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2018 Kia Cadenza

Source: Car and Driver
Date: March 24th, 2018
Author: DREW DORIAN

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2018 Kia Cadenza

Quietly exceeding expectations of label snobs everywhere.

Overall Rating: 

Kia’s Cadenza is a compelling choice in a shrinking segment. For those who prefer sedans to SUVs, it not only represents a solid value but also provides near-luxury features throughout its model range. Inside its well-built cabin is room for four adults to stretch out in comfort, and the luxe features only get better the further up its range you climb. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, and highly sought-after active safety tech—automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and more—is provided as standard on the midrange Technology trim and the top-spec Limited. That the Cadenza wears a handsome and upscale design is icing on the automotive cake.

HIGHS
Intuitive infotainment system, technology-heavy equipment list, generous warranty.
LOWS
Tepid acceleration, lackluster braking performance, limited cargo flexibility.
VERDICT
The Cadenza is a high-tech haven for the upper-middle-class sedan buyer.

What’s New for 2018?

Kia saw fit to make just one change to the Cadenza lineup for 2018: Last year’s Panoramic Sunroof package (a large glass sunroof, power sunshade, and LED interior lighting) is now part of the Luxury package on the base Premium trim instead of being a separate $1000 option. The big glass roof is still standard on Technology and Limited trims.

What Was New for 2017?

The Cadenza was all new for 2017, marking Kia’s sophomore effort for a full-size near-luxury car. Completely redesigned from bumper to bumper, the sharper Cadenza features a sleeker interior and modern technologies such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an available head-up display. The 3.3-liter V-6 engine was retuned for better fuel economy and paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. For the first time, the Cadenza offers a full suite of active safety technology.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

We chose the midrange Technology trim last year, and we’d hold steady on that recommendation for 2018 as well. This year’s build is priced at $40,190 and calls up many modern and luxury items that attract buyers in this segment, including:

• Panoramic sunroof
• 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation
• 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio
• Proximity approach lighting

All of the Cadenza’s active safety technologies also come as standard on this midrange trim and on the top-spec Limited model.

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