2017 Kia K900

2017 Kia K900 Sedan Review

The K900's quiet cabin and first-class touches will challenge your luxury sedan assumptions.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Value.

It's a dirty word in material wealth-obsessed circles, but let's face it, everyone loves a good deal. And as big luxury sedans go, the 2017 Kia K900 is a good deal. Exceptional even, especially when you consider that this $50,000-as-new sedan comes from the same automaker that makes the Rio.

For the money, few luxury sedans can match its wealth of standard features and interior room. You'd need a vastly more expensive European or Japanese flagship sedan to get comparable size. And though it's not the quickest big sedan, it gobbles up large swaths of highway without effort. Leather touch points and seating, heated and cooled seats, and a navigation/infotainment system with a 9-inch display and a 14-speaker sound system are just a few other top standard items. Options, meanwhile, range from soft-close doors to a "chauffeur" front passenger seat that slides far forward for maximum rear seat legroom.

But an abundance of features can't mask the K900's lack of refinement, and it doesn't take much time behind the wheel to learn that it's not punching at the same weight as its rivals. The K900 coddles you with luxury touches, but look closer and the materials don't feel quite as nice. Knobs and switches lack the kind of gravitas of the established models, and the ride, though comfortable, doesn't absorb the road's harsher imperfections like the others. Dull handling also misses the dormant sport-performance agility baked into the European models. From these angles, the K900 is in fact too good to be true.

It's all a matter of calibrating your expectations. As a finely loaded and hugely roomy luxury sedan for the cost of a lightly equipped midsize version of the same, the K900 excels. Real estate agents ferrying clients among properties could do worse. But if you're searching for a vehicle to impress you to the utmost, better choices are available.



what's new

For 2017, the Kia K900 includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard features. Previously, they were optional.

we recommend

The base V6 Premium comes loaded with creature comforts, but unfortunately you can only get the optional, desirable tech and driver aids (adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, surround-view display) with the V6 or V8 Luxury trims. We'd recommend a V6 Luxury trim with VIP package. The V6 engine doesn't save much more fuel than the whomping V8, but it does save you thousands on the MSRP. Since value is a key draw for the K900 anyway, we think the V6 is the way to go.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Kia K900 is a full-size luxury sedan that seats five passengers. It's available in three trim levels: V6 Premium, V6 Luxury and V8 Luxury. All three trims come generously equipped, with the V6 representing tremendous luxury value and a smart engine package, while the V8 spares few details and even fewer seconds when squeezing the gas pedal.

The V6 Premium's standard equipment includes a 3.8-liter V6 engine (311 horsepower, 293 pound-feet of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors (with auto-dimming and power-folding functions), automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and foglights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power trunklid, and keyless ignition and entry.

Interior features include tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and panel trim, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power driver lumbar adjustment), heated and ventilated front seats, driver-position memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats and a power rear sunshade. Technology 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 CD player, HD and satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a front USB port and media player interface.

Standard driver aids include front and rearview cameras, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The V6 Luxury adds upgraded leather upholstery, wood accents, a heated, wood-trimmed steering wheel with transmission shift paddles, and a 17-speaker surround-sound system.

At the the top, the V8 Luxury model adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a surround-view  monitor, a credit card-sized smart key and an upgraded instrument/gauge display.

A VIP package available for V6 Luxury model includes the surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, a head-up display, additional front seat and lumbar adjustments, power headrests, and a simulated-suede headliner. It also includes heated and ventilated power-reclining rear seats with a 60/40-split folding feature, lumbar adjustment and airplane-style cradling headrests.

The V8 Luxury can be outfitted with the VIP Plus package, which builds on the V6's options with 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.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Kia K900 (5.0L V8; 8-speed automatic). Note that the K900 has received a few minor changes since then. But our findings are still broadly applicable to 2017.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering2.5 / 5.0
Handling2.5 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0
Climate control4.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space4.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The burly 5.0-liter V8 is worthy of this class, and we can't complain about the supple shifts of the eight-speed automatic transmission either. Handling is where the K900 loses ground to its polished rivals, feeling out of place through turns instead of German-taut and composed.

acceleration

edmunds rating
With 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, it's not as quick as the supercharged/turbocharged six-cylinders from Audi and BMW, but the 420-hp V8 moves the K900 with ease. Extra power is summoned with just a slight prod of the gas pedal. Sounds good, too.

braking

edmunds rating
Around town, the brakes feel like they have plenty of stopping power. An intuitive pedal feel means it is easy to bring it to a halt exactly where you plan. In Edmunds' emergency braking test, the K900 stopped from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is longer than typical, even for a big sedan.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering is a sore point. Effort is too light except for parking lot duty. It tightens up some as speeds increase, but it never offers much feel to the driver. We also noticed more kickbacks than usual over bumps.

