2017 Kia Cadenza Review

When you think of a luxury car you immediately think about Cadillac, Lexus or some others. Well, Kia wanted to enter this prestigious segment, so in 2010 this South Korean car maker unveiled Cadenza. It appeared in the U.S. in 2013 with Nappa leather heated and ventilated seats. Item that is most commonly found in BMW or Mercedes-Benz. It also came with 3.3-liter V6 with 294 horsepower. And now after six years completely new, the second generation is coming. 2017 Kia Cadenza is completely redesigned and reengineered to further establish itself in the full-size luxury sedan segment.

2017 Kia Cadenza-front-view

2017 Kia Cadenza – Design

Let’s first say that overall dimensions are roughly the same as the previous generation, but it has longer wheelbase and roof line. On the front end, there is a concave version of Kia’s “tiger nose” grille. This “Intaglio” grille is something completely new for Kia’s lineup but it looks quite similar to the one on Volvo S90 which is not a bad thing. But it’s only available on higher trims such as SXL (SX Limited). Lower trims, however, have “diamond butterfly” grille which Kia owners are more accustomed to.

2017 Kia Cadenza-front-grille-two-trims

LED daytime running lamps have a Z-shaped signature which can also be seen on rear lights. On the side designers added chrome accents on side windows, while C and D pillars don’t have those to make them blend in more. At the rear end, there is a massive, redesigned bumper with chrome line running the entire width for more classy appearance. Below there is dual exhaust which nicely blends into the car design. Cadenza also received redesigned 18 and 19-inch wheels.

2017 Kia Cadenza – Interior

Although interior is redesigned, it is similar to the previous generation. Even with the almost same arrangement of buttons, some were removed thanks to the updated infotainment system. Instrument cluster now has more common two standard gauges instead of the center-mounted larger one we saw before. The steering wheel has a new design with narrower lower spoke while the controls have a different layout. When you’re in a luxury car, you expect a high level of comfort. Thanks to the functions of the driver seat you can achieve a perfect driving position. The seat is positioned a bit lower, while the cushion is extended and also fitted with a mechanism that slides and rotates.

2017 Kia Cadenza-interior

Due to the longer wheelbase, rear seat legroom is also increased. Although only by half an inch. There is one more improvement for the back occupants. Although roofline is slightly lowered for a sportier appearance, even passengers over six feet tall will sit comfortably  with enough of headroom. When it comes to technology, depending on the trim, 2017 Kia Cadenza comes with a new head-up display, UVO infotainment comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features. For entertainment purposes, there is 12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system which is offered as an option. For more convenience, Kia also installed Smart Trunk feature which opens the trunk when detects foot under the rear end for three seconds.

2017 Kia Cadenza – Engine

When all car makers are downsizing the volume of their engines, Kia takes a different approach. It will stick with the trustworthy V6 unit. It’s the same 3.3-liter engine but now revised and with slightly less horsepower. Instead of former 294 it now produces four horsepower less. This is done to get better fuel economy numbers. Although not much, now you have 1 mpg more, coming to a total of 20 mpg in the city, while on the highway remains 28 mpg. Four horsepower less, of course, didn’t do the trick alone. Kia also installed new eight-speed automatic transmission instead of former six-speed manual. They also said that new gearbox is lighter and more efficient.

2017 Kia Cadenza-rear-view

2017 Kia Cadenza – Safety

Cadenza isn’t on the top when it comes to safety, but all tests done by the IIHS in the past were rated “G” good. Even with all good ratings (except small overlap front which isn’t done) without crash prevention systems in the past Cadenza didn’t receive Top Safety Pick+. But it managed to receive Top Safety Pick in 2014. Crash tests of 2017 Kia Cadenza will follow right after releasing it in dealerships, but we don’t think that they’ll be bad. Because Cadenza also has a new body structure which has more than 50% of high-strength steel. And that’s not all, they also added driver’s knee airbag. So the total number of airbags comes to nine.

Cadenza, if all goes well, could be a candidate for Top Safety Pick+ award. It’s because now it has Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking. The list goes on with Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go function, Lane Departure Warning, and Smart Blind Spot Detection.

2017 Kia Cadenza – Price

With all updates in mind, the price will surely increase. But to keep it competitive with other luxury sedans such as Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, and Chevrolet Impala, the increase shouldn’t be more than $3.000. If that is true, you could have 2017 Kia Cadenza for roughly $37.000.

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