2014 Kia Cadenza
Reputation is key in the car business. And Kia is busy redirecting theirs from entry level contender to a more Euro-flavor brand with fresh designs, increased refinement, and positive reviews. Yet their latest, the Cadenza, sings a bit of a less defined song.
Targeting both entry-level and current luxury sedan buyers, the Cadenza tries to slide between mid and full size, and lists everything from the Chevrolet Impala to the Lexus ES as competition.
Sharing its chassis with the Hyundai Azera, wheelbase is stretched 2 inches over the Optima. And, all of that goes directly into rear leg room. A new front sub-frame allows fitment of the Sorento’s 3.3 liter V6. Front-drive only output is 293 horsepower. And though mostly a highway cruiser, a 6 speed paddle shift auto, and multi-link rear suspension give the Cadenza some room to play. Room which we explored through the wine country of Southern California.
PATRICK LUCAS: The engine’s no powerhouse, but for a big, front wheel drive sedan, the Cadenza is actually a pretty fun drivers’ car. Comfort is its main goal, though, and it succeeds there for sure.
JOHN DAVIS: Cadenza styling starts with Kia’s Tiger Nose grille that gives it more presence on the road than the comparable Azera. Lines are tamer down the sides and around back, but dual chrome exhaust tips do spice things up.
Interior design is both comfortable and conservative. Gauges and center stack are familiar if you’ve been in a Kia recently; though the addition of an analog clock nods towards the premium buyer. Standard features abound, including navigation, back up cam, and 12 speaker audio.
Available this summer, the Cadenza starts around $35,000; indeed pushing luxury car price. Luckily it looks, feels, and drives as such.
Engine: 3.3 liter V6
Price: Starts around $35,000