The Kia K900 is a highly impressive luxury sedan, but what could you get on the used market instead?
As much as we loved the Kia K900 when we reviewed it a few years ago, we never would have predicted Kia would give the car a second generation. Revealed at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the 2019 Kia K900 takes everything we loved about the old K900 and wraps it up in a more handsome body. Pricing has not been announced, but we expect the new car to be priced close to the current car's base price of around $50,000. Still, this is a lot for a Kia, and there are plenty of options on the used market if you prefer a car from a different brand.
Not impressed by Kia's flagship for $50,000? How about Audi's top-of-the-line luxury sedan for the same money? This isn't just a run of the mill A8, this is the performance-oriented S8. We found S8 examples as new as 2014 (with as little as 25,000 miles on the odometer) for less than a new K900. A base K900 is powered by a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 borrowed from the Kia Stinger, producing 365 horsepower. The S8 produces a whopping 520 hp from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. How's that for a performance bargain?
Next up we have another German flagship sedan: this time from BMW. Like with the S8, this is no ordinary 7 Series. The F01 generation Alpina B7 was built from 2011 to 2013, and prices have plummeted well below the $50,000 mark. BMW's V12 was deemed too heavy for the B7, so Alpina used the M5's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Total output is 540 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque going out to RWD or AWD. We found several short and long wheelbase models available, all with fairly low mileage.
Part of the reason why we love the K900 so much is that it offers 80% of the Mercedes S-Class experience for around 50% of the price. Though why settle for an imitation when you can afford the real thing? If you are willing to go back a few model years (around 2014 to 2015), you can afford an S-Class for the same price as a new K900. A 2015 S550 is powered by a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 with 449 hp. The Kia offers amazing materials and features for a $50,000 car, but an S-Class for the same money easily tops it on premium feel and prestige.
The German sedans on this list all have their advantages, but they are very predictable. The next car on our list, the Jaguar XJ, is more of a wild card. People seem to forget about the XJ because it has been on the market since 2009. Not only did we find plenty of XJ examples for less than $50,000, we even found a few XJR models for under $40,000. The XJR is the most power car on this list with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 pumping out 550 hp. If you want your large luxury sedan to drive like a sports car, the XJR is the best option.
So far, it may sound like we are trying to talk people out of buying a Kia K900. On the contrary, we believe the K900 is the ultimate used car bargain. In our past research, we've found used K900 (and Hyundai Equus) models for less than $25,000 with a certified pre-owned warranty. These weren't just the base 3.8-liter V6 models, we found the 5.0-liter 429 hp V8 ones as well. A $50,000 Kia may not make sense to a lot of people, but a $25,000 Kia with the luxury of a $100,000 car sounds pretty good.