2017 Kia Cadenza Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

The Ultimate Expert Test

An urban lifestyles magazine recently threw its annual spectacular for some of the District's most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.  As someone who covers social happenings for local television, I had to be there and was thrilled to roll up to the crowded red carpet in the luxurious 2017 Kia Cadenza. When I asked a security person where I should park, she gave the sleek sedan the once over and said, "A nice-looking ride like this should only be valeted." 

Going back to square one and completely redesigning the Cadenza was a smart move for the Korean automaker. Now in its second generation, this revamped version is more contemporary and beautifully executed. In all frankness, some folks are actually startled to see how sharply Kia has stepped up its luxury game.

Dashing inside, wearing my sequined cocktail dress, I got to work interviewing the festive people about their features in the hip magazine. To my surprise, the decidedly upscale crowd also peppered me with questions—about “my” Cadenza.

Given its plentiful amenities, I had a lot to say about the stylish sedan. The Kia’s navigation system, audio system and rearview camera were clearly displayed on an eight-inch touchscreen, which featured a logical and easy to use interface. Even better, Sade’s sultry tones were faithfully reproduced, courtesy of the premium Harman Kardon system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were supported too.

Contributing nicely to the Cadenza’s lux lounge vibe was white Nappa leather upholstery. In fact, the beautifully crafted interior was draped in the luxurious material from the steering wheel to the rear seats. Speaking of the seats, all four main positions were heated and cooling was added to the front seats as well. Keeping it “100”; while I loved the way the color elevated the elegance of the environment, I did question its long-term practicality. My low-mileage test car was already showing smudges in several places.

Still though, every seat in the Cadenza was a comfortable one. My videographer even dozed off at one point, after having complimented the coziness of the seats. An extra-wide opening panoramic sunroof enhanced the airiness of the cabin’s light-colored interior. However, I did wish the Cadenza’s trunk was bigger. At 16 cubic feet, I found it a bit small for a car in this category and we really could’ve used more room back there for our video equipment.

As befitting a contemporary luxury car, standard safety and convenience features included forward collision warning, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, rear parking assist and surround view monitoring.

Power came from a direct-injected 3.3-liter V6 engine producing 290-horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. The Cadenza’s front-wheel drive powertrain was bridged by an eight-speed automatic transmission with a Sportmatic function and paddle shifters. I saw an average of 23 mpg over a week of driving.

Our work done, we wrapped the video shoot while D.C.’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes continued to party the night away. The handsome Kia was a welcome sight when the valet brought it back around. Smiling confidently, we sank once again into those plush seats. Yes, we were tired and had a long drive ahead of us, but safely ensconced within the Cadenza, we rode home in the lap of luxury.

Pricing starts at $31,990.

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