Used 2016 Kia K900 Review

Kia says you should challenge the luxury you know. Well, in fact, there is good reason to check out the 2016 Kia K900. This large luxury sedan has plenty of room, quietly glides down the road and has a strong V8 engine, all for less money than the norm. Ready to learn more?




what's new

For 2016, the Kia K900 gains a standard V6 engine, relegating the previously standard V8 to the options list. There are also slight revisions to the grille and rear styling, while the features list swells further with the availability of a hands-free trunk opener and automatic emergency braking.

vehicle overview

The 2016 Kia K900 is a large, limo-like luxury sedan fit for a king. Well, King James that is. As in LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavalier, and not the 17th-century British monarch who probably would've preferred a Bentley anyway. Of course, LeBron is paid to rep the K900, but he apparently actually drives one, and if quasi-regal endorsements count as a reason to buy a car, well this range-topping Kia certainly gets the job done.

However, the main reason to ponder the K900 is its value. Yes, an as-new MSRP of $50,000-$60,000 for a car made by the same folks who bring you the Rio may seem as shocking as LeBron suddenly declaring his intention to play for the Knicks. But in return for this high-for-a-Kia price, the K900 compensates with a wealth of standard equipment and interior room. No other similarly priced luxury sedan can match it for those qualities, and similarly sized and equipped flagship sedans are vastly more expensive (as in you could buy a well-equipped entry-level luxury sedan with the difference). Plus, as we discovered during our long-term K900 test, it is a supremely comfortable and quiet car that isolates its passengers from the rigors of any commute or road trip.

The 2016 K900's price tag may be eye-popping for a Kia, but this executive sedan offers many features found in vastly more expensive rivals.

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Alas, there are reasons why getting a K900 rather than any of those pricier luxury sedans isn't a slam dunk. There is, of course, the badge. Kia has come a long way in this world and every one of its less expensive products is competitive and appealing in its own right. But the K900 is playing on a different court, one with all-stars from Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and others. And besides the obvious differences in brand perception, each of those brands provides superior performance, driving dynamics, interior quality, feature content and overall refinement. Take it around the block or just sit in the driver seat and it shouldn't take long to understand why the K900 costs less.

But how much less are those differences really worth? How much better is an Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS 460 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, or even their respective lesser A6, 5 Series, GS and E-Class siblings that are more similarly priced to the K900? That's ultimately the question you'll have to answer, but we think any budget-savvy luxury shopper would be wise to at least consider the 2016 Kia K900. Besides, it's not every day that you get to drive the same car as a king. Well, sort of.




trim levels & features

The 2016 Kia K900 is a full-size luxury sedan that seats five. It is available in Premium V6, Luxury V6 and Luxury V8 trim levels.

Standard equipment on the Premium V6 includes 18-inch wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic xenon headlights, LED fog- and running lights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, front and rearview cameras, front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free power trunk lid and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside you get three-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and interior trim, eight-way power front seats (with four-way driver power lumbar), heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats and a power rear sunshade. Tech equipment includes a rear USB charging port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 9.2-inch central infotainment display (with console-mounted knob and button controls), a navigation system and a 14-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radios, an auxiliary audio jack, a front USB port and a media player interface.

The Luxury V6 adds an upgraded gear shifter (with steering wheel paddle shifters), upgraded leather upholstery, wood interior trim and a heated steering wheel with wood trim.

Besides its bigger engine, the Luxury V8 adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a surround-view parking camera system, a credit-card-sized key fob and an upgraded instrument/gauge display. Blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert and a lane departure warning system are also standard.

Rear passengers are coddled by heated and ventilated adjustable seats with a substantial amount of legroom.

The Luxury V6 trim can be equipped with a VIP package that adds the V8's surround-view parking camera and safety warning systems along with adaptive cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system, a head-up display, additional front seat adjustments (12-way driver, 10-way passenger), four-way passenger lumbar and a simulated suede headliner. It also bundles the Rear Seat VIP package of power-reclining 60/40-split rear seats with ventilation, adjustable lumbar and airplane-style folding sleeper headrests.

The Luxury V8's VIP Plus package includes all that plus soft-close doors, quilted leather upholstery, wood seatback trim and a "chauffeur" switch on the front passenger seat that allows the driver to easily slide it forward for added rear seat legroom.



performance & mpg

The 2016 Kia K900 comes standard with a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. As on every K900, an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is not available. The EPA estimates that it will return 20 mpg combined (17 city/26 highway).

The Luxury V8 gets a 5.0-liter V8 good for 420 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Rear-drive and an eight-speed automatic are again standard. The EPA estimates the K900 V8 will return 18 mpg combined (15/23). During an Edmunds long-term test of a K900 with this engine, we matched the EPA's figure with 18.1 mpg over the course of 20,000 miles. In our performance testing, we timed the K900 from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. It's certainly a respectable time, but similarly sized and V8-equipped flagship luxury sedans are notably quicker.

safety

Every 2016 K900 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and front and rear parking cameras. Blind-spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warning systems are standard on the Luxury V8 and optional on the Luxury V6. A forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking is optional on both Luxury trims.

In Edmunds brake testing, a V8-powered K900 came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet. This is longer than average for a large luxury sedan.

Driving

Neither of the 2016 Kia K900's available engines will blow you away with a rush of power. For the respective six-cylinder and eight-cylinder classes of elite luxury sedans, the K900 is below par in terms of acceleration. That said, acceleration is certainly sufficient.

At cruising speed, the K900's cabin is nearly devoid of wind and road noise. It's one of the quietest cars we've tested recently. The ride quality is comfortable, too, and most bumps and ruts are absorbed with ease. On choppy pavement, however, the ride is a little on the busy side compared to other large luxury sedans and it is prone to some nautical-like flout over big undulations. That just doesn't happen in rival luxury sedans, which are also usually available with an adaptive suspension that adds further comfort and control to the ride.

The K900's somewhat subdued sheet metal doesn't have the same curbside appeal as an S-Class or 7 Series.

Such a suspension would also help shore up the K900's handling. As it is, the K900 perpetually feels heavy and ponderous. Pricier rivals do a much better job of hiding their size for the driver while still delivering a limo-like cruising experience for passengers.

Interior

On the whole, the 2016 Kia K900 comes tantalizingly close to matching the quality and features of the German luxury sedans it has in its sights. The interior design is pleasingly up to date with a large 9.2-inch infotainment display mounted in the middle of the dash and cues indicative of luxury brands. Options provide even more comforts, including soft-close doors and reclining rear seats.

Upon closer inspection, though, the K900 comes up short compared with established luxury sedans. Even though the Kia's available wood interior trim is genuine, its heavily lacquered and glittered finish gives it the look and feel of plastic. And while the infotainment controller is similar to BMW's iDrive interface, its complicated and unintuitive menus can be a source of frustration. The numerous buttons scattered throughout the cabin also feel a bit less substantial than we'd expect. Notably absent from the options list are amenities like a rear entertainment system, redundant audio controls for backseat passengers and seatback trays.

The K900's cabin is an inviting place to sit and be coddled, but materials quality and switchgear are not up to the standards set by competing luxury sedans.

Getting past these missteps is easy, however, when you consider the K900's long list of standard equipment and its comfortable accommodations. Spending an entire day touring the highways and byways is easy and fatigue-free for four full-size adults thanks to well-shaped seats that are heated and ventilated. Further helping to click off the miles is the powerful Lexicon sound system that offers impressive performance, regardless of your taste in music.

Cargo capacity for the K900 maxes out at 15.9 cubic feet, which is about average for the class.

edmunds expert 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.