2018 Kia Cadenza

$32,290 - $44,690
Price Range (MSRP)
2018 Kia Cadenza For Sale
Kia Cadenza
2018 Kia Cadenza
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Left Side View
2018 Kia Cadenza Infotainment System 2

2018 Kia Cadenza Review

The current Kia Cadenza was introduced in 2017 as Kia's large luxury sedan, slotting above the Optima and below the K900 in Kia's sedan line-up. It comes in Premium, Technology, and Limited trims, all of which use a 290-horsepower V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive. The Cadenza is a comfort-focused car rather than a performance biased one, so drivers can expect smooth shifts and gradual speed increases while riding in luxury, instead of nimble handling and blistering acceleration. It comes with leather upholstery, tons of features and a premium feel cabin that takes on more prestigious brands. While the Kia is an excellent choice it has some stiff competition in the form of the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Impala, and Chrysler 300, all of which present completely different large sedan experiences.

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2018 Kia Cadenza Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2017 Cadenza?

The Cadenza was only introduced in 2017 and there have only been minor changes made to the packages. The luxury package now contains interior LED lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

Pros and Cons

  • Exceptional safety features
  • Premium feel cabin
  • Long warranty coverage
  • Great value for money
  • Plush ride quality
  • Only one engine option
  • Average handling
  • Poor fuel consumption
  • Limited rear headroom
  • Limited cargo space due to fixed rear seat

What's the Price of the 2018 Kia Cadenza?

The Premium model is the bottom of the Cadenza range and starts at an MSRP of $32,290 excluding a destination fee of $995, as well as any applicable tax, registration, and licensing fees. In the middle of the range is the Technology, which starts at $39,290 while at the top of the line-up is the fully loaded Limited, which starts at $44,690. Comparatively, the Toyota Avalon ranges between $33,500 and $41,300, while the Chevy Impala ranges between $27,895 and $36,420.

Best Deals on 2018 Kia Cadenza

2018 Kia Cadenza Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.3L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
3.3L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
3.3L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2018 Kia Cadenza Trims and Specs

2018 Cadenza Exterior

2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Left Side View Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Right Side View Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View Kia
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Left Side View
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Right Side View
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View
See All 2018 Kia Cadenza Exterior Photos


  • Length 195.7 in
  • Wheelbase 112.4 in
  • Height 57.9 in
  • Max Width 73.6 in
  • Front Width 63.3 in
  • Rear Width 63.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,633.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Aurora Black
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Gravity Blue
  • Granite Brown
  • Silky Silver
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Moss Gray

2018 Cadenza Performance

2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Left Side View 1 Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View 1 Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Engine Kia
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Front Left Side View 1
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View 1
2018 Kia Cadenza Engine

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.3L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

The shifts can hardly be felt as the Cadenza takes off and gets up to speed in the most relaxed manner possible. There's no kick or burst of speed, just a gradual increase and then all of a sudden it's sailing at pace.

Changing between the Comfort, Sport, Smart, or Eco settings changes the throttle and steering response although the differences are negligible - the Cadenza is ultimately more luxurious than it is sporty. The heavy steering feels proportionate to a car of this size, but despite the weighting, it can be numb at times, particularly just off center. Due to being designed for comfort rather than handling, the Cadenza has a fair amount of body roll around the corners, but it isn't excessive enough to be a problem unless you're really hustling through a series of directional changes. Generally, the ride is soft and comfortable with all but the biggest bumps being filtered out by the suspension.

But where no compromise is made for comfort is on the braking front. The Cadenza may be soft elsewhere, but the brakes are strong, easy to modulate and provide fluidity of response with predictable braking effect. Coming to a stop from 60 mph happens in less than 120 feet, which is impressive for a sedan of this size.

