By Charles Donaldson
Comfort, style and performance are the makings of what so many of us want in a sedan. We are not looking for a car that looks like the vehicle next door; ,instead, a car that makes the neighbors’ fill with envy. There are many options in the mid-size sedan class; yet, in the large car category, there is only a handful. One make and model that is rising up on the charts is the 2017 Kia Cadenza.
Kia created the Cadenza for their customers who longed for a vehicle that was slightly larger than their very successful mid-size Optima model. The Cadenza was originally launched in 2010 and remodeled in 2016. With the redesign, the Cadenza has grown both in wheelbase and width which results in a roomier cabin.
For 2017, the Cadenza is available in three flavors: Premium, Technology, and SXL. Underneath the hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine, which has been retuned for improved fuel economy. With an estimated 290 hp on tap (about three horses less than last year), the engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based 8-speed automatic transmission.
The newly-developed transmission which is highly efficient, makes up for the few clicks down in horsepower, and provides quick and crisp shifts for a more enjoyable driving experience. Despite having two extra cogs, the 8-speed transmission, which was designed in-house, is lighter than the unit in the outgoing model.
The styling of the 2017 Cadenza really stands out from its rivals with a single contour line that runs the full length of the car helping to create a couple-like profile. The updated design incorporates Kia’s trademark quad-LED setup with the lower front grille. A walk-around of the vehicles has you taking notice of the sharp attention to style presented in all forms of lights from the headlights to the taillights.
The interior is crafted for luxury with high quality materials and packaged with high-tech features. Soft-touch interior surfaces, real stitching available (Nappa leather with quilted seat bolsters accented by diamond-shaped stitching) dresses up the Cadenza’s already- attractive cabin. The driver’s seat has been lowered for a sportier and more stable feeling, while engineers extended the seat cushion slightly and developed an innovative cushion extension mechanism that slides and rotates, making it easier for drivers to find their comfort zone behind the wheel. The heating elements used for the seat warmers have been reengineered to more evenly distribute warmth, and as a Kia first, the seat heaters now utilize a smart control system to automatically lower the heater-operating mode after a certain period of time.
· Heads Up Display which shows key driver information such as speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions on the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight
· Surround View that gives the driver a clearer birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle
· Smart Trunk, which conveniently opens the trunk lid if the sensor detects the key fob for more than three seconds
· Wireless smartphone charger
· Available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
Safety on the 2017 Kia Cadenza is built upon a strong foundation with a body structure composed of more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel. Cutting-edge driver assistance features include an Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning. Another Kia first is the Smart Blind Spot Detection System which senses unintentional drifting toward an adjacent vehicle and automatically brakes the opposite side front wheel to help maintain the vehicle’s intended course.
In Summary – The 2017 Kia Cadenza blends the features of a sports sedan with the comfort of a luxury sedan. It carries on the beautiful styling of its little brother, the Optima, while adding technology features found in much more expensive vehicles. It is comfortable, handles well, and delivers the performance you need to propel a large vehicle. Kia has paid attention to what buyers want in styling, features and reliability. It is definitely worth placing the Cadenza on your list of purchases to make.
2017 Kia Cadenza SXL
Base price: Expected range:
Engine: 3.3 Liter V6-cylinder DOHC
Horsepower: 290 @ 6,400 RPM
Torque: 253 @ 5,200 RPM
Transmission: 8-Speed automatic
Drive: FWD Drive
Turning circle: 37.2 feet
Cargo space: 16 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3633 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
EPA mileage: City 20/Hwy 28
Wheel Base: 112.4 inches
Warranty: 10 years/100,000-miles powertrain limited
Also consider: Buick La Cross, BMW 5 Series, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon