Affordable luxury comes to life in the 2014 Kia Cadenza, the new, intriguing model from the South Korean car maker. This big, cushy sedan extends Kia’s winning streak, but into a higher-cost category. Kia hits the target with the new 2014 Cadenza: “A powerful, eye-catching statement that artfully fuses luxury, performance and technology into one expectation-defying package.”
The 2014 Kia Cadenza is poised to compete with the likes of BMW, Lexus, Acura, and more with solid, top-quality styling, components, and features, but at a much lower price. The craziest part? Kia could very well pull it off.
This isn’t your parents’ Kia. Granted, this may not even be your older sibling’s Kia, as the automaker has made big changes over the last several years, introducing vehicles known for more than a cheap price tag.
Kia has introduced its fair share of striking designs and favorable warranties, while increasing overall auto quality. The 2014 Kia Cadenza continues this trend, but with a twist — in the price tag. The Cadenza starts at $35,000 MSRP, but can climb to $42,000 fully loaded. That is not a typo.
That much for a Kia? But oh what that $42,000 will get you — and the $35,000 baseline isn’t too shabby either. At the low end, you can expect a 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine; push-button start; heated and power leather seats; navigation; rear parking camera; dual-zone climate control; and a 550-watt Infinity audio system with 12 speakers. Also standard is UVO system, which shows information on album art, satellite radio stations, and hands-free calling. In addition, UVO lets you schedule car maintenance, call for roadside assistance, and even reach out if you forget where you parked your car. And in case you get into an accident and your phone is connected, UVO will call 911 for you.
Step up to the Premium Package ($3,000), and you’ll get a panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather seats, heated rear seats, active front lighting, heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable steering column, seat and mirror memory, and a driver’s thigh cushion extension (handy for taller drivers). The Technology Package ($3,000) introduces 19-inch alloy wheels, water-repellent front-door glass, an electronic parking brake, smart cruise control, blind-spot detection, and lane departure warning. Any more questions on the “affordable” or “luxury”?
Set yourself in the driver’s seat of the 2014 Kia Cadenza, and you’ll find a sophisticated, grown-up interior, complete with an analog clock (the true mark of a luxury vehicle). The touchscreen sits center to display driving directions, entertainment info, temperature settings, or whatever your needs dictate. Cruise control and voice commands, meanwhile, can be found on the steering wheel.
Clearly, the 2014 Kia Cadenza breaks the mold of Kia’s previous economy cars — this is not a little box, and it takes up a good amount of space. Up to five adults can ride inside, though maybe only four for longer distances; whatever the number, they can revel in the abundant legroom. The sunroof will steal headroom in the back, so maybe seat the taller cohorts in the passenger seat. Comfort levels vary, but some passengers may find the seats to be a little soft and in need of better support — so be warned. The trunk is generous enough for groceries and shopping, and it closes with a satisfying “thunk.”
Despite its European appearance (courtesy of Peter Schreyer, also known as the father of the Audi TT), the 2014 Kia Cadenza is not a sports car. It offers a smooth, comfortable ride, but it won’t burn any speed records on the road. It can get you and your passengers up a hill, but expect a steadier ascent, as opposed to a rocket launch. Whatever the elevation, you can look forward to a quiet ride; the 2014 Kia Cadenza lets in surprisingly little wind or road noise — the better to hear the sounds coming from the Infinity stereo system or to conduct your hands-free phone conversations.
You and your passengers, no matter what their height, will be pleased to know the 2014 Kia Cadenza comes with eight standard airbags, including front and rear seat-mounted side bags and full-length side-curtain bags, to accompany the other safety features, such as a rear camera and backup warning sensors. The various safety agencies haven’t yet rated the 2014 Kia Cadenza, but a closely related vehicle (the Hyundai Azera) earned top scores, and it could stand to reason the Cadenza would follow the same path.
The only slight blemish on the 2014 Kia Cadenza may be its mileage, which comes in around 19/28 mpg. Keep in mind, however, the Cadenza runs on a V6 engine and uses regular unleaded gasoline — not the higher-octane and higher-priced fuel required by many luxury vehicles.
Kia has made a name for itself in the United States for economy vehicles, but with the 2014 Kia Cadenza sedan, it may soon establish a beachhead in a higher price bracket. However, being Kia, value remains the priority, as the Cadenza delivers top-of-the-line construction, details, and components at a starting price of $35,000 and maxing out at $42,000. Kia is clearly chasing more expensive nameplates with the Cadenza. With its pairing of luxurious touches and a reasonable price, Kia has a good chance of making it happen.
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Written by Jane Emery