by John Tallodi
The Cadenza is Kia's full-size luxury sedan offering and it has been fully redesigned for 2017. The new model builds on its predecessor's luxury credentials with a cabin that offers much improved interior trim quality and a range of technological updates.
It is quite likely that most Cadenza sales will be made once potential shoppers peer into the cabin. The quality of the materials and the design of the dashboard and door panels have been raised to another level. The front seats are leather covered and offer power adjustment even on the base trim and the rear seats offer decent head room and knee room too.
The Interior space has been slightly improved over the previous generation car and the Cadenza remains one of the best in its class. Space for oddments is generous and when you need to transport something a bit larger the trunk space is generous too.
The Cadenza may rival pricier luxury sedans in the interior quality stakes but its dynamic qualities are not quite up to those levels. The standard front-wheel drive setup and comfort-biased suspension do not make for a very involving handling combination and the Cadenza is far more comfortable when driven within its limits. Steering feel is overly light too but not unlike a number of other competitors in this segment.
The ride quality however is extremely good, ironing out bumps and road imperfections with disdain. The cabin is quiet and the transmission shifts through its ratios smoothly making the Cadenza a great long distance companion.
The 2017 Kia Cadenza comes equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 which makes 290 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. Power is slightly down over the older Cadenza but a new 8-speed automatic transmission ought to keep the engine operating in its sweet spot more of the time and performance levels should be similar.
Power is sent to the front wheels and a 0-60 mph time in the mid 6-second range is claimed, this puts it in the middle of its class. Fuel consumption is rated at a combined 23 mpg which is also average for this segment.
The Kia Cadenza is available with one engine and transmission option and there are three trim levels to choose from. The base Premium Trim includes a 7-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, Bluetooth connectivity, rear-camera display, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather seats with heating and power adjustability for the front two. 18-inch wheels are standard.
Technology Trim adds an upgraded 8-inch touch screen, 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and wireless smartphone charger. Safety systems are also improved with standard rear parking assist, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure and lane change assist systems. LED interior lighting, paddle shifters, upgraded power front seats with ventilation, heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof are also included.
The Top Limited Trim includes all of the above and adds 19-inch wheels, surround view monitor, head-up display, power rear sunshade, rear door window sunshades, Nappa leather seats, heated rear seats and smart power trunk operation.
A Luxury Package adds most of the higher trim options to the base Premium trim level and the panoramic sunroof can be optioned separately too.
The redesigned Kia Cadenza improves its luxury proposition with an impressively high level of interior quality especially in the top trim levels. Performance and handling are average for the class but interior space is excellent and it offers a comprehensive level of available safety and technological equipment too.