2015 Kia K900

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2015 kia k900 Reviews and News

2015 Kia K900 V 8 VIP Front Three Quarter
With more than a few pundits and onlookers rolling their eyes, the premium-luxury-sedan fray -- the elevated domain of such icons as Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz -- now includes Kia. Yes, that Kia, the same South Korean automaker whose U.S. showrooms hawk $14K Rio econoboxes and $15K Soul crossovers. But walk right in and, there on the same floor, its adaptive LED headlights irradiating the steel wheels of a nearby base Forte, can now be found the 2015 Kia K900 V8 VIP -- a high-tech, Nappa-leathered, four-door flagship more than quadruple the entry price of a Soul.
When a recent trip to Michigan offered a chance to drive such an audacious stab at upward mobility, I jumped.
Right away, let's answer the Big Question: Has luxury-upstart Kia knocked the big wigs off their thrones? Short answer: Of course not. Even if the 2015 Kia K900 were as every bit as good out of the box as an A8 or an S-Class, the Germans simply have too much hard-won status and panache to worry about losing customers to a brand that also sells crossovers favored by hamsters. As for that other once-upstart Asian marque … the Lexus LS delivers too refined and smooth and pampered an ownership experience to be overly concerned by the newcomer -- at least for now.
But, this new 2015 Kia K900 is not to be easily dismissed. A close relative of the Hyundai Equus and a spiffier version of a sedan that's been sold in Asia since 2012, the K900 is certainly equipped to play in rarified air. The 32-valve, 5.0-liter V-8 is refined and smooth, delivering genteel though not dazzling acceleration. An eight-speed automatic dices up the torque, albeit with no paddle shifters. There's no air suspension, but the conventional setup isolates the road extremely well. The K900 feels big and expensive. For sure, Kia has aimed the K900 at buyers who enjoy polished cruising as opposed to energetic hustling -- but the former the car does extremely well. The cabin is conspicuously quiet, even at speed. This is pampered motoring.
Every passenger who climbed into the K900's rear seat immediately gushed about the extravagant room and electronic goodies (the $6000 VIP package adds, among other amenities, power-reclining rear seats with ventilation on the outboard cushions). There's so much space (the airiness enhanced by a huge glass sunroof), you'll want to call any driver "Jeeves."
That driver is well-treated, too, benefitting from such standard niceties as a fine Lexicon surround-sound audio system, front and rear cameras, every imaginable electronic safety system (including blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert), and ventilated front seats. The VIP package enhances the glitz with a giant 12.3-inch nav/systems screen, a head-up display, a surround-view monitor for effortless parking, and more. The wood veneer isn't nearly up to class standards, and much of the switchgear looks sub-premium. But all the tech is there, the Nappa leather is rich and creamy, the overall character is one of quality and refinement.
Given Kia's status deficit, it's highly unlikely buyers in the segment will cross-shop a K900 with an S-Class -- or even an LS 460. But Kia, as Lexus did in 1990, has to start somewhere, and the automaker has made massive-enough strides in recent years to warrant respect -- even wariness from rivals. Plus, right now the K900 represents a sensational return on expenditure, the fully loaded VIP undercutting a base LS by some $6000. Similarly equipped Lexus and German models are easily $10K-$20K more.
For buyers not seduced by famous badges, the 2015 Kia K900 is a compelling entry -- and an impressive first step.

2015 Kia K900 V8 VIP

Base price $60,400 (incl. $900 dest.)
Price as tested $66,400
Engine 5.0-liter V-8
Power 420 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque 376 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive Rear-wheel
Cargo Capacity 15.9 cu-ft
Fuel Economy 15/23 city/hwy
0 To 60 mph 5.5 sec
2015 Kia K900 Front Three Quarters View 02
Santa Barbara, California--The sleek center fielder Curtis Granderson added power hitting to his game in mid-career, the Clash started as punks but attained some elegance and sophistication, and, of course, Thomas Edison groomed his filament to perfection. Welcome now the 2015 Kia K900. Entering the American market twenty years ago, Kia was reviled for its crude cars, and earned customers who were eagerly sought by payday loan companies.
The K900 obviates all that ugliness. Prepare to be amazed by this unexpected, stately, substantial sedan. Settle into the 16-way, Nappa leather driver’s seat of the K900 V8 VIP, which goes on sale with backseat accouterments in late-February for $66,400, and rest your sensible head. (The standard Kia K900 V8 starts at $60,400 with destination.)
Yes, this is a Kia. Behold the dashboard’s marquetry. Peer over the cowl that obscures windshield wipers, presenting instead a sensuous undulation of sheetmetal with its high-quality paint job--all that separates you from the road. Press the start button and watch two rings meet in the center of the 12.3-inch cluster and populate with graphics that will indicate the car’s speed and inner labors. Lay your thumb over the shapely e-shifter’s lever to command eight speeds.
And get ready, because the 5.0-liter direct-injection DOHC V-8’s variability is at your bunion’s command. In fact, the need to nudge into the throttle may be a blessing, for it’s easy to make these 4555 pounds lurch. The K900 surges forward, and gears are exchanged as tracelessly as derivatives on international markets. Meanwhile, the chassis displays Churchillian rigidity. Very far away, the exhaust note displays a hint of wrath. But tune out completely if you want: 900 watts and 17 speakers render Arcade Fire almost listenable.

