Teenage passengers are often between the initial individuals I turn to for 2nd opinions about a test automobile. Even though they understandably are not permitted behind the wheel – most are not even old adequate to drive – their truthful and typically unbiased observations, coupled with a total lack of understanding about what a distinct motor vehicle charges, can offer a wealth of insight.
An open-minded strategy is specifically essential when taking a closer appear at the 2014 Kia Cadenza, a premium sedan from an automaker greatest acknowledged for offering affordable transportation for entry-level buyers. But as opposed to the Rio and Forte, minimal-priced compacts created to cater to shoppers seeking for fuel economic climate and worth, this more substantial 4-door sedan asks for twice the out-of-pocket investment in exchange for guarantees of luxury and engineering.
With an impartial mindset and a genuine curiosity, I just lately spent a week with the a lot more considerable Cadenza to see if it could dwell up to its aspirations.
Kia introduced the States to its Cadenza at the 2013 Detroit Car Show as a model to sit above the Optima sedan, which was its flagship giving at the time. People loyal to the brand wanted a far more premium item. According to Mike Ofiara, Supervisor of Product Communications at Kia Motors America, the new “more upscale sedan was in response to what several of the customers were asking for.”
A appear beneath its skin suggested a quite equivalent heart and soul to the Hyundai Azera.
Regardless of its all-new appearance on this side of the Pacific, this car had previously been on sale in Korea’;s domestic market place for some time, and a appear beneath its skin and spec sheet at its reveal suggested a extremely equivalent heart and soul to the Hyundai Azera.
However its prior lifestyle and similarities to its corporate cousin had been the final factors on my thoughts when the automaker dropped off this sparkling Metallic Bronze above White Nappa model in my driveway. As you can see from these images, this nicely-proportioned sedan seems each and every bit the part of its $ 35,25 base cost (plus $ 800 destination), with its distinctive chrome Kia “Tiger Nose” grille, aggressive headlights, chrome window surrounds and LED-design taillamps. Even the 19-inch alloy wheels fill their wells flawlessly.
4 adults will uncover significantly to like about the Cadenza, but I would argue that the driver has the greatest seat in the home.
Much more striking than its exterior, even so, is its interior. My particular press car arrived configured with White Nappa Leather, a no-charge option that contrasts well with the dark dashboard, door panels and carpet. The Luxury Package deal (a $ 3,000 upgrade) adds goodies which includes a panoramic roof, upgraded instrument panel, heated rear seats and a warmed steering wheel. Much less evident to the eyes are elements in the Technologies Package (also $ 3,000), which includes Advanced Intelligent Cruise Management (ASCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and hydrophobic front door windows. The bottom line reads $ 41,900 – which is a lot of income, but it represents a significant value even prior to Kia’;s 10-yr/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee is taken into consideration.
4 adults will locate a lot to like about the Cadenza, but I would argue that the driver has the ideal seat in the home. A normal 10-way energy-operated seat provides plenty of assistance for my 6-foot, 2-inch frame, and the adjustable lower bolster supports my thighs comfortably. (Note: the front passenger is only provided 4-way powered seats and oddly, they are offered no seat ventilation – many of my passengers griped about that.) These in the 2nd row will find a spacious interior, with generous space for feet and shoulders. Headroom could be an problem for tall adults thanks to the Cadenza’;s graceful sloping roofline, even so. Twin climate handle outlets, adjustable for airflow (but not temperature), help keep rear passengers relaxed.
Even however the primary instrument panel utilizes a huge complete-colour digital show in tandem with an 8-inch infotainment display at the top of the stack, the Cadenza’;s cabin is quite classic in layout, with a massive transmission selector dominating the decrease center console. 2 clusters of flat buttons are arranged on the console to control the climate control and audio operations. Comfort switchgear (e.g., heated steering wheel and ventilated seats) are identified just aft of the transmission lever, whilst the security settings (which includes lane departure and traction control) are to the left of the steering wheel. The seat memories are located on the door. After a handful of days of acclimation, I was able to locate the standard area of the flush controls speedily, but each and every necessary me to get rid of my eyes from the street momentarily to use.
