2017 Kia Cadenza: Insanely Affordable Luxury


Kia is developing into a very interesting creature in the automotive world.

The Korean car company is going from the brand that brought you the tiny Rio (they still make it; It’s just better now) to making the new Stinger GT.

Kia used to be for the non-enthusiast among us.  Kia’s were just A-To-B transport and affordable.  That’s all.

But Kia started making premium sedans recently, with the first of the bunch in the current lineup being the Cadenza back in 2009.

I think that Kia is turning themselves into a brand that offers the usual suspects with the Rio, but also focuses on their premium offerings.  As of right now it’s working very well with the likes of the Stinger GT.

Kia is doing great things and the Cadenza is offered at a price point not usually associated with this kind of premium sedan.  The same situation with the Stinger GT.

The Stats – 2017 Kia Cadenza:

Vehicle Type: Luxury Full-size Sedan
Powertrain: 3.3 L V6 
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic (est.)
Power: 290 HP
MPG: 20 MPG City / 28 MPG Highway
Torque: 243 Lb-Ft.
Length: 196 Inches
Width: 74 Inches
Height: 58 Inches
Top Speed: 150 MPH (241.4 KPH) EST.
Seating: 4-5
Wheelbase: 112.4 Inches
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 6.2 – 6.3 Seconds
Base Price: $32,000


The car offers great luxury at a great price.  You can spec the car up to about $45,000 to include all the nice stuff if need be, but this is overall a strong car for the money.

The 2017 Kia Cadenza is designed like a Kia but it features different elements that aren’t associated with Kia very much.  the designers love that ‘Z’ shape on the headlights and tail lights.

It’s a particular kind of person who puts their money into a 2017 Kia Cadenza over an offering from the Germans or the Japanese.

But a great car is a great car.  I think Kia did a great job here.

The Exterior – 2017 Kia Cadenza:

The front of the car features an interesting iteration of the usual Kia grille with a vertical waterfall style and can be specced with the front end sensors that kind of add this awkward panel on the front.  I see it on other cars these days and can’t help but think there must be a better way.

Beyond the grille, the headlight design features that new kind of ‘Z’ shape in the lamp and quad foglights on each side of the front bumper.

It’s a good and sharp design to the front of the car that isn’t overly complicated but is more youthful and fit looking than the bigger K900 that Kia offers.

The side of the car is long as smooth as it should be.  There isn’t a whole lot going on here and that’s perfectly fine.

Depending how you spec it, there are nice little chrome bits here and there for some extra eye candy.  But mostly it’s kept civil.

The rear end of the car is probably a bit more chubby than it needs to be.

I do like the tail light design with that signature ‘Z’ lighting on it, but the rear bumper adds this slightly droopy look to the back, contrast to the rather sharp front end of the car.

Just like the bigger and more expensive K900, the Cadenza is a great looking (for the most part) executive sedan.

The Interior – 2017 Kia Cadenza:

Things go very quickly out of style these days in terms of interior designs.  But, Kia did a very nice job on the inside of the new Cadenza.  It’s easy to make things cheap and for a brand like Kia you tend to comb it more with a keen eye, but everything checks out here.

The inside of the 2017 Kia Cadenza is as upscale as it needs to be.

Kia implemented the classic look of a nice wood panel across the dashboard and put a decently sized navigation into the center.

There’s plenty of storage space in the cabin as well.

Leather and wood is laid across the interior tastefully and accomplishes  exactly what it’s supposed to.  Accenting the interior with nice little eye-candy touches.

On the technology side, Kia stays competitive with other cars in the market with intelligent parking sensors, adaptive technologies and safety tech.  Very nice stuff.

Overall, Kia did a great job designing and executing the inside of the 2017 Kia Cadenza.  They knew it would take a lot be taken seriously in this segment but they definitely delivered.  Well done.

The Performance – 2017 Kia Cadenza:

Power is provided by a 3.3 L V6 engine that is pretty popular over at Kia.

Engines for the Kia Cadenza are the same through out the trim levels.  It’s only the 3.3L V6.

This engine produces 290 HP and a similar number in torque connected to a 8-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic and Smart Shift & Drive.  Whatever those are.

0-60 is done in 6.1 seconds which isn’t immensely fast but it isn’t too slow.

The 2017 Kia Cadenza wasn’t made to win races (that’s the Stinger GT‘s job) but it can comfortably get you to highway speeds without much hesitation or really stretching itself out.

Kia doesn’t advertise the car as a sports sedan even though it features shift paddles (dumb) but it isn’t slouchy.

The Kia Cadenza is reasonably fuel efficient too.  20 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.  Not bad for a decently sized V6.

Reports say that when you need to put your foot down, the transmission shifts down predictably.  This is a very important attribute in cars in my opinion.  The car has be able to be read by the driver.

Sum It Up:

The 2017 Kia Cadenza is a great executive sedan without paying nearly $90,000 for an S-Class.  Obviously the S-Class is much more car for the price, but for just over $32,000 the Cadenza is sharp and loaded in tech.

The car is available on dealer lots so go ahead and get one!  They’re a great value for what you get and if you’re not possessed by having name-brand everything, the Cadenza is an excellent fit.

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