Conventional aspects are met to perfection

We drove the K900 V8 VIP from a base camp at Santa Barbara’s recently refurbished El Encanto Inn to the college town of San Luis Obispo, and it was fitting that we had started out the morning on floors of heated marble: it helped us ease into thrones that are warmed, cooled, and power-adjustable at four positions. (Five people can be seated in all.) The steering wheel with its wood insert is also heated. In fact, every relevant creature comfort and safety feature we can think of is included in this harbinger of Kia’s future.
Sweeping through turns between hills and dashing over narrow byways through vineyards and along river benches, the car was excellent--especially when we remember that the Cadenza Limited was the company’s most ambitious effort until now.
With three driving modes (and a Snow setting), the 2015 K900 is semi-dormant in Eco, rubbing the sleep from its eyes in Normal (Comfort), but quite alert in Sport. Even more steering assist in Sport would be nice, but putting on our Lexus hat was the quick fix. On those occasions when we operated the transmission manually, we found ourselves grasping in vain for paddle shifters, which are not included. Otherwise, everything makes sense and operates easily, and the amount of carefully crafted details--the metal trim around each button and control, for example--overwhelmed us.
The morning after our wine country test, we stopped fifty-five miles into the trip home from Santa Barbara, showing the car to a friend who raved about the beauty of the analog clock. “Somebody spent some time putting that together,” he said.

Detail works

Kia says the 2015 K900 is for brand loyalists who have made their way from indenture to partnership. We say it’s a big, rear-drive stud, measuring 200.6 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, and 58.7 inches tall. Blake Griffin will fit in any seat except the rear-center without feeling that a zone defense is collapsing on him.
Outside, the 2015 Kia K900 shows the hint of a Jaguar’s schnozz. It wears a high beltline and flaunts a symmetrically tall tail with just a cusp of spoiler. The 19-inch wheels are elegant. The car commands attention and exudes dignity. Dress well; everyone will be looking, and you’re on display for truckers who can gaze through the panoramic roof, read the 9.2-inch central screen, and know you’re playing the Bangles.
LED lamps are used at all positions, including lovely U-shaped indicators on each side mirror and the elevated rear stop lamp’s broad inscription. With tubes agleam and adaptive headlamps blazing imperiously, the 2015 K900 looks sensational at night, one part Vegas, the other part contemporary museum installation. Inside the cabin, courtesy and accent lighting create warmth, which counterbalances the leather upholstery’s disappointing lack of leathery aroma. Pull up next to an S-Class and rev your illumination: there might be hasty dimming in response.

Gourmet or Goulash?

By the K900’s on-sale date a few weeks from now, a V8 model without all the backseat amenities will join the V8 VIP at a presumably lower price, which is yet to be announced. Kia says a few more than 200 of its 700-plus dealers will offer the car. Look for initial rollout on the West Coast and in Southern states.
Meantime, the Acura RL and Volkswagen Phaeton are reminders of how to belly flop in premium luxury waters. And the Hyundai Equus hardly abounds on roadways. Then again, the premium sedan class isn’t that big.
Besides Hyundai, no mass-market automaker -- Kia, with more than 500,000 units again last year, far outsells the previously named niche brands -- has attempted to paddle out to the shipping lane where Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are steaming along. (The exception is pickups that threaten the $60,000-barrier.) In fact, every time we looked hard at the Kia nameplate on this fine car, it was like beans for dessert. Will it sell in Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga?
Kia officials say people must experience the 2015 K900 for themselves. We know from our own reaction, and that of a discerning friend, the wow-factor is insuppressible. We imagined an S-Class owner’s sneers turning to smiles upon being invited inside, but the only other stopping point on the 200-mile drive home from Santa Barbara was an old Kia haunt, Walmart (this one near Irwindale Speedway), where premium luxury sedans were not in abundance.
Too bad, for it would have been an appropriate place for the sneering upper crust to receive the message that emanates from the 2015 Kia K900: you overpaid.

