2014 Kia Cadenza Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality

Choose a big sedan like the 2014 Kia Cadenza, that's not overtly a sport sedan, and you might expect the ride quality to be pillowy, almost queasy. As with many of the latest entries in this class, that's no longer the case; the Cadenza has top-notch interior comfort, without those boat-like old-fashioned big-car motions. It's also luxury-car quiet inside.

And if you've owned German luxury sedans in the past, don't expect to be stepping down in comfort-related items. When optioned up with the Luxury Package, you'll find a driver's seat thigh extension (quite the improvement for taller drivers on longer highway trips) plus a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and even heated rear seats.

The Cadenza has a comfortable but not pillowy ride, as well as a smart, well-trimmed interior; rear-seat headroom with the panoramic roof is the only real disappointment.

The seats themselves are on the soft side, and while some might prefer a little more firmness, particularly for their back, these there's lots of legroom, and the driving position should be great for a wide range of sizes. In back, too, there's enough legroom—even for long-legger riders over six feet tall, behind other six footers.

Unfortunately, those tall riders won't be comfortable in back if you've opted for the two-panel panoramic sunroof system, which is included with the Luxury Package (mandatory for every other option, like the Tech Package and its smart cruise control and other active safety). You'll need to duck a bit when getting in, because of the downward-sloping roofline. But the real surprise comes inside, where you lose what we estimate to be several inches of headroom to the back housing of the roof system. There are two scooped-out areas in the headliner for outboard riders, but you'll need to hunch forward. The other thing is that if you're on a curvy road, hold on; the front seats are quite soft, and they provide zero lateral support, really, and if you're going around tight corners.

The Cadenza is a very quiet-riding sedan, with almost no wind noise, and very little road noise, at highway speeds—all with good aerodynamics, a tight structure, and smart application of noise-blanketing, rather than stopgap measures like active noise cancellation.

Materials are very impressive throughout the cabin. The ventilated Nappa leather seats that are included with the Luxury Package are as soft and supple as you'll find in $60k luxury rides.

Just as in other Kia models, there's no shortage of real physical buttons here—something we like, actually, and between decent voice control, those hard buttons, and the touch screen, there's a good level of redundancy that allows you to truly do it your own way.

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