Remember the Kia Cadenza? That big front-drive sedan that slots below the Stinger? If you didn’t because of the current car’s conservative (yet tasteful) looks, that’s okay because you’re about to notice the big Korean sedan now thanks to its new look. The face-lifted 2020 Kia Cadenza, which recently debuted in its Korean home market as the K7, is now sporting some pretty significant updates that’ll surely draw a few stares.
The most prominent change in the refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza is the front fascia, which now has a tiger nose grille that has doubled in size—literally. With slimmer headlights and reworked lower front fascia openings, the Cadenza’s face looks angrier than ever, especially with that oversized grille dominating the whole front end. Out back, the taillights are now wider, rounder, and connected by a single LED light strip. The once prominent chrome trim is now smaller and outlines the bottom of the light strip. The Z light pattern returns on the taillights; however, it features a curvier shape on the headlights and has been repositioned next to the grille instead of by the fenders to start a character line.
Inside, the cabin gets some minor updates including the addition of a large 12.3-inch touchscreen, the same unit from the larger K900. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster has been added, but that could be available only on higher trim levels. Kia replaced the traditional gear shifter with an electronic one, and the button layout on the center stack has also been updated to piano key-like switches.
Other key updates are mainly on the safety front. The 2020 Kia Cadenza receives blind spot view monitor that shows objects in your blind spot on the digital gauge cluster, rear automatic emergency braking, an updated lane centering system, and an upgraded adaptive cruise control system that uses the navigation system to help keep the car on the right path.
In North America, the Kia Cadenza only comes with a 290-hp 3.3-liter V-6 paired to an eight-speed automatic. Expect that powertrain to carry over for the refreshed 2020 model along with the same trim levels currently available.
Cadenza sales have been low in the U.S. for the last few years due to the decline of the large mainstream sedan segment. With consumer demand for more crossovers and SUVs, big sedans like the Cadenza are now niche vehicles over here. But the opposite is true in markets like Korea and China where the Cadenza and its cousin, the Hyundai Grandeur (formerly Azera in North America), are best sellers.
The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza will likely debut sometime this summer and could go on sale in North America before the end of the year.