2015 Kia K900 V8

On sale: February 2014
Price as tested: $66,400
Engine: 5.0L V-8, 420 hp @ 6400 rpm, 376 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Fuel economy (est): 15/23 mpg (city/highway)
Drive: Rear-wheel
2015 Kia K900
2015 Kia K900

New for 2015

The Kia K900 is an all new model for the 2015 model year.

Vehicle Overview

The Kia K900 is a rear-wheel drive flagship sedan that sits above the Cadenza in the automaker’s lineup.


The 2015 Kia K900 is a rear-drive sedan that comes with an eight-speed automatic and a V-8 power. For now, the standard engine is a 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 makes 376 lb-ft of torque, and is EPA-rated at 15/23 mpg. A lower-priced and more efficient V-6 model with a 311-hp 3.8-liter V-6 is expected to arrive for the 2016 model year.
The 2015 K900 has the kind of rear-seat space that the more expensive competition might only offer on long-wheelbase models, as well as plenty of options to keep rear-seat passengers happy, such as HVAC controls, power-operated outboard seats, heated and cooled seats, and plush carpets. The interior is wrapped in an exterior design that's conservative, but looks sufficiently premium.
Some noteworthy K900 features include a full-color head-up display (a first for Kia), blind spot and lane departure warning systems, a 900-watt Lexicon audio system, rear cross traffic alert (another first for Kia), adaptive cruise control, and an advanced vehicle safety management system (also a first for Kia) that can alert the driver to danger, pre-pressurize the braking system, and pre-tension the seatbelts. The 2015 Kia K900 has not been tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

What We Think

Twenty years ago Kia entered the U.S. market, and even five years ago we would have doubted the automaker could produce a credible full-size luxury car. Kia has boldly taken a step, alongside Hyundai with its Genesis and Equus sedans, into the premium sedan segment.
One editor said, “Every relevant creature comfort and safety feature we can think of is included in this harbinger of Kia’s future.” The chassis is rigid and feels solid, while the direct-injection V-8 is eager to shift smoothly through all eight gears in the transmission. The K900 is more of a luxury cruiser than a corner-hustling sedan, but it is equally comfortable in either role. The interior is decked out in Nappa leather, and things like the beautiful analog clock speak to the attention that has been paid to the small details. The ride is isolated and smooth, as one editor noted in a review of a 2015 K900 VIP, “this is pampered motoring”.
For buyers not seduced by famous badges, the 2015 Kia K900 is a compelling entry -- and an impressive first step.
You’ll Like
  • Upscale styling
  • Quiet and comfortable ride
  • Great value
You Won’t Like
  • Poor V-8 fuel economy, for the segment
  • Rear middle seat lacks headroom for taller passengers
  • Kia badge won't impress anyone at the country club
Key Competitors
  • Hyundai Equus
  • Lexus LS 460
  • BMW 7 Series


2015 Kia K900 Sema
Kia has proven with the 2015 Kia K900 that it is fully capable of executing a luxurious premium sedan. But visitors to the 2014 SEMA show want to see a brasher, wilder, less buttoned-down character, so Kia will shoot the executive cruiser full of adrenaline with the High-Performance K900.
Column Art Migliore 2015 Kia K900
Kia has confronted a couple of dicey decisions recently, and it’s made the right call on both counts.
2015 Kia K900 Side Profile
First unveiled at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, the 2015 Kia K900 will enter the U.S. market this year as the Korean automaker’s flagship rear-wheel drive sedan. As the on-sale date sometime in the first quarter of 2014 approaches, the EPA has revealed the fuel economy ratings for both versions of the upcoming 2015 Kia K900 luxury sedan.

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2015 Kia K900
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15 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
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2015 Kia K900 Specifications

Quick Glance:
5.0L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
15 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
23 MPG
420 hp @ 6400rpm
376 ft lb of torque @ 5000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
60,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 120 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2015 Kia K900

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $66,637 What's This?
Value Rating: Average