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Steve Says The Cadenza Offers A Taste Of Luxury On An Economy Scale

Car sales may not be what they once were but there’s still nothing quite like driving a large, luxurious sedan. So when your crossover yearnings end, Kia’s all-new Cadenza is waiting to take you back to your comfortable car roots.

In Italian credenza means “belief” or “confidence.” You might also recognize it as the buffet in your grandmother’s house. This here however is the Cadenza. Kia technically sells 3 large cars, 2 of which are available with V6 power and only one of those with front-wheel drive. That’s the Cadenza – a sedan competing in the Impala, Maxima, Avalon segment where consumers want a little more room, performance and luxury. This 2nd generation model receives a stronger, yet lighter and more rigid body structure, a more sophisticated interior and a new 8-speed transmission. But it’s likely the Cadenza’s more expressive design which will have shoppers giving this car a second look. I’ve received numerous comments this week about how rich and alluring it appears and I wholeheartedly concur. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille has never looked as sexy with a concave, Maserati-like style. This is the “Intaglio” grille, available exclusively on the Cadenza’s 2 highest trim levels. I still don’t like how Kia and Hyundai can’t figure out a less conspicuous manner by which to cover their radar systems, however. But in this Gravity Blue paint, riding on flashy 19” dark satin wheels, and emanating an aura of LED lighting, the Cadenza presents as youthful yet elegant.

The 3.3-liter direct-injected V6 has been tweaked for fuel economy improvements but otherwise carries over with its 290 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. This is Kia’s first implementation of an 8-speed automatic for a front-drive application and it works as smoothly as anything in its class, affording enough zip to provide the confidence to go for it. It takes regular unleaded and gains an additional 1mpg, rated at 20mpg city/28mpg highway. A new suspension tune using Amplitude Selective Damping shocks pushes ride comfort into the luxury realm while also furthering highway stability. It’s not trying to be a sports sedan though it’s composed when challenged fortified by the best steering feel you’ll find in a Kia thanks to a new 32-bit ECU for the electric assist. I also like the Drive Mode feature which adds a wrinkle you don’t ever see – a mode beyond normal, ECO or Sport which automatically adjusts to your driving style and displays the changes in the information center.

The Cadenza is a stylish, spacious, luxury sedan riding on a pillow of air with a powerful V6 and a very well equipped top of the line trim level. It’s a car you’ll look forward to getting into and driving providing isolation from the evils of your commute.

So you like these quilted Nappa Leather seats, heated rear seats, smart hands-free power trunk and 19” wheels? That means you’ve got to step up to the Cadenza Limited, a mono-spec model with everything included in its $45,290.  If you can deprive yourself of some of the bells and whistles you can snag a Cadenza Premium for $32,890.  In typical Kia fashion, the electronics are excellent – intuitive, high res and packed with features, like CarPlay and Android Auto, a great sounding audio system with Cari-Fi music restoration, a gauge cluster with all sorts of easy to peruse information and a heads-up display which includes blind spot information…a very nice touch.  A heated steering wheel is a godsend and all of the collision warning and autonomous emergency braking features are here, too.  The quality feel and integration of all of this is mostly on point for the price tag.  Rear seat space is long on legroom offering more interior space than any of its competitors and its trunk size trails only the American entries in terms of volume.

The 2017 Cadenza offers a taste of luxury on an economy scale for those who haven’t yet been seduced by a 4-wheel drive crossover.


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