Third-party testing suggests the Cadenza sprints to the 60 mph benchmark from a standstill in below 6.5 seconds.
With important fob in pocket, a press of the black begin/quit button fires up the 3.3-liter V6 below the Cadenza’;s hood. This modern day direct-injected powerplant, shared with the Azera, is rated at 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 255 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. The engine is mounted transversely in the nose – perpendicular to the direction of travel – like it is in virtually all other front-wheel-drive autos. Amusingly, Kia’;s tough engineers have hidden it beneath a plastic engine cover that has been molded to insinuate a longitudinal mounting.
A traditional 6-velocity automated transmission, also shared with the Azera, is tasked with sending power to the ground. But its first 2 gears and last drive ratio are diverse to allow the Kia to feel a bit sportier than its sibling from Hyundai. In practice, this does seem to be to be the situation, with the 4-door launching off the line smartly, with even reasonable throttle. Kia doesn’;t publish its own acceleration figures, but third-get together testing suggests the Cadenza sprints to the 60 mph benchmark from a standstill in just beneath 6.5 seconds, covering the quarter mile in somewhat fewer than 15 seconds. Which is lots rapid for sedan whose principal mission is not efficiency.
If you shuttle grubby younger passengers typically or are a neat freak, consider other interior colors.
In the course of my 6-day test, I tossed Kia’;s premium sedan headfirst into the family regimen, where it was forced to drive carpools, run errands and suffer in targeted traffic jams. Every person discovered the cabin comfortable, but the large-gloss wood trim sprinkled all through the upscale cabin quickly showed fingerprints and dust, although the buttery smooth white leather essential a nightly wipe-down to keep it clean – if you shuttle grubby youthful passengers (I loaded it with lacrosse players) typically or are a neat freak, take into account other colours. The rear seats will not fold, but the automaker does provide a 7-inch square pass-by means of for longer items like skis or a few lacrosse sticks.
To much better assess the Cadenza’;s ride and dealing with chops, I took it on a 4-hour road trip, virtually 200 miles prolonged, which started at sea level and ultimately climbed to 5,500 feet of elevation. Producing factors fascinating, the drive encompassed busy highways and rural 2-lane mountain passes prior to dropping me back on a effectively-traveled interstate highway. In a nutshell, the loop forced the Kia to execute below each imaginable driving atmosphere – with the exception of inclement weather, which was in the mid-60s with clear blue skies.
With its 18.5-gallon fuel tank filled to the top with normal unleaded gasoline (premium fuel is not needed), I set out following the bulk of the area’;s morning congestion had cleared.
The very first component of the drive took me along the Pacific coast on a nicely paved, multi-lane highway traveling at about 60 mph (the velocity limit was 65 mph, but it was crowded). To run with the movement of site visitors, I switched on the Kia’;s radar-based ASCC and let its electronics inform my velocity. In this near-mindless state of cruise, with the Cadenza following the car ahead of it like a magnet following a block of iron, I discovered the sedan very comfy. Its electrically assisted steering was on the numb side, but the car tracked properly and lane adjustments have been simple thanks to oversized exterior mirrors that offered a wonderful view. The cabin was properly insulated, also, and there wasn’;t the slightest peep from the combustion going on below the hood or from the engine’;s 2 oval exhaust pipes – only the muted sound of wind rushing by the glass and the boring sound of the tires as they rolled over the textured pavement supplied a hint of my velocity.
The cabin was nicely insulated, and there was not the slightest peep from the combustion going on underneath the hood.
