James Flammang
Contributing Editor - December 15, 2016

Expert Rating

4.3 (Excellent)
20 City / 28 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2017 Kia Cadenza OVERVIEW

Introduced as a 2014 model, the Cadenza was noteworthy for its sporty appearance as well as its luxury-level comfort and convenience features. Launching the Cadenza placed Kia into an additional vehicle category, continuing with a second-generation version for 2017. Despite credentials as a full-size near-luxury sedan, the Cadenza already has demonstrated that it didn’t have to drive like one: Behaving more like a smaller model, this Kia four-door is far removed from the big cars of yesteryear.

What's New for 2017

Billed as “all-new,” the redesigned Cadenza has a new body structure that’s stronger, yet lighter. For the first time in a Kia front-drive model, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Despite getting a new look, the Cadenza is still easily recognizable. Visually, the sedan has changed most at the front and rear, including a smoother hood and a fresh version of the “tiger-nose” grille. Sightly longer than before, the 2017 Cadenza is a bit wider and 0.2 inch lower. Kia promises an additional half-inch of rear legroom. Body rigidity has increased by 35 percent.

Kia Cadenza

Choosing Your Kia Cadenza

Kia installs the same powertrain in all Cadenzas. Now producing 293 horsepower (down by 3), the 3.3-liter V6 engine teams with an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the prior six-speed unit. Dual exhaust is standard. Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 20 mpg in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg in combined driving.

Newly available features include a head-up display, an updated surround-view monitor, a hands-free power trunk lid, wireless charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a Harman Kardon 12-speaker audio system. Adaptive cruise control includes stop-and-go functionality, while forward collision warning incorporates autonomous emergency braking. Nine airbags are standard, and front brake rotors have grown by an inch in diameter. Upper trim levels get an “Intaglio” grille with vertically oriented, faceted blades.

Three trim levels are offered for 2017: Premium, Technology, and Limited.


For $32,890 (destination charge included), the Premium delivers features such as leather upholstery and trim, heated power front seats, heated power mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and keyless ignition. Kia’s UVO eServices infotainment system and an eight-speaker audio system are included.


Equipped with a standard panoramic sunroof, the midlevel Cadenza adds $7,000 to the Premium model’s price. Standard equipment includes a navigation system, paddle shifters, rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and fog lamps, a power adjustable steering wheel, and ventilated front seats. The Harman Kardon 650-watt surround-sound audio system has 12 speakers. Active safety features include blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The optional Premium Luxury package includes extras such as navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, rear parking sensors, and power-folding mirrors.


Topping the line, the $45,290 Limited adds another helping of features, including a surround-view monitor, Nappa quilted leather upholstery, heated outboard rear seats, rear sunshades, a head-up display, and 19-inch Dart Satin alloy wheels.

CarsDirect Tip

If you’re ready for the feel of luxury and the convenience of the latest technology, without paying the hefty price of some top-tier imports, the Cadenza might be a candidate for your shopping list. The Premium model is tempting, especially with the optional Luxury Package. However, we recommend the midlevel Technology version for its hefty list of added features – including active safety items.

Get your price on a Kia Cadenza »

Best Kia Deals & Lease Offers In January

The new year brings aggressive rebate incentives, with Kia offering up to $7,000 off select models. The Holiday VIN Sticker Bonus is over but increases in customer cash help... View All Kia Lease Deals

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