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.
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.
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.