If it wasn't for the Kia Cadenza, what car would you have bought? The other cars that were on my short list are the Acura TL. Which I think is probably most reliable brand and Lincoln MKZ. I think it has an amazing amount of features for the price.
Optima SXL. I believe that there are many nice cars out there, but it is a personal decision that is hard to quantify. Kind of like "I don't know what she sees in him" in a relationship. The Acuras are styled strangely in my eyes. The MKZs have attracted me but I don't know if I would own one. I think there is always someone who will criticize another person's choice in a vehicle. I have a brother-in-law who is a mechanic, a real car person. He is enamored with SAABs (RIP), Audis, and VWs. He always drive a ten year old junker, but every time someone in the family buys a car (even a real nice car), he goes on the "you should have bought a..." trip. You have to please your self. I just kind of "fall in love" with a car, research it to see if it meets my standards, then save my money (or build up guts to get into debt). I don't care what other people do.
I was kind of in the market for a new car when I purchased my Cadenza. My short list was down to the Chrysler 300 and the Nissan Maxima. Both cars with everything I wanted were more money then I wanted to spend. That's why I was "kind of" looking at cars.