Even although this transmission has been tweaked with sportier ratios, that more athletic mindset hasn’;t automatically carried above to the rest of the car’;s specs. It rapidly grew to become evident that the completely independent front and rear suspension have been tuned for comfort, with the underpinnings effortlessly absorbing all bumps and growth joints. The base Cadenza arrives with common 18-inch wheels, but the aforementioned optional 19-inch alloys fitted to my tester never induced an problem, despite currently being paired with rubber possessing shorter sidewalls. Much of the credit goes to the Hankook Optimo H426 all-season grand touring tires, dimension 245/40R19, which are tuned to optimize trip comfort.
Turning off the highway and heading into the mountains quickened the speed of factors, specially when the street narrowed and commenced to get twisty. But sadly, the Cadenza’;s remarkable composure quickly began to wane.
With the roads practically empty, I pushed the sedan into the corners. Kia pegs the curb excess weight of the 4-door at 3,792 lbs, which is about regular in this segment, but the strong V6 in no way felt the least bit burdened. In contrast, the regular disc brakes offered very good first bite, but the pads quickly commenced to overheat and give significantly less stopping electrical power with each subsequent corner. But the single-piston brakes weren’;t the car’;s Achilles heel – the bulk of the blame must be directed at the soft suspension, which reached the finish of its travel much more than when, as well as at the aforementioned all-season tires that had me operating the brakes as difficult as I did.
The Cadenza is just out of its comfort zone at something above 6-tenths in the canyons.
In spite of Kia’;s mild attempt to make the Cadenza come off as a luxury sedan with a bit of sporty flair (they’;ve even gone so far as to match steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters), the 4-door is simply out of its comfort zone at something over 6-tenths in the canyons. And even if the brakes, suspension and tires had worked in excellent harmony, the broad seats provide very tiny lateral support for such roads. I found myself constantly struggling to remain in place – these are not problems with sport sedans. After I reduced my speeds and turned the impressive UVO enjoyment (with audio by Infinity) up a few notches, motoring tranquility and serenity were restored to prior levels. Regardless of advertising and marketing materials that allude to “carving by way of the Swiss Alps,” this obviously is not tuned to be a sport sedan, a conclusion confirmed by Kia executives in the course of a subsequent interview.
I stored data of the street journey, as I typically do, and my all round hand-calculated common for 197.2 miles traveled was 21.88 mpg overall. While my number did fall amongst the EPA numbers (19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway), virtually all of its 6-cylinder competitors, like the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and Volvo S80 will exceed the Cadenza’;s government-estimated highway numbers. It truly is a shame that the checklist even includes the Hyundai Azera, thanks to its slight gearing adjustments.
Extended intervals behind the Cadenza’;s 4-spoke leather and wood steering was really revealing. As soon as I ignored what ever misguided sport aspirations it held and I stopped worrying about its slightly thirstier fuel consumption, I was left very impressed with this luxury motor vehicle. But there was 1 a lot more issue I nonetheless necessary to reconcile – the badge on the grille.
These who devote $ 40,000 are usually searching for much more than just a strong worth proposition.
On my final day with the Kia, I drove a group of teenagers to high school although I covered the steering wheel hub with my hand. Each youthful passenger candidly raved about the sedan from their various seating positions. In their very own words, they commented on the soft leather, legroom and isolation of the cabin. They played eagerly with the infotainment program, blasted the audio and had been impressed when I described that it had almost 300 horsepower. As we approached the campus, I quizzed them about pricing, and every overshot the number, a single guessing tens of thousands also large. Seconds before I dropped them off, I pointed out what brand car they had been riding in. There was a quick pause before one of the little ones piped up incredulously, “A Kia, truly? Wow.”
7 days behind the wheel left me, and a handful of impartial youngsters, convinced that the new 2014 Kia Cadenza has what it takes to challenge for segment leadership. But those who devote $ 40,000 are often seeking for far more than just a robust worth proposition – numerous want the prestige of a established premium badge (the automaker sold 8,626 Cadenza sedans in 2013, a partial yr of product sales, even though Toyota moved 70,990 Avalon sedans). Only time will inform if this Korean automaker has last but not least confirmed to finicky Americans that the 3 silver letters on its nose carry much more bodyweight than the metal they are enameled upon.