Until recently, Kia and the word luxury didn’t really seem to fit together. That perception has been changing since the debut of the prosaically-named K900 sedan, launched for the 2015 model year. Although the K900 boasted all the elements of a big, premium-level sedan, it lacked one potentially crucial factor: a prestigious brand name with a solid luxury reputation. Badging hasn’t been an obstacle for prospective customers who can ignore image, but simply seek a roomy, smooth-running automobile that performs capably and contains plenty of appropriate features.
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2017 Kia K900 Overview
What's New for 2017
Blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert is now standard on all trim levels. Otherwise, little has changed for the 2017 model year, following the addition of numerous features for 2016.
Choosing Your Kia K900
Kia is selling the K900, once again, in three trim levels: V6 Premium,V6 Luxury, and V8 Luxury. Each V6 model contains a 3.8-liter engine that produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. In V8 Luxury trim, a 5.0-liter V8 generates 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines work with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
Two shifting configurations are available. Premium V6 sedans have shift-by-cable, but the other two trim levels use shift-by-wire, meaning there's no mechanical connection between the shifter itself and the transmission. All K900 sedans have electro-hydraulic power steering and a powertrain with four separate driving modes: Sport, Normal, Comfort, and Snow.
Fuel economy is not the K900’s greatest asset. With the V6 engine, the EPA estimates 17 mpg in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway (20 mpg combined). With the V8, estimates sink to only 15/23 mpg (city/highway) and 18 mpg combined.
Comprehensive VIP option packages are available for V6 and V8 Luxury models. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
Kia’s top sedan is more roomy than some comparably-priced luxury sedans that hail from the likes of BMW and Lexus. In V8 trim, the K900 also is more powerful, and includes a few more features. Unless a V8 is high on one’s wanted list, either V6 version is abundantly equipped, for a more tolerable price. Premium German brands have a stronger luxury image, but Kia’s alternative promises better value overall.