Kia Cadenza Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
313 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Article: "Premium Kia Cadenza can hold its own against (gasp!) German competition"

<Excerpted from National Post, May 29,2013:

Premium Kia Cadenza can hold its own against (gasp!) German competition

[URL=""]Brian Harper


The 2014 Kia Cadenza is a well-executed first foray into the premium, full-sized sedan segment.

Preview: 2014 Kia Cadenza
SAN FRANCISCO — “Premium” is such an interesting word. It connotes something more than middle of the road but less than luxurious. Kia refers to the new 2014 Cadenza as a premium sedan, which is probably a safe bet for the South Korean car company. Like the word “upscale,” premium mitigates digs from cranky pundits that Kia is getting a little too big for its britches while still allowing the automaker to expand beyond its comfort zone as a source of economy- and mainstream-based vehicles.

Calling the Cadenza a premium sedan also opens up a more comprehensive base of cars to compete against. With the conservative card played, the Kia goes up against such targeted vehicles as the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and the Buick LaCrosse. It could also, depending on the snob appeal one holds in a brand, do battle with trendier models such as the Acura TL, Lincoln MKZ and Lexus ES — or even the Genesis 3.8 sedan from sibling rival Hyundai.
The Kia Cadenza's steering was tested out on Lombard Street, the world's most winding street.

Actually, the Cadenza, the most technologically advanced vehicle Kia has introduced in North America (until the Quoris full-on luxury sedan arrives), can hold its own against any number of four-doors out there, including (gasp!) the Germans. Oh, the marketing departments at those august companies would belittle the very suggestion; the base Cadenza starts at a big-bang-for-the-buck $37,795, while the Premium edition tops out at $44,995 — not in their snack bracket at all!
Yet the full-sized sedan, 4,970 millimetres in length, brings with it not only a generous list of luxury-tinged modern conveniences and an equally complete number of safety items, but also a certain maturity to it. If we forget about the awkwardly styled Amanti sedan of several years ago, the Cadenza is a solidly executed first effort. And it’s all wrapped in pleasingly sculpted, if family familiar, sheet metal that bears the obvious stamp of Peter Schreyer, Kia’s global chief of design.
The all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza offers a long list of standard features at an aggressive price.

The profile has a distinctive European sport-sedan look, not unexpected given Schreyer’s previous stints at Audi and Volkswagen. Yet, it’s BMW’s 5 Series I see in the Cadenza — especially in the rear quarters — though the overall effect is far more aggressive than the Bavarian sedan’s. The Kia’s broad shoulders, contoured hood, trademark ‘tiger nose” front fascia, large wheels and wide stance give it muscular appearance, as if the car would comfortably hold its own on the autobahn. With its muted palette of available colours, though, it tended to blend in with the other high-end cars jostling their way through the downtown districts of San Francisco.

Certainly, the car has enough fortitude under the hood to tackle the notoriously hilly (remember Bullitt?) streets, thanks to Kia’s most powerful V6 ever. The smooth 3.3-litre engine uses gasoline direct injection to improve performance while maintaining fuel efficiency. Power is transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sportmatic manual mode and paddle shifters flanking the leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel. The all-aluminum V6 pumps out a healthy 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm — more than most of the targeted competition — and 255 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. It also runs on regular unleaded.
The Cadenza has a stylish design, with hints of a BMW 5 Series in its hind quarters.

The Cadenza is fitted with what Kia calls a “sport-tuned” fully independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup at the back. It got a full workout on San Francisco’s beat-up and patched-over tarmac. Through it all, the big sedan isolated everything but the worst pavement nasties while remaining float-free and rattle-free. The car has an extensive list of noise-reducing technologies, including a hydraulic transmission mount, optimally tuned damper on the rear crossmember and specially designed wheels (the multiple fins help reduce wind noise at highway speeds, says Kia). It even tackled Lombard Street — its eight switchbacks in one block earning the tourist spot the reputation as the most winding stretch of road in the world — without giving the well-weighted steering conniptions.
However, it’s the Cadenza’s chic interior that truly impresses, with soft high-grade leather and tastefully executed wood and chrome accents. Ambient lighting and well-positioned switches and buttons deliver an uncluttered sophistication. The analogue clock located between the centre stack buttons lends a classic touch. The centre console itself is angled toward the driver for better visibility and access, and the high-resolution TFT LCD screen (Premium model) in the gauge cluster displays a wide range of vehicle information. Chrome bezels surrounding the HVAC and audio controls, air vents and push-button start are all standard, as are Bluetooth, wood-trim door inserts, one-touch up/down power front windows and power-folding heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators.
The list of standard amenities on the base car runs from a fully articulated power driver’s seat and leather upholstery to a full-on navigation system with voice recognition and has all the desirable items in between including eight airbags.

Other standard equipment includes leather seats, navigation with satellite radio, backup camera and warning system, Infinity 12-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat ventilation, smart key keyless entry with push-button start and power driver’s seat. The Premium model adds such items as full-length panoramic sunroof, auto-levelling HID headlights, premium Nappa leather seats, memory cooled/ventilated driver’s seat with lower cushion extension (exceedingly comfortable), heated front and rear seats and heated steering wheel.
Without back-to-back testing, it’s impossible to say if the new Cadenza is actually better than its named rivals. But my initial impressions have me thinking it feels as good as anything out there today. With its aggressive pricing and high content level, the car should first find acceptance amongst Kia’s younger demographic who are looking to move up without having to fork over big bucks. Once the word spreads, though, the established “premium” players should start looking over their shoulders.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.