in the world. There's no heritage to lean on and the length of its warranty isn't going to help it much. Buyers in this category expect excellence in every aspect of the ownership experience.
During our year-long test we'll not only test its extensive list of features, we'll report on the service experience that comes along with our nearly $67,000 sedan. Has Kia sufficiently upped its game to satisfy customers who are used to being pampered? Or is that one aspect of the K900 that you simply don't get for the price?