The Car Connection Kia Cadenza Overview
The Kia Cadenza is a full-size sedan that sits atop the automaker's lineup, along with the Kia Stinger.
Kia has pushed its Cadenza full-size four-door sedan slightly upmarket with a 2017 redesign that addresses some of the previous model's shortcomings with a new, more cohesive style and a vastly improved interior.
With the Cadenza, Kia may be looking to siphon near-luxury buyers away from brands such as Buick and Volvo.
It's unchanged for the 2019 model year, save for minor feature packaging. Kia updated the Cadenza for 2020 with a new front end, a revamped dash, more standard active safety features, and a large infotainment screen.
MORE: Read our 2020 Kia Cadenza review
The new Kia Cadenza
A full redesign for 2017 brought a more dynamic look inside and out, a stiffer structure, and an 8-speed automatic transmission that improved both performance and fuel economy. Its 3.3-liter V-6 was lightly updated, despite a modest power drop to 290 horsepower and 253 pound feet of torque. That's more than made up for by a slightly lower curb weight and the 8-speed automatic, however.
Though its styling is derivative of its predecessor, the K900 is altogether more cohesive-looking inside and out. Its detailing is particularly nice, with a concave grille and more subtle use of chrome than we've seen on a high-end Kia in a while.
Kia expanded availability of automatic emergency braking on the updated Cadenza, making it standard on the Technology and SXL trim levels (although it's not available on the Premium).
All Cadenza sedans come equipped with leather upholstery, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic climate control, and a suite of smartphone apps that unlock the car.
Kia Cadenza history
At launch, Cadenzas were powered by a 293-hp, 3.3-liter V-6; a 6-speed automatic transmission that sent the power to the big car's front wheels. The engine checked in with 255 lb-ft of torque, but the peak doesn't occur until high up in the rev range, making the engine feel weaker than its ratings would suggest. The transmission made the best of this, however, and also included a manual-shift gate for drivers. While it looks sporty, the Cadenza has always been tuned more for comfort.
The Cadenza saw several updates for 2015. Kia added an adaptable steering system, which offers three levels of steering weight from which the driver can select. All Cadenza trim levels gained an eight-way adjustable power front passenger seat, while the Technology Package added rear cross-traffic warning. Limited models added a standard surround-view camera system as well as a new analog clock.
For the 2016 model year, the Cadenza gained a new base model, while navigation became standard across the lineup. Blind-spot monitors were added to the Luxury package.