The NMA Foundation presents another Car Family Review, which is featured every month or so on the NMA blog.
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Kia continues to challenge buyer’s perceptions winning JD Powers awards for initial quality and now digging deeper into the luxury car segment with the surprising K900. Not only is this Kia well priced, it is loaded with features that challenge any car in the luxury car range. This sedan has a tremendous array of electronics, safety features and a standard 311 horsepower V6 or a neck-snapping V8 option pushing 420 horsepower to the rear wheels. This Kia is all about value and class.
There are not only an abundance of opulent features in the K900. The leather seats are quilted, and that makes them quicker to heat and cool and avoid sticky cling. Even the least-expensive Premium V6 model offers heated seats, navigation and a large infotainment screen. Move to the Luxury model and you get better sound and the V8 option offers a 360-degree camera and lane departure warning. Select the VIP package to add lumbar support, front-seat cushion extensions, soft-closing doors and a larger display screen monitor.
The interior is attractive and functional with some sensational features such as a heads-up display that shows the speed limit, your speed, and even the speed of the windshield wipers. On the downside, the exterior is conservative and the smooth handling may be too soft for some. However, it corners very well. Our fuel mileage was 18 mpg in mixed driving. The K900 has transmission settings such as Winter, Eco, Sport, and Smart. The latter learns your driving habits and adjusts accordingly. Eco is for better fuel mileage and Sport is when you want to challenge your insurance premiums.
The Kia K900 seats five and all the seats were very comfortable. Our loaded test car offered ventilated and power-reclining rear seats. The leather is very soft and comforting and the easy to read optional 12.3-inch infotainment screen quick to react. The trunk lid opens wide and reveals nearly 16 cubic feet of cargo room. I always tell readers to order all the safety options they can afford. The K900 has satellite navigation front and rearview cameras, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and Kia’s UVO smartphone app that lets you set driving boundaries, and speed alerts and locate the car in crowded parking lots.
Even the base models had front and rearview cameras, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and headlights that pivot as the car turns. Optional items include a lane departure warning, a 360-degree-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with braking assist. If the Kia computers detect a possible front-end collision, it can apply the brakes. There are airbags everywhere, traction control and stability control, ABS, and more.
This is a large car that has an understated look that is quite appealing. The V8 engine is very quiet unless provoked by selecting the Sport setting. After all, you have 420 horsepower to explore and the sound when whipped snarls with enthusiasm. The brakes are excellent and the steering well weighed for a car in this class. To give you an idea of the features the K900 offers consider that the Luxury models also offer a 900-watt 17-speaker audio system, leather seating, heated steering wheel, Kia’s Surround View Monitor, side and rear sunscreens, Dynamic Bending Lights, and an LCD instrument cluster. Though some competitors’ nontraditional gearshift selectors can be annoying the Kia’s operates easily enough, clicking into gear with a leather pistol grip. The seamless shifts from the 8-speed transmission make long-distance travel relaxing. Some people would call the handling dull, but when you enter a corner at speed the K900 clings quite well.
Young Working Woman’s View
This is a really enjoyable car, but it is very large. Regardless, get the Luxury version with the VIP options and let your rear-seat passengers enjoy the generous leg room and a panoramic sunroof that extends over their heads. With the key in your pocket, the car can recognize you and turn on the lights. When you exit, just a touch of the door handle, and it is locked.
Young Working Man’s View
There is an abundance of USB and 120V outlets, and they are well lighted. On many cars, these outlets are hard to locate, but Kia added a light around them so they are simple to find. I could connect my cell phone to the system easily thanks to the large button in the center console that controls many features and enables you to enter navigation, sound, and more. Kia also, thank goodness, makes the radio easy to access with a simple on-off and volume control knobs. Back to the basics are sometimes the best, even for a techno guru like me. The 3D camera was well displayed and the upgraded stereo, a Lexicon, is the same type of system used by Rolls-Royce, should anyone be interested. The LED headlights are especially good as they provide excellent illumination to the sides of the road.
Relaxed driving is the K900’s forte. It has plenty of grunt when needed, can corner better than you would expect, has a plethora of safety features, and a starting price under $50,000. The outstanding 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and award-winning reliability statistics make this an appealing choice to those willing to march to a different drummer.
For more reviews go to Car Family Car Reviews
Photo courtesy of Caricos