The Car Connection Kia K900 Overview
The Kia K900 is the biggest, most expensive, most luxurious sedan the South Korean automaker has yet offered in the U.S.
Base K900s come with a 3.8-liter V-6 from Hyundai's shorter Genesis four-door. A more powerful 5.0-liter V-8 engine is an upgrade in the K900, just like it is in the Genesis.
Launched in 2015, it shares underpinnings with the Hyundai Equus and Genesis models. Its rivals include those cars as well as luxury sedans like the Acura RLX, Lincoln Continental, and Cadillac XTS.
MORE: Read our 2015 Kia K900 review
Unlike some other Kia designs, which can be a bit in-your-face, the K900 wears almost staid styling. Up front is a wide interpretation of the corporate grille, which flows into a rearward-set greenhouse and a back end that looks like a combination of other brands. All K900s come with Nappa leather trimmings inside, with a choice of wood for the fanciest versions.
For 2016, Kia tweaked the grille and rear-end styling to stand out a little more, and expanded the trim levels available with both engines. It also upgraded the navigation system and associated infotainment features.
With a base model powered by a V-6 engine, the K900 is a more frugal alternative to Hyundai's top Equus model. The 3.8-liter V-6 is rated at 311 horsepower and is teamed with an 8-speed automatic. At 420 hp, the K900's V-8 option makes it a direct rival for the Equus, and puts 6-second 0-60 mph times within reach. It's the most powerful Kia yet, and the brand's first 8-cylinder engine; the V-8 is paired with a uniquely tuned 8-speed automatic with a choice of Eco, Normal, and Sport shift modes.
Underpinning the K900 is an independent suspension setup with one subframe for the front coil-and-shock setup and another for the rear and its five-link design. Electrohydraulic power steering is standard; V-6 cars ride on 18-inch, 50-series tires while the V-8 models get 19-inchers.
The K900 shares its 119.9-inch wheelbase with Hyundai's largest model, the Equus. This expansive measure provides extravagant rear-seat legroom and good space up front as well, with places for up to five occupants. Headroom isn't as good as in the more upright Hyundai, since the K900's roofline pinches in, with rear-seat passengers suffering the most.
Kia fits base K900 models with a 12-way power driver seat, while 16-way seats are available on higher trim levels. Heating and ventilation are standard for the front seats as well. In the rear, all K900s include heated outboard seats and remote controls for the climate control system. A VIP package gets rear-seat ventilation, reclining seatbacks, and power lumbar adjustment.
No crash-test results are available, but given the Equus's track record (it was previously selected as an IIHS Top Safety Pick, although changing metrics mean it no longer garners that title), the K900 should fare well. Standard equipment includes parking sensors and both a front and a rearview camera; safety options include a head-up display, a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. Some of those become standard on higher-priced versions.
All K900 sedans get standard power features; leather upholstery; a power-close trunklid; steering-wheel audio and phone controls; Bluetooth with audio streaming; auxiliary and USB ports; and satellite and HD radio. The Lexicon audio system sends output to a set of 17 speakers with a total of 900 watts of power. A navigation system is also standard equipment, and it's controlled through the latest version of Kia's UVO infotainment system. It may not be up to the refinement levels of the systems in true luxury vehicles, but it is at least relatively easy to use.