Both models in the Cadenza use the same 3.3-liter engine that sends power to the front wheels only. While this is the standard format in the segment, most rivals offer an all-wheel-drive option for cold-weather states. By comparison, the Chrysler 300 provides rear-wheel-drive as standard and all-wheel-drive as an option.
Independent tests have shown that the Cadenza can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. It's not slow in the big scheme of things, but easily outgunned by all of its main rivals. If you want the real performer in this segment, look no further than the Chrysler 300, which can be ordered with a 5.7-liter V8.
The sole engine option is a 3.3-liter naturally-aspirated V6 producing 290 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. It's an impressive set of figures, but this is not a performance engine. The motor is all out of ideas at 6,400 rpm, though the eight-speed automatic transmission will change gear long before you get there. Kia's engineers were more interested in efficiency than performance. It's strange to think that this is the same rorty, vivid V6 powertrain used in the Stinger, albeit with two turbochargers bolted on.
For the most part, the eight-speed automatic transmission does a good job. It gets the Cadenza up to speed effortlessly enough, but it sometimes hesitates to shift down when you want to overtake. Sport mode is available, and the gearbox will hold onto gears for longer, but at the end of the day, it's not a gearbox problem. The V6 just doesn't like being hustled and is much better suited to cruising. Treat it accordingly and it will reward you with relatively decent fuel consumption.
|Kia Cadenza Trims||Kia Cadenza Engines||Kia Cadenza Horsepower||Kia Cadenza Transmissions||Kia Cadenza Drivetrains||Kia Cadenza MPG/MPGE|
|Technology||3.3L V6 Gas||290 hp @ 6400 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||FWD||23 MPG|
|Limited||3.3L V6 Gas||290 hp @ 6400 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||FWD||23 MPG|
The naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 engine is a bit disappointing when it comes to fuel consumption. According to the EPA, the Cadenza should be capable of 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined. It's acceptable, but the Chrysler 300 with a (much older) 3.6-liter V6 can do 19/30/23 mpg. The Toyota Avalon and its bigger 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 leads this segment with EPA-estimated figures of 22/32/26 mpg. An 18.5-gallon tank is standard, giving the Cadenza a range of 426 miles between refills.
|Kia Cadenza Trims||Technology||Limited|
|Kia Cadenza Tank size||16 gal.||16 gal.|
|Kia Cadenza Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||20/28||20/28|