2015 Kia K900
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Early Spring 2014
Expected Pricing: Starting around $50,000
No longer a brand for kids and hamsters wearing baggy pants, Kia is betting on more grown-up buyers with its first full-size flagship sedan, the K900, which debuted earlier this winter at the LA Auto Show and goes on sale later this winter or early spring 2014.
Although its alphanumeric name sounds like a police cruiser with a German shepherd riding shotgun, the Kia K900 is a spacious, sophisticated rear-wheel-drive sedan with styling led by design chief Peter Schreyer (who once penned Audi's lineup).
The Kia K900 is long and wide, with proportions that make it look low-slung. If it wasn't for Kia's signature mesh front grille, one might mistake it for a European grand touring car. This Kia will compete with full-size offerings from other manufacturers including the Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Genesis (the latter of which shares a version of the same platform), but could also creep into the territories of luxury sedans like the Acura RLX and Lexus LS.
Under the hood is either Kia's 3.8-liter, direct-injected V6 good for 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, or an all-new 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 that produces a formidable 420 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. Both variants come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features include many found on luxury vehicles, like adaptive LED headlights on V8 models, leather upholstery, LED interior lighting, power-adjustable front seats, and heated seats in front and rear. Audio comes from a 900-watt Lexicon sound system with Bluetooth, HD radio and satellite radio capability.
Kia's UVO infotainment system is accessed via a standard, large 9.2-inch display screen. A new user interface uses a rotary knob to control functions, much like BMW's iDrive or Audi's MMI.
Safety features include front and rear parking sensors, and V8 models get blind sport detection and rear cross-traffic alert, also bundled in the Technology Package on V6 cars. The tech package also adds lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The 2015 Kia K900 is expected to hit dealerships in early 2014. Pricing for the 2015 Kia K900 hasn't been announced, but our guess is that it will start around the $50,000 mark. Kia has announced that scheduled maintenance is included for three years or 37,500 miles.