The Cadenza is closely related to the Hyundai Azera, but from looking it at you wouldn't be able to tell. It has great proportions, an athletic stance, and clean, uninterrupted lines.
Inside the Cadenza the look is rich and finely detailed. It has soft-touch materials and the plastics are nicely grained. The controls and displays are laid out in a cockpit style with plenty of buttons.
The Cadenza's seats are on the soft side, and we'd like more lateral support in front, but there's lots of legroom. In back there's more than enough legroom for six-footers to sit front and back. Those tall passengers won't be comfortable in back if you order the panoramic sunroof, though. You also need to duck your head a bit when getting in to the rear seat so you don't hit your head on the sloping roofline.
The Cadenza gets power from a 3.3-liter V-6 engine rated at 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Frankly for its size the Cadenza isn't particularly fuel-efficient. Rated at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, the Cadenza can't compete on fuel efficiency against the likes of the new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid with its 40-mpg combined rating.
The Cadenza hits all the marks for safety with eight standard airbags including front and rear seat-mounted side airbags along with full-length side-curtain bags. Both a rear backup camera and parking sensors are standard. Adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring are available. The IIHS and NHTSA haven't put the new Cadenza through their battery of tests, but we are expecting good scores based on the crash structure.
Unlike other Kias, the Cadenza isn't sold in trim levels. There's one version, with lots of standard equipment and just two option packages. The base price of just over $35,000 includes a 12-speaker Infinity sound system and a navigation system with an eight-inch touch screen that's one of the best systems on the market, with easy-to-use controls and split-screen views. The $3,000 Luxury Package adds that panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather seats, and a cooled driver's seat. On top of that you can opt for the $3,000 Technology Package and its 19-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. As equipped, our test car stickered at just below $42,000--a record for any Kia in our test fleet.
So, what's the bottom line for the 2014 Kia Cadenza? It's no sport sedan, but it's a premium car at a bargain price--missing only the upscale badge.
For for more information, be sure to read our full review of the 2014 Kia Cadenza here.