handling

edmunds rating
Unlike the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 but similar to the Lexus LS, the K900 feels soft and squishy through turns. Its actual grip limits are low, too, so the tires squeal through corners earlier than you might expect.

drivability

edmunds rating
Supple gas pedal and easy-to-modulate brakes make the K900 driver-friendly. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly, though with eight speeds it will downshift up grades.

comfort

edmunds rating
Even if it doesn't offer the performance of its more expensive competitors, the 2017 K900 is right there with them in terms of passenger comfort. The seats are plush at all four corners; the cabin is quiet. The ride, though, showed some of the big Kia's lack of refinement.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
Front seats (heated and cooled) are wide and plush and even have some lateral support and adjustable thigh support. The armrests could use softer padding. The rear outboard seats are thick and comfy, with optional power recline and ventilation.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
It soaks up big bumps without a fuss, as if they're not even there. Yet smaller road ripples sometimes send a surprising amount of vibration to the steering wheel and seats, unexpected in this class.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
In most settings this is an exceptionally hushed automobile. Near-zero wind noise. The V8 is barely above a purr on the highway and never gets obnoxious during acceleration. The large tires exhibit some flap over concrete expansion joints.

climate control

edmunds rating
The air conditioning quickly blows the entire interior cold even after the car has soaked in the sun for hours. Even during the middle of an Arizona heat wave, the inside temperature stays at a consistent 70 degrees.

interior

edmunds rating
The headroom isn't quite as abundant as you might imagine it would be, but in general the 2017 Kia K900 has lots of space to spread out. The rear seating area in particular is terrific. Outward visibility is quite good.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Most controls make sense, but the infotainment system has a learning curve. The head-up display is handy but takes too many steps to adjust height. The main controller knob is nice for radio tuning. Rear seat passengers can adjust their climate control.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The large doors and tall roof height make getting in and out up front easy, despite wide doorsills. Perfectly normal step-in height. The large rear doors open quite far. The entryway is wide but not overly tall, so you have to duck your head a bit.

driving position

edmunds rating
The driver seat has just eight-way power adjustments, though you can get more with the optional seat upgrade. In general, most drivers should be pretty happy and be able to adjust the K900 to their liking.

roominess

edmunds rating
Front headroom isn't exactly abundant, but it should prove enough for most people. Tons of legroom and elbow space. The center console infringes slightly on the driver's right knee. Rear headroom is not exceptional, but legroom is fantastic.

visibility

edmunds rating
Outward visibility is good thanks to moderately sized roof pillars and helpful extra rear side windows. Tall front side windows, too. The rear window is wide if not overly tall. The standard rearview camera has a large screen, multiple views.

quality

edmunds rating
The build quality of this K900 is decent but not up to the level of Audi, BMW and Lexus. Some switchgear seems right off the Kia parts rack. The leather and suede-like headliner aren't as soft as those of rivals. Also noticed a rattle or two.

utility

edmunds rating
You'd hope that a big sedan like the 2017 K900 has a big trunk, and it does indeed deliver. The acres of rear seat legroom make child safety seat installation a breeze, too.

small-item storage

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The small front door bin has a security door to hide music devices. The front cupholders have an anti-tip design, but the fold-out door pockets don't have bottle holders. Good-sized two-tier center bin.

cargo space

edmunds rating
With 16 cubic feet of cargo space, the trunk is huge, one of the largest in its class. Hidden gooseneck hinges keep bags and soft items from being crushed. We were able to fit four 16-inch tires in the trunk with room left over.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Massive rear legroom makes swift work of child seat placement. Forward- or rear-facing seats present no issue for 6-foot drivers, with plenty of room remaining for forward/aft driver seat adjustment.

technology

The K900 offers a nice suite of tech including a multiview parking camera, head-up display and digital gauge display. Kia's Uvo Luxury services also integrate smartphone control of convenient functions (remote start, lock and unlock, etc).

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Upgraded 17-speaker, surround-sound Lexicon system isn't on the same level as the boutique hi-fi systems in the German cars, but it's still very nice with good tonal balance and detail. The control-knob interface for nav/infotainment works fine but is prone to electronic glitches.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Various functions (remote lock/unlock and teen driver limits, for instance) are available through the Kia Uvo smartphone app. The app is fine, but other luxury-brand apps are more useful. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not offered on the K900.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are new standard features for 2017 (previously optional). But only the Luxury trims offer additional safety aids. The adaptive cruise control's operation is OK, but the automatic brake application can be a bit abrupt.

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.