The 2014 Kia Cadenza is a full-size luxury sedan. All-new in Kia’s lineup for 2014, it shares some underpinnings with the Hyundai Azera, including a smooth and strong 293-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission. Exterior styling includes European-inspired design cues and the distinctive Tiger Eye grille exhibited in other Kia products. The roomy 4-door comes well equipped with a long list of standard comfort and convenience features. Sizewise, it offers about the same spread-out space as a Buick LaCrosse, but in terms of fit, finish and luxury content, it’s closer to the smaller Lexus ES 350.
Standard safety gear includes advanced dual front airbags, front- and rear-seat side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, front seat-belt pretensioners, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control and traction control.
The 2014 Kia Cadenza is a good used-car choice because it offers an elegant design, roomy accommodations, a high level of luxury equipment and an outstanding powertrain warranty at mainstream automaker prices. Autotrader got to drive one for a full year, and it won over our entire team. See the 2014 Kia Cadenza models for sale near you
What We Like
Athletic looks; well-equipped for the money; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; roomy cabin; smooth ride; quiet inside; peppy V6
What We Don’t
Steering is a bit overboosted and vague; brake stopping distance is longer than expected
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The 2014 Cadenza is powered by a smooth-running, direct-injected 293-hp 3.3-liter V6. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard and includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting. The engine is EPA-rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the hwy. Regular unleaded fuel is recommended. All models are equipped with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is not available.
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Cadenza is available in Premium and SX Limited trims.
The "base" Cadenza Premium comes loaded with standard features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, heated power front seats, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles and remote audio controls, a leather-wrapped shifter handle, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker Infinity AM/FM/CD/MP3 Surround Sound audio system with an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, UVO infotainment services, SiriusXM, USB input jacks, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, Smart Key entry with perimeter approach lighting, push-button start, a trip computer, 18-in alloy wheels, auto headlamps, fog lamps, a backup camera, sonar rear parking assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a garage-door opener and power windows, mirrors and door locks. Also standard is a luxury-requisite elegant dash-top analog clock.
Moving up to the SX Limited model adds 19-in chromed alloy wheels, xenon high-intensity headlamps with active front lighting, LED fog lamps, a panoramic sunroof, a 7-in TFT digital gauge and vehicle-information display, Nappa leather seats, driver’s-seat ventilation, a power driver’s seat-bottom cushion extender, a power rear sunshade, a power tilt-telescopic heated steering wheel with memory, water-repellent front-side windows, a first-aid kit, memory for the driver’s seat and outside mirrors, dynamic cruise control with full stop and go, a lane-departure warning system, a blind spot monitoring system and an electric parking brake.
More of a luxury proof point than a huge seller, the Cadenza is one of the hidden gems in Kia’s ever-growing lineup. The supply of examples on used-car lots will be limited, However, because the Cadenza’s image hasn’t quite caught up with those of offerings from luxury brands, prices are moderate.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following safety recall for the 2014 Cadenza:
On models with the non-chromed optional 19-inch alloy wheels, hitting a pothole or suffering a large road impact may cause the wheels to crack and a resulting loss of tire inflation pressure increases the risk of a crash.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA did not rate the 2014 Cadenza for frontal or side impacts or rollover performance.
The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2014 Cadenza Good ratings for side- and moderate-overlap front impacts, as well as head-restraint and seat performance.
Kia sold the 2014 Cadenza with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (for original owners only), a 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.
A Kia certified pre-owned vehicle can’t be more than 5 years old or have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Every certified pre-owned Cadenza gets a 150-point inspection. Each receives a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the remainder of the vehicle’s original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also included is a Carfax vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.
Other Cars to Consider
2014 Toyota Avalon — Sharing its long-wheelbase platform with the Lexus ES350, the full-size Avalon offers more room than the Toyota Camry, with plenty of spread-out room for five passengers in its luxuriously appointed cabin. Performance from the 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 is more than ample. The Avalon’s soft suspension soaks up harsh impacts.
2014 Buick LaCrosse — Buick’s midsize LaCrosse sedan is refreshed inside and out for 2014, offering a standard 8-in Intellilink infotainment system. Front-seat area storage is limited, and trunk space is below par, but the LaCrosse is very quiet and smooth-riding. Powertrain choices include an eAssist 182-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder hybrid rated at 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy or a zippier 304-hp 3.6-liter V6, both teamed with a 6-speed automatic and the latter available with front- or all-wheel drive.
All 2014 Cadenzas come very well-equipped, so if you’re looking for a roomy full-size sedan with up-to-date infotainment and a long list of comfort and convenience features, there are no bad choices. That said, if you do a lot of highway driving, we’d recommend the SX Limited model, which includes a blind spot monitoring system and advanced dynamic cruise control with full stop and go.
The Kia brand has come a long way from its economy-car roots and has topped the quality charts in recent years, but this is no guarantee the used Cadenza you may choose will be trouble-free. Selecting a Kia certified pre-owned vehicle can help take the worry out of buying a used car, especially a luxury model with a lot of technology on board. Always look for a vehicle that’s enjoyed obvious care and maintenance. Check with the authorized Kia dealer to make sure any applicable safety recalls have been addressed on the vehicle you are considering purchasing.