First things first. I spent the entire week with this car in my possession trying desperately not to call it a Credenza. No, Kia’s new full-size sedan can’t very well be compared to office furniture. That wouldn’t be fair.
1. The Cadenza uses a 3.3-liter V6 with 293-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque.
2. Fuel economy is rated at 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.
3. The Cadenza starts at $35,900 and includes navigation, back-up camera, heated leather seats and dual-zone climate control.
4. Our tester cost $43,200 and came with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot assist and Nappa leather upholstery.
What is fair to say is that the Cadenza is an impressive attempt by Kia to play in the world of near-lux full-sizers. That’s a hard place to compete given established and recently improved leaders like the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon, not to mention others like the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, and Nissan Maxima. Oh, and Hyundai’s Azera too.
Chuckle all you want about the Korean twins, but like any other siblings, they consider the competition across the hall to be more dangerous than one from another part of the world and aren’t above a little heated rivalry. So even though they share the same greasy bits, if you parked them next to each other, you’d find it near-impossible to identify that they come from the same mothership.
The Cadenza design sprung from style-chief Peter Schreyer’s studio is one that’s well proportioned, sharing cues with the head-turning Optima and new-gen Forte. The front has angular headlights framing the revised Kia corporate grille, but it’s more mature to better suit its audience. There’s more than a little BMW in the side profile. The rear is identified by near triangular LED taillights, little chrome and twin oval tailpipes integrated smartly into the rear bumper.