2018 Cadenza Interior

2018 Kia Cadenza Infotainment System Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Infotainment System 1 Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Dashboard Kia
2018 Kia Cadenza Infotainment System
2018 Kia Cadenza Infotainment System 1
2018 Kia Cadenza Dashboard
See All 2018 Kia Cadenza Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 45.5 in
  • Front Head Room 40.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.9 in

2018 Cadenza Trunk and Cargo Space

2018 Kia Cadenza Rear Passenger Seats Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View 2 Kia 2018 Kia Cadenza Side View Kia
2018 Kia Cadenza Rear Passenger Seats
2018 Kia Cadenza Three Quarter Rear Right Side View 2
2018 Kia Cadenza Side View
  • Trunk Volume
    16 ft³

2018 Cadenza Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    0 Years \ 0 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Kia Cadenza A Good car?

There was a time when Kia vehicles lacked refinement, but those days are long gone and Kia can now stand toe to toe with the more established brands out there. The Cadenza is proof of this in a tough full-size sedan segment. It may have its flaws, like its average fuel economy and limited trunk space, as well as its mediocre acceleration, but there are many reasons to favor the Cadenza. It has a classy exterior while the interior has a premium feel with its use of high-quality materials and impressive levels of noise suppression, as well as high standards of tech and safety features. The leather seats are also extremely comfortable and the Cadenza delivers a pleasant and relaxed driving experience with very little cabin or engine noise. To top it off is the highly competitive pricing and Kia's outstanding warranty that can't be beaten. It's not the dynamic rival to the Toyota Avalon many may look for, but it's a competitive luxo-barge to give buyers a K900 on a budget.

What Kia Cadenza Model Should I Buy?

The best Kia Cadenza to buy is the Technology trim which straddles the middle of the range. It packs all the standard safety features equipped on the top of the range Limited, with the exception of a head-up display, but also makes sure it cuts costs without unnecessary additions. It still plays host to a range of luxury features though, like a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, the larger eight-inch infotainment setup, and heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustment. With a full suite of safety aids, it's safe too, earning that TSP rating from the IIHS in fine style. At $39,290 it undercuts the $40k mark, too and presents itself as exceptional value for money.

2018 Kia Cadenza Comparisons

Chevrolet Impala Chevrolet
Toyota Avalon Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Kia Cadenza290 hp20/28 mpg$37,850
Chevrolet Impala 305 hp19/28 mpg$31,620
Toyota Avalon 301 hp22/32 mpg$36,825

2018 Kia Cadenza vs Chevrolet Impala

The Kia Cadenza is only available with a 290-hp 3.3-liter V6 engine while the Chevrolet Impala is available with either a 197-hp, four-cylinder 2.5-liter or a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine. The Impala's V6 engine has the same combined fuel economy as the Cadenza, while the smaller motor performs better in this regard. The Impala also has more interior space and a larger trunk, as well as the ability to increase the cargo space by dropping the rear seats. However, the Cadenza's interior is more luxurious, whereas the Impala feels a little cheap. Of course, the Impala is some $5,000 cheaper than the Cadenza. The Cadenza does seem to offer more than $5,000 worth of upgrades though, and it packs higher standards of safety as well as more features. The long warranty is also a boon. Ultimately, the Impala is more practical, and admittedly it's also substantially more sporty, but if you're looking for a safe, comfortable, luxurious full-size sedan, the Cadenza borders on premium but without the expensive price tag.

See Chevrolet Impala Review

2018 Kia Cadenza vs Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon is a popular car because of Toyota's legendary reputation for reliability and quality. It's also front-wheel drive but packs a 301-hp 3.5-liter V6 which is more powerful than the Cadenza but also returns better gas mileage with 26 mg combined to the Cadenza's 23 mpg. The Toyota has more standard safety features, with all available across the range unlike the Cadenza, which requires options packages on the base model. At the upper reaches of their respective ranges, both are exceptionally equipped, with the Cadenza boasting an easier to use infotainment system. If it's a driver's sedan you're searching for, the Avalon is more competent, but it lacks the plushness of the Cadenza's ride quality, making the Kia the more passenger-friendly option in this regard. Both are quite squarely matched, so ultimately, the decision comes down to specific needs and personal preference; but we'd rate the Avalon as a better all-rounder.

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