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Using the words ‘Kia’ and ‘luxury sedan’ in the same sentence may seem rather ridiculous, but once you get behind the wheel of the 2017 Kia Cadenza, your beliefs in Kia as just a budget car brand will be shattered.
I’ve had a front row seat for some time watching Kia change their image over the years. I’ve attended several press events with them so I’ve seen first-hand how they’ve managed to shoot from last to first in initial quality according to J.D. Power. The brand has changed, and continues to evolve, their vehicles into those that are competitive to major brand vehicles.
The first generation Kia Cadenza wasn’t bad, but what Kia has done for the 2017 Cadenza was a complete overhaul. It’s V6 power, new eight speed transmission, and enough technology to impress but not overwhelm is only the cherry on top of what will make you fall in love with the Kia Cadenza.
2017 Kia Cadenza Interior
It’s So Quiet
From those of us that have young children who ask a million questions to those of us that finally have a little quiet time to ourselves, a quiet cabin is super important. We definitely found that in this new Kia. Much quieter than either of our Toyotas and definitely at the top of our list of the other cars in it’s class that we’ve driven.
The Comfortable Interior
In the model that we tested, we were welcomed with ivory-colored, diamond-quilted leather seats that are likely the most comfortable and supple that I’ve ever placed my butt on. The matte white of the seats was dramatically matched with all-black carpets, dashboard and door panels. There was even black pearlescent wood grain throughout that also makes you feel as though you’re piloting a much more expensive luxury vehicle. The pillars and roof are lined in a light faux suede that made me fear allowing my children near the car.
The Leg Room
If there were a luxury clown car in existence, this would be it. I’m not sure where Kia was able to borrow all of the leg room, but there’s plenty of it! Even with my 6’2″ husband in the driver seat with his seat back, my 5’6″ son was able to stretch his legs in the back seat behind him. This makes road trips much more comfortable – and practical!
Plenty To See Inside and Out
On the SXL model we drove, both the front and rear seats had seat heaters, the front featured seat cooling with a heated steering wheel. I LOVE the power sunshades for the side glass and rear windows. The panoramic sunroof was a big treat, though it does take away a bit from the headroom, taller drivers beware.
Oh, The Features!
Listing the features that I love in the 2017 Cadenza is like making a Christmas wish list. The Harman/Kardon® QuantumLogic™ Premium Surround Sound with Clari-Fi™ offers 630 Watts over 12 Speakers that surround the interior. It’s clarity and bass is teenager approved, by the way. You’ll also find, in some models, a wireless smartphone charger, smart blind spot detection, rear parking assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, surround view monitor, hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, power steering wheel tilt and telescope, heads up display and more!
The 2017 Kia Cadenza Exterior
This new model has a much stronger and appealing look with tall, clean body panels that are made of heavier-gauge, more dent-resistant steel, says Kia. You’ll also notice Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille that now stretches into the headlamps that feature sharp looking Z-shaped LED accents.
We compared our experience to our recent drive in the 2017 Genesis G90. Truth be told, we felt more comfortable and less overwhelmed in the Kia. The price is far more affordable, too.
The Comfortable Price of a Luxury Vehicle
There are three models offered in the 2017 Kia Cadenza; the basic “Premium”, the mid-level “Technology” and the high-end “Limited” models.
The Premium price starts at $31,990 and goes up in price to the Limited model at $44,390. The base price is less than others in its class, including the 2017 Toyota Avalon XLE, 2017 Buick LaCrosse and the 2017 Acura TLX.
Final Word From Our In-House Mechanic (My Husband)
My husband loved all the luxury features of the 2017 Kia including the adaptive cruise control, cooled seats, the comfortable leather seats that made our road trip more comfortable than in our Toyota, and commented that he “really love the overall interior styling.”
What he didn’t care for was the fact that you can set navigation while driving, which tends to be safety feature that’s more the industry standard than a fickle Kia issue. While he loved certain aspects of the adaptive cruise, he did note that it makes it difficult to pass at a moments notice, having to wait for the car to get back up to speed.
As this was the first 8-speed transmission that we’ve driven, and having read about multiple issue that other automotive brands have had with 8-speed automatics, he said that it “didn’t drive any different, but it’s made for fuel mileage.”