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1310 2014 Kia Cadenza Introduction
four seasons long-term tests

2014 Kia Cadenza - Four Seasons Introduction

Patrick M Hoey
2014 Kia Cadenza reviews to date

The Cadenza isn't a Kia -- or so we've been told. When we explain to folks that this sharp, polished sedan comes from Kia, they don't believe us. They say, "That's not a Kia. That's too nice to be a Kia." Many people still aren't aware that Kia has taken the Robert Downey, Jr., road to recovery, going from downtrodden to desirable in no time at all. The automaker's current lineup is full of serious competitors that play in a wide range of vehicle classes, and Kia is keen to fight for even more territory by filling the hole in its lineup left by the Amanti's departure from the full-size sedan segment.

That segment is home to the recently redone Toyota Avalon and all-new Chevrolet Impala sedans, which dominate sales. Five years ago, the idea that Kia could field a strong contender here might have been laughable, but the Cadenza could be a serious threat to well-established large sedans. To find out whether the Cadenza can go head to head with the best cars in its segment, we decided to give it a yearlong test.

Like the Hyundai Azera with which it shares its underpinnings, the Cadenza has only one engine option, a 293-hp V-6. Ditto for the six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. There's also only one available trim level, Premium. That means there is one base price -- just under $36,000. The Cadenza is Kia's most expensive model, and one look at its long list of standard features explains why. Leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, navigation, automatic dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED taillights, rear parking assist, power-folding mirrors, a surround-sound audio system, and keyless entry and ignition are all included. That's an ample number of features, but we decided to tack on two additional option packages. A $3000 technology package added adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning. A $3000 luxury package brought a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, a heated steering wheel, a ventilated driver's seat, heated rear outboard seats, a seven-inch LCD display in the gauge cluster, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rear sunshade, and an interior swathed in smooth Nappa leather. Factor in a $50 cargo net, and our Cadenza's grand total came to $41,950. It's hard to believe that a Kia could cost more than $40,000, but our Cadenza has the amenities of a German luxury sedan for a fraction of the cost, and its price is pretty much the same as that of a similarly equipped Impala.

What we've been told is true -- the Cadenza is not a Kia. At least not the kind of Kia that people are accustomed to. No, the all-new Cadenza comes from the all-new Kia, and the big, bold, well-equipped sedan wants to take down some of the biggest names in the auto industry. Can it? We'll let you know how it fares throughout the year.

2014 Kia Cadenza Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 4-door sedan
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$35,900
As tested $41,950
Engine 24-valve DOHC V-6
Displacement 3.3 liters (204 cu in)
Power 293 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque 255 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 19/28/22 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 3.0 turns
Turning circle 36.5 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 19-inch aluminum
Tires Hankook Optimo H426
Tire size 245/40R-19 94V
Headroom F/R 38.0/37.3 in
Legroom F/R 45.5/36.8 in
Shoulder room F/R 58.3/56.5 in
Wheelbase 112.0 in
Track F/R 63.0/63.0 in
L x W x H 195.5 x 72.8 x 58.1 in
Passenger capacity 106.8 cu ft
Cargo capacity 15.9 cu ft
Weight 3792 lb
Weight dist. F/R 60/40%
Fuel capacity 18.5 gal
Est. fuel range 400 miles
Fuel grade 87 octane (regular)
  • Standard Equipment
    • 18-inch aluminum wheels
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Infinity surround sound audio system
    • Rearview camera
    • Navigation
    • 8-inch touchscreen display
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
    • Leather-trimmed seats
    • Bluetooth
    • Heated front seats
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
    • Fog lights
    • LED taillights
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Power-folding exterior mirrors
    • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Packages & Options
    • Technology package
    • $3000
    • Adaptive cruise control Blind spot monitoring system Lane departure warning Electronic parking brake 19-inch aluminum wheels Hydrophobic front-door windows
    • Luxury package
    • $3000
    • Panoramic sunroof HID headlights Nappa leather-trimmed interior and seats Power driver’s seat cushion extension Ventilated driver’s seat Heated rear outboard seats and steering wheel 7-inch TFT LCD instrument panel display Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column Power rear-window sunshade
    • Cargo net
    • $50
    It's no Sephia...that's for sure!
    If I were in the market for a $40K+ car, I would definitely spend my money elsewhere instead of getting a Kia, maker of the Rio!
    Dammy Onafowokan
    I like a lot of kias cuurent stuff (expecially the optima) but this doesn't do anything for me. Front is too slab faced and lacking elegance. Still, a valiant effort
    Jim Harris
    Classy look.
    Manjunath Ramesh
    KIA Abijith
    Lee Klein
    Valiant effort. I wonder how it drives. Problem is, it will only ever be a Kia.
    Thomas Voelker
    Like so many car designs, there is little or no side architecture.
    Samuel O Lee
    The Kia I'm most looking forward to is the K9 which looks very BMW and Jaguarish.
    Roger Alan Auerbach
    Looks like a Fusion with BMW headlights.
    Samuel O Lee
    I was pleased to read that the Kia Forte and the Kia Cadenza have both won comparison tests this year in major automotive magazines against their American and Japanese competitors.
    Samuel O Lee
    It's hit and miss with Kia's model names. I like Optima and Rio and Sportage and Soul, but dislike all these musical references such as Cadenza and Forte. Still, they're not as bad as Subaru with names like Impreza and Forrester (what if you live in a desert or arid area?) and Justy.
    Erik Summa
    Sharp car, but a $7,000 option package to include a sunroof shows product planning has a few things to learn about the U.S. luxury market.
    Fonzo Ro Ma
    They have the lamest model names
    Erick Ople
    Kia is doing a wonderful job w the designs. (Albeit a designer that came from Audi). I like the emulation of a BMW 5series upfront and the Audi A6 at the boot. Now make it feel German and this car would be the It car
    Brian Davis
    Looks good, but I'd be embarrassed to tell people I drive a Kia. Add to that a dealership experience that likely includes clowns, hot dogs, and a slew of trashy TV ads on local networks, and I think I'll stick with my Mercedes-Benz.
    Želimir Blažević
    Wrong brand.
    Richard Macintyre
    considering both Kia and Hyundai's histories and the progress made is relatively little time, it;s awesome. And tho those who knock it, hey, they never produced the likes of the Pontiac Aztec or Cadillac Cimarron, they didn;t need a bail out either....
    Jayson Coombes
    Looks like every other large car they make. Blends into the crowd nicely.
    Chuck KidneyStone
    KIA - Killed In Action
    Gregory Easton
    Nice, but KIA really needs to upgrade their dealer network to match the quality & look of their products.
    James Wesley McNaughton
    I am still going to laugh at every Kia driver. Haha!
    Brandon DeLeo
    It's not a bad looking car, and it's nice to see that they've come such a long way. I still can't help but think the bones of it are still, well, Kia. I'd MUCH rather have a Hyundai Equus any day of the week.
    David Pettit
    More interesting than the Azera, but still a snooze
    Jim Mc Cool
    Looks good to me.
    Robby Robinson
    I saw one last night, I have to say really impressive....
    Clifford Manera
    The most of this KIA is too damn high!
    40K? resale value...super low . if will cost you more if you don't keep it for long.

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