12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2014 Kia Cadenza - New York Stories

December 4, 2013
2014 Kia Cadenza Front Three Quarter View
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Long-Term 2014 Kia Cadenza Update - WINTER 2013 (1 OF 1)
Miles to Date: 5,068
"Creating a velvety, quiet, and cosseting sedan apparently is no longer that difficult."
The 2014 Kia Cadenza definitely isn’t the hottest, most desirable car in our Four Seasons fleet, but it sure does feel like it right now. Within days of arriving, it had already racked up more miles than some new cars get in a month. And within a few weeks, we shipped the sedan off to New York to spend time with senior editor Joe Lorio and east coast bureau chief Jamie Kitman. Lorio had first go in the 2014 Kia Cadenza, which arrived just in time for a long weekend trip to the Catskills.
“We had four passengers, a very full trunk, and three bikes hanging off the back,” said Lorio. “It’s the kind of trip for which people often want an SUV, but the big sedan worked fine.” He noted the spacious trunk and the roomy rear bench with a nearly flat floor. “Because of that, we easily could have brought along a fifth person—had we not filled that space with still more stuff.”
2014 Kia Cadenza Front Three Quarter View
The praise continued once he got the 2014 Kia Cadenza out on the road. “Bump absorption is good and the ride is fairly controlled. The easy but not overboosted steering is more pleasant than overcomplicated systems that wildly vary effort or quickness, and the wood-topped steering wheel feels good.”
One downside he noted was that a full load of passengers exposed a porpoising body motion not present with only a driver on board. He also found the 293-hp V-6 engine, the only engine available in the Cadenza, to be not particularly impressive. “It doesn’t sparkle in its acceleration or in its sound quality—the latter, at least, is well muted most of the time.”
After spending more time with the Kia closer to home, he summed up the big sedan thusly: “The Cadenza is an entirely pleasant, if understated, machine. It’s also the latest evidence that the Lexus paradigm has been cracked. Creating a velvety, quiet, and cosseting sedan apparently is no longer that difficult. Kia has pulled it off here.”
The Cadenza next was delivered into the care of Jamie Kitman, who, in true Kitman fashion, immediately started reminiscing about the olden days. “The Cadenza is perfectly acceptable in the kind of modern Buick way that we of a certain age can't help but notice. I remember driving the new Daewoos of the late ‘90s thinking this can't be good for Pontiac or Buick; that these are the kind of cars they should be building. The creamy smooth Cadenza is another fairly large Korean sedan that reminds us of Buicks at their discount luxury fluffiest. It has that ‘American feeling’ down.”
In preparation for its return trip to Ann Arbor, the 2014 Kia Cadenza went back to Lorio, who added one final thought: “The Super Kia, as we’ve dubbed it, will soon be heading back to Ann Arbor, and I must say I will miss it,” he said. “I’ve been thinking that the Cadenza reminds me of the Bob Benson character on Mad Men. It shows up unannounced and uninvited, but it’s so unfailingly pleasant that you start to forget that it’s an interloper.”
Will the Cadenza similarly ingratiate itself with the staff back in Michigan? Tune in next month.
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
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

Long-Term 2014 Kia Cadenza Reviews to Date:

2014 Kia Cadenza - New York Stories
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Photo Gallery

  • Man, this is one handsome Kia.
  • A big car with a big footprint.
  • This hue of blue looks subdued against a fall foliage backdrop.
  • Lots of chrome accents. Bling, bling.
  • Parked in front of Ruby’s Hotel Restaurant in the Catskills.
  • A Razor scooter? That’s so 2000, kid. Get a RipStik.
  • Three bikes, one trunk? Well done, Joe Lorio.

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