The NMA Foundation presents another Car Family Review, which is featured every month or so on the NMA blog.
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With the average new car price around $33,000 one wonders how Kia can price the feature laden Cadenza for less and still offer what J.D. Powers acknowledged as the highest Initial Quality rating of any car. They even bettered the luxury brands such as Buick and Cadillac.
Well, the answer is simple, they offer more.
Indeed, if you are looking for a family sized sedan that is all new for 2017, loaded with electronics, a stately stance, an abundance of cargo and passenger room, and a regal look the Cadenza is one of the best deals anywhere.
Driving it makes you feel like you are the Duchess of Cambridge with an interior that is comfortably adorned in faux wood and chrome accents, easy to master controls, and a quiet ride. There is leather everywhere, power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, position memory settings and even heated rear seats. The luxury car feeling abounds.
The trunk is 16 cubic feet, but the Cadenza has a smart opening trunk that automatically opens when the proximity key is close to the back of the car. You really need to see it in action.
The interior has an abundance of storage areas that are well placed.
Safety-wise there is a rearview camera and such options as blind spot detection, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning system, lane change assist, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system. All the controls are in easy reach, although the touch screen is a bit far for shorter people. The doors open wide and it makes entry easy even wearing a dress. Visibility is good in all directions and the cabin is very quiet.
Our test car, the Technology model, had heated and cooled front seats. I would recommend this version over the less expensive Premium model. Mall parking is much easier with the overhead camera view.
All told, this is an exceptional value and enjoyable drive. The main competition is more expensive, but certainly not as luxurious.
All Cadenzas are front wheel drive and have a 290 horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. We got 25 mpg in mixed driving. The sedan is meant for driving in comfort and that is reflected in its smooth handling with adequate acceleration for passing and onramp merging.
There are four driving modes. On start-up the car defaults to Comfort mode. Next you can choose from Eco, Sport, or Smart mode with each selection changing steering weight and transmission dynamics. We left it in Smart mode. That mode monitors your driving habits style and adopts accordingly to your driving style.
The transmission is smooth and brakes easy to modulate and provide exceptional stopping.
This is a large sedan and it smooths out roads easily, but high speed canyon runs are not its forte. Steering is a bit light. The Cadenzas is enjoyable to drive and relaxing. I found driving it in heavy traffic was reassuring with all the safety features and above average braking and gas mileage. With the usual 909 traffic almost worse every day, the Cadenza seemed to smooth all that over with and an 18.5 gallon fuel tank enabling 500 miles of highway travel on regular fuel. In other words round trips to Las Vegas with miles to spare.
The bottom line is that this Kia is priced even under the competition and they do not offer nearly as much. If you are into value and still want luxury, the Cadenza is easily your best bet.
Young working man’s view
Where to start?
Well, the only thing Kia lacks is a hotspot Internet connection. Otherwise it has the electronics handled fairly nicely. With Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, an eight-speaker sound system, infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a USB port, HD Radio, and satellite radio. You can also order an optional 12-speaker Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system, a wireless smartphone charger, an 8-inch touch screen, voice-command navigation it pretty much leaves the higher priced competition in the dust and when you add the head-up display with turn-by-turn directions and speed you can’t help but wonder what Kia has in store for us next.
Overall, a little too big for me, Kia’s Niro and Sorento being my favorites, but certainly noteworthy for those wishing to make a statement without busting the credit rating.
Young working woman’s view
The Kia Cadenza comes in three trims: Premium, Technology, and Limited with each offering a few more options. Regardless, this is a friendly sedan that is well thought out right down to the deep glove compartment and a pocket in each door. LED interior lighting is a nice touch and I loved the vanity mirrors.
Kia products have vastly improved, and the all new Cadenza is just one example.
Kia caries the exceptional five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. It is a bargain even though we thought the infotainment system was a little slow. It you like luxury and don’t like paying for it the Cadenza must be considered.
For more reviews go to Car Family Car Reviews
Photo courtesy of Caricos
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The NMA Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting your interests as a motorist and citizen through the multi-faceted approach of research, education, and litigation. The Foundation is able to offer this assistance through tax-deductible contributions.