Just a few weeks into our 2014 Kia Cadenza ownership, and a few things are already becoming obvious.
To really stretch the car's legs, we took a few little road trips: one to the annual Redwine United Methodist Church old-car show about 90 minutes away from our Atlanta-based offices, and another drive four hours away to an industry event in Nashville.
Clearly, Kia engineers did their homework, because this Cadenza eats up highway miles. The cabin is quiet, and the ride is extremely comfortable, even after several hours in a row. If you're on the road a lot or have a lengthy daily commute, the Cadenza is one of those just-right cars that you'll soon find you can't live without. The Cadenza is easily on par with cars such as the Chevy Impala LTZ, Toyota Avalon Limited, Lexus ES, Buick LaCrosse and Acura RL.
Ventilated front seats and a driver's side seat-bottom extender make hours behind the wheel pleasant. The seats don't feel that comfortable at first -- in fact, when you first sit in the Cadenza's seats, they might feel a little too firm, but that's the last time I even thought about the seats. Supportive and perfect for hours behind the wheel is the best way to describe them.
Earlier, we criticized the Cadenza for delivering slightly lazy acceleration from a stop, but we've found that that's not necessarily true. The Cadenza can get up and move, but you really have to hit the gas hard to get any kind of aggressive reaction. Zero-to-60 time is just over 6 seconds, which is impressive for a car of the Cadenza's size.
At speeds above 50 miles per hour, a gentle squeeze of the accelerator makes for effortless passing, and the engine and 6-speed transmission are perfectly matched. Even on hilly portions of I-75, there's no drama, no frequent upshifts and downshifts, and no buzzy engine noise.
During our 250-mile trip from Atlanta to Nashville, we averaged 27 miles per gallon. The Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy estimate for the 2014 Kia Cadenza is 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Around town, we're getting 18.3 mpg, but we have noticed that aggressive driving and stomping on the gas can bring it down to 16.5 mpg.
Next up for the Cadenza: We'll be loading up the trunk with moving supplies and putting the navigation system to the test.