2017 Kia Cadenza Review

2017 Kia Cadenza - Upscale Cadenza most tech-advanced Kia ever


Continued success as a premium sedan, the 2017 Kia Cadenza expands the model line and makes the navigation system standard on all trims. The Kia Cadenza is the most technologically-advanced Kia ever offered in the U.S. market.

The Cadenza is the flagship for Kia, and each year since its 2013 arrival in the United States as a replacement for the Amanti sedan, improvements have been made.

Today, for a price beginning at $31,990 and topping out at $44,390, the Cadenza is a serious rival to oldtimers in this market such as Toyota's Avalon and Nissan's Maxima.

All models sport a hexagonal grille, Z-shape for headlights and LED taillights, a more sloping roofline, fender garnish, broad shoulders, contoured hood, large wheels and a wide stance that gives the Cadenza a strong and grounded appearance

Besides the expected sumptuous seats, sporty powerplant and plentiful safety electronics, the Cadenza always has been roomy in the cabin. This year Cadenza is roomier as the wheelbase has become longer adding length to the car and the new chassis is wider for wider seats. Trunk space remains at 16 cubic feet, as it always has been, but leg room has been added, perhaps by a half inch front and rear. One can stretch out and be comfortable in front or rear and this includes adults taller than six feet.

This year's overhaul includes a lower height to help with fuel economy. Today's chassis utilizes 50 percent lighter high-strength steel, which also helps with fuel economy. With the smooth-revving 293-horsepower 3.3- liter that operates on regular gasoline, the Cadenza is equipped with Kia's most potent V-6 engine ever. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sportmatic manual shift mode and paddle shifters flanking the leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel. To maximize driver engagement and performance, the Cadenza features a sport-tuned fully independent suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design.

During the recent test weeks with two adults aboard in Interstate, city and suburban driving (50-50), the 3,770-pound sedan averaged 24.1 miles per gallon.

The Cadenza has been tested doing 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds.  Brakes are discs (12.6-inch front, 11.2-inch rear) and can bring this car to a stop in less than 120 feet on dry pavement.

The test Cadenza was a top-of-the-line $44,390 Limited model. Enhanced luxury features included a power rear window shade, manual side window shades, outboard heated seats, Nappa leather trim, Limited floor mats front and rear, and a heads-up display. This display reflects legal speed and actual speed side-by-side on the windshield. Nappa is upgrade softer dyed leather mostly from young farm stock such as calf, lamb or kid.

Memory for two includes driver's seat, steering wheel, exterior foldable, heated mirrors and cabin climate. Power also operates a panoramic sunroof, front passenger seat, trunk lid, door locks and the rear window sunshade.

Besides the Limited, the other two models are the $31,990 base and 38,990 Tech. Models share, besides the powerplant, a plethora of features including brakes, strut suspension system, P245 tires, exterior and interior measurements. Fit and finish plus sound-deadening materials are first-rate.

Limited and Tech share an Infinity 550-watt surround sound system with 12 speakers, external amplifiers and subwoofer, high definition radio, AM-FM and Sirius XM radio with presets and up-to-date traffic, voice command navigation system with an eight-inch display screen, UVO services (information, emergencies), USB, auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth, two 12-volt outlets in front, lighted stainless steel scuff plate trim, and carpeted front and rear floors and trunk.

Besides a four-wheel-antilock braking system, brake assist, electronic braking distribution,  stability and traction controls, safety items include a rear camera display, back up warning system, blind spot detection system, 10 airbags (front, sides, overhead) and five seat belts with headrests.

The price of the Cadenza is easy to take when compared to competition in the full-sized sedan market that cost $10,000 to $20,000 more than the top-of-the-line Limited model.

A five-year, 60,000-mile warranty comes with 24-hour roadside assistance. Powertrain coverage is 10 years or 100,000 miles.


Vehicle: 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

Type: four-door, five-passenger, front-wheel-drive, full-size luxury sedan

Price:  $44,390

Engine: 3.3-liter, 290-horsepower, dual overhead cam V6

Transmission:  eight-speed shiftable (paddles behind steering wheels) automatic

Fuel: unleaded regular

Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons

Weight: 3,770 pounds

Wheelbase, length, width, height in inches:  112.4, 195.7, 73.6, 57.9

Leg room: 45.5 inches front, 37.2 inches rear

Trunk: 16 cubic feet

Payload: 1,085 pounds maximum

Tires (P245), alloy wheels: 19-inch

Turn circle, curb-to-curb: 37.2 feet

Information: www.kia.com

Assembly: South Korea

Warranty: five years or 60,000 miles including roadside assistance, 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain ements have been made.

M.J. Frumkin and J.E. Kuyper

M. J. Frumkin and J. E. Kuyper covered the auto industry for decades. Frumkin was with Consumer Guide for 14 years, has authored four books and co-authored three more. He is also the historian/archivist for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association/Chicago Auto Show. Kuyper has been an automotive writer, editor and columnist for newspapers in the Chicago area the past 25 years. His reviews currently appear in the daily Northwest Herald newspaper. Frumkin and Kuyper are founding members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association.