If Kia doesn't give us the K8, we'll buy the next best thing.
Kia is in the process of changing its naming scheme. The Optima is now the K5, the Sedona will become the Carnival, and the 2020 Kia Cadenza has been replaced by the stunning new Kia K8, formerly known as the K7 in other markets. Kia hasn't revealed too many details about the K8 yet, including its powertrain, pricing, or even any interior pictures. We do know one thing, though; it isn't coming to the United States.
American buyers don't seem interested in full-size sedans anymore, which is why the K8 won't be sold stateside. But if you still desire a large, comfy sedan at an affordable price, we have eight used alternatives to the new K8. Since there is no pricing available for the K8, we'll base our options on the outgoing Cadenza's $37,850 starting MSRP.
The K8 looks like a stunner, but why settle for a front-wheel-drive premium sedan when you can have a rear-wheel-drive luxury flagship? For years, we've been saying that a used Kia K900 is one of the most outstanding values in the entire automotive industry. Built to be the most luxurious car in Kia's lineup, the K900 arrived sporting a $54,500 price tag, which was outrageous for a Kia. Like the Volkswagen Phaeton, sales were slow, meaning you can now get a used one for a fraction of the original price.
We found used K900 examples starting for well under $15,000. Even the nicest examples of the first-gen model top out at around $35,000 with low miles. The 2016 model saw the introduction of a 311-horsepower V6, but we recommend buying one with the 420-hp 5.0-liter V8.
Should sporty performance be a higher priority than comfort, we suggest another big Korean sedan, the Kia Stinger. Used Stinger prices have dipped tremendously, meaning you can now pick one up for less than $20,000. Of course, most of the cheaper Stinger models come powered by the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 hp, which is far from our favorite powertrain. Instead, we suggest finding a Stinger with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, shelling out a more respectable 365 hp. We found V6-powered Stinger models starting a bit over $25,000.
Though we wanted to keep this list limited to only mainstream car brands, the temptation to include the Genesis G90 was too great because this car is among the best used values available right now. A brand-new G90 starts at $72,950, but you can get the pre-facelifted model starting in the low-$20,000 range. It may not look as pretty as the new one, but at least the engines are the same. The base model is the same 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the Stinger also producing 365 hp. Like the K900, a 5.0-liter V8 with 420 hp is also available with used prices starting in the high-$20,000 range.
It's not the sportiest vehicle on this list, but we believe the humble Toyota Avalon is pretty cool in TRD form. The TRD model doesn't receive any additional power, but 301 hp from a 3.5-liter V6 is acceptable for most drivers. Drive is sent to the front wheels only through an eight-speed automatic, and there's even a throaty cat-back exhaust to make it sound better. These cars haven't been on sale for long, and the TRD trim is pretty rare, but we found used prices starting in the low-$30,000 range.
Possibly the prettiest car on this list, the Volkswagen Arteon is also among the most practical due to its liftback design. It's also among the most affordable, with used prices already dipping into the low $20,000 range. All Arteon models are powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a healthy 268 hp. FWD is standard, but the upper trims include 4Motion AWD. It's not the sportiest nor most comfortable sedan on this list, but the styling makes it attention-worthy.
Keeping with the K8's eight theme, the Pontiac G8 is the perfect addition to this list. Sold in the US for only two model years, the G8 was essentially a rebadged Holden Commodore that was built in Australia. Today, used G8 prices are pretty affordable, though we've gone through the trouble of ruling out the V6-powered models because they are far from impressive. We'd at least suggest the 6.0-liter V8-powered GT model, which can be found starting around $12,000.
The G8 GT produces a strong 361 hp, but only comes paired to a six-speed automatic. True enthusiasts will want to seek out the rarified G8 GXP model, which borrows the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 from the C6 Corvette. This engine produces a more thrilling 402 hp and comes with an optional six-speed manual. GXP prices start around $30,000, with the rarified manual examples commanding up to $45,000.
Though it doesn't have eight in the name, the Infiniti M56 did come with a 5.6-liter V8 engine producing 420 hp, rather than the 330-hp 3.7-liter V6 in the lesser M37 model. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, though an AWD M56x model is also available. It's worth noting that the Infiniti M changed to the Q70 after the 2015 model year, but it kept the V8 engine option. Used M56 prices start around $10,000 while the Q70 starts in the mid-$20,000 range.
The Chrysler 300 is still available today, but only with a 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter V8. For a few glorious years, Chrysler offered an SRT8 version with the larger 6.4-liter Hemi V8 producing 470 hp. The second-generation is not easy to find, but used 300 SRT8 prices are very reasonable. We found most examples ranging between $20,000 to $30,000 depending on mileage, which is a great price for such a powerful and comfortable muscle sedan.