2014 Kia Cadenza
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: May 2013
Expected Pricing: Low- to mid-$30,000s
The new full-size sedan Kia showed off at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year shows how far this once obscure Korean carmaker has come. With the brand's most grown-up look yet, the forthcoming Kia Cadenza borrows European styling cues such as stretched wraparound headlights and round bezel lamps, while retaining the new family grille and shark-nosed front end that clearly identifies it as a Kia.
Although other Kia models made for the U.S. have gone to four-cylinder engines, the Kia Cadenza will buck the trend and be powered by a direct-injected, 3.3-liter V6 that makes 293-horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that's shared with the Hyundai Azera.
Like other cars in this class, the Cadenza uses a fully independent McPherson suspension in front and a multilink setup in the rear. Cadenza is front-wheel drive.
The Kia Cadenza competes with the Hyundai Azera, Lexus ES and Acura TL, all near-luxury, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger, four-door sedans.
Don't expect stellar fuel economy. Unofficial fuel estimates put the Cadenza at around 20/29 mpg city/highway.
The interior will be stuffed full of standard tech features like navigation with Kia's proprietary UVO infotainment system and an 8-inch touch screen, as well as a premium Infinity 550-watt, 12-speaker audio system. Dual automatic climate control and leather upholstery also come standard, as does rear seat ventilation, push-button start, 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. Standard wheels are 18-inch alloys.
A Premium Package adds premium Nappa leather seats, 12-way ventilated driver's seat, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping steering column, 7-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster, a power rear sunshade, panoramic sunroof and HID headlamps with adaptive front lighting system.
The Technology Package will include an electric parking brake, 19-inch alloy wheels and many of the latest electronic safety features including a blind spot detection system, lane departure warning and an adaptive cruise control system which can bring the car to a complete stop if a collision is imminent. It also includes what Kia calls a water repellant hydrophobic windshield, which helps to repel water and reduce spotting.
Kia says the 2014 Cadenza will go on sale May 2013. Pricing hasn't been announced, but we're guessing Cadenza will start at around the $34,000 mark.