When you drive the Kia Cadenza around Los Angeles you’ll get a lot of questions.
What IS that car?
What does it feel like?
Is it expensive?
I didn’t know Kia made NICE cars.
I answered like this:
It’s a Kia Cadenza.
Like a BMW with a Japanese suspension.
Not particularly for what it is.
I know RIGHT?
And then we’d talk about cars and status and you get more respect in a Mercedes Benz but damn if that car wasn’t the most boring thing I ever owned. You see if I were trying to compare the Cadenza to another luxury vehicle I’d probably pick the BMW 5 series. The Cadenza doesn’t have the tight steering and suspension of a BMW but it comes with a host of luxuries that other cars haven’t even considered yet.
The Cadenza drives beautifully, it’s smooth and with a V6 engine boasting 293 horses it’s more than fast enough to get around the city and the highway.
The only problem people will have with the Kia is in the badge. If you’re in the market for a luxury car because you want people to see that you’re a luxury car driver this is not the vehicle for you. Unlike Toyota and Acura, Kia hasn’t split their luxury line into a separate company. That means there’s no equivalent of Lexus or Acura to be had. That’s a reality they’ll need to overcome but I think it can be done with ease when the price point of the Kia is generally at least $10,000 less than their German brethren.
Let’s talk about what you get for $43,000 that isn’t standard in other vehicles
- Dual zone air with filtration
- Airbags everywhere
- Blind spot detection
- Lane departure warning
- Heated front and rear seats
- Nappa leather seats
- Heated steering wheel (forgive the bold but this is the most fabulous thing in the world)
- Ventilated front seats
- Advanced smart cruise control
- Power rear sunshade
- Smart key
There’s a longer list than this, but these are the features I love that were missing from luxury vehicles I’d recently driven (and owned), one was a full $25,000 more than the Cadenza. It’s clearly a vehicle for folks who are looking for value.
One of the fun (and safe) things that Kia has added to their cruise control is adaptive cruise control. I first saw this on the 2015 Genesis and had an absolute blast driving way too fast and never braking. Basically you set your cruise control to 65 (or whatever speed) and then if the car in front of you slows down your Cadenza slows down as well. As they speed up you speed up. It’s an absolute blast and a significant safety upgrade.
I’d encourage luxury car shoppers to check the Cadenza and more moderate shoppers to know that they can get a luxury car in their price range. It’s an interesting thing that Kia has done, declining to set up a luxury badge and keeping the cost down to consumers.