What Is It?
The 2017 Kia Cadenza is a large sedan, the next size up from midsize cars such as the Kia Optima and Toyota Camry. It occupies a pleasant area between mainstream and luxury. This Cadenza is all new for the 2017 model year, bringing a stronger and more rigid body that also manages to be lighter, plus it offers the company’s first 8-speed automatic transmission to be used in a front-wheel-drive application. Style-wise, the Cadenza also displays a new variation on the Kia corporate grille.
Kia doesn’t have any official figures yet, but it says that the Cadenza’s 3.3-liter V6 has an estimated 290 horsepower. It’s a retuned version of the previous generation’s engine (endowed with 293 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque) and calibrated for better fuel consumption, which should also be helped by having an 8-speed transmission in place of the 6-speed unit.
New equipment includes a head-up display, projecting crucial information such as speed and navigation directions onto the windshield so that it can be easily read by the driver. There’s also a hands-free power trunk lid and wireless charging for smartphones — speaking of which, the Cadenza’s new infotainment system can accommodate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Naturally, this fresh tech is complemented by a smart cabin with soft-touch materials and fine leather.
The new lighter, stronger body has advantages in handling and ride quality, as well as cabin refinement (“library quiet” is how Kia describes it) and improved safety. Kia is aiming for a top score of five stars overall in government crash tests and a Top Safety Pick+ accolade from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Cadenza houses nine airbags, and its 360-degree camera system has even greater resolution than the outgoing model. Advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and a blind spot monitoring system.
To be announced. The 2016 Cadenza starts at around $34,000.
When Can You Get It?
The 2017 Kia Cadenza goes on sale in late 2016.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
An Optima is a little too small, nor as plush or powerful as you would like.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Toyota Avalon — The Avalon is large and comfortable. A hybrid version is also available.
2017 Hyundai Azera — The Azera is based on the same platform as the new Cadenza and will be available later this year.
2017 Buick LaCrosse — All new and coming this summer, the latest LaCrosse is generating interest already.