Premium car sales generate premium profits for automotive brands, which explains why so many companies are taking a stab at building luxury models. This applies even to those without a strong history in the premium segment, like Kia, which is following in the footsteps of corporate parent Hyundai on the way to filling out the top of its lineup with more expensive, classier products. The 2014 Kia Cadenza is an important part of this strategy, providing a full-size sedan that is priced attainably yet outperforms many of its competitors when it comes to feature count and style.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Kia Cadenza.
01. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Is All-New
The 2014 Kia Cadenza represents a new name, and a new platform for the Korean brand. The Kia Cadenza borrows its underpinnings from the Hyundai Azera full-size sedan, which is a great starting point given the positive reception afforded that particular car. It would be a mistake to assume that the Cadenza is merely an Azera with a different badge, however, as the automaker's engineers and stylists have worked hard to give the vehicle not only a distinct personality from behind the wheel but also an exterior and interior design that is unmistakably Kia.
02. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Is Elegantly Sculpted
The 2014 Kia Cadenza manages to be bold in the same manner as most other models in the company's lineup, but it meshes this strong personality with a streamlined shape that trades in angles for curves. Yes, the trapezoidal grille at the front of the Cadenza's hood is somewhat aggressive, but walking around the rest of the car reveals a flowing assembly of steel and glass that has a more European feel than many of Kia's other offerings. That the Cadenza wouldn't look out of place in the Volkswagen lineup is in no way an accusation of plagiarism - rather, it is the acknowledgement that Kia is now building fully mature sedans that carve out their own space stylistically without resorting to over-the-top measures.
03. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Is Aimed At Premium Customers
The 2014 Kia Cadenza marks the first modern model from the automaker to be aimed exclusively at customers seeking high end features and a comfortable ride. Although past attempts at producing a premium Kia have largely cribbed from the Hyundai playbook, and were throwbacks to a time when leather and soundproofing were the apex of luxury, the Cadenza forges its own path in an attempt to convince potential buyers to consider the economy-minded brand. Like Hyundai, Kia is counting on value to lure customers into a showroom that will feature entry-level subcompacts sitting alongside more expensive luxury sedans.
04. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Comes In A Single Trim Level
The 2014 Kia Cadenza attempts to please the widest range of buyers by loading a single trim level with a significant amount of standard equipment. All versions of the Kia Cadenza come with heated leather seats, a navigation system, dual automatic climate control, a keyless ignition and keyless entry feature, Bluetooth connectivity, a back-up camera, and an Infinity surround sound stereo system. Parking assistance complements the Cadenza's rearview camera, and the latter's video feed is displayed on an eight-inch touch screen. The Kia also offers a power driver's seat with 10-way adjustment.
05. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Features Two Options Packages
The 2014 Kia Cadenza can be further customized with a pair of options packages. The Premium package includes adaptive HID headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a special set of LCD gauges that replace the analog units directly in front of the driver, a ventilation feature for the front seats, heaters for the rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and upgraded leather upholstery. The Technology package provides an electric parking brake, adaptive cruise control, a windshield that can actually repel raindrops, 19-inch rims, and a number of safety features (more on those later).
06. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Is Outfitted With A Standard V-6
The 2014 Kia Cadenza is in fact the only Kia sedan to offer a V-6 engine. The sole motor that can be ordered with the automobile, this six-cylinder unit displaces 3.3-liters and generates 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. This makes the Cadenza's V-6 the most powerful six-cylinder in the entire Kia lineup. Although fuel mileage figures have yet to be released, the Cadenza's direct-injection engine is shared with the Hyundai Azera, and when found under the hood of its corporate cousin it offers 20-mpg in stop and go driving and 29-mpg on the highway.
07. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Provides Sporty Performance For Its Size
The 2014 Kia Cadenza isn't intended to serve as a sports sedan, but when compared against its Azera platform-mate it does display some important differences in the handling department. Simply put, the Kia Cadenza has been designed to appeal to premium car buyers who want a little bit of cornering prowess and road feel to go along with a comfortable ride, which puts it in a different category dynamically than the more insulated Hyundai. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available with the Kia, and the unit offers a manual shift mode that can be accessed via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
08. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Replaces The Kia Amanti
Kia's most recent attempt at a luxury vehicle was the Kia Amanti, an awkwardly-styled, chunky mid-size sedan that wasn't quite big enough to challenge larger four-doors in terms of space and comfort. The Kia Cadenza represents an enormous step up from the Amanti, not just in terms of style (where it could be accurately labeled a quantum leap), but also in terms of mechanical refinement. The Cadenza's 3.3-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission are a far cry from the industrial flavor of the Amanti's larger-displacement six-cylinder, and the new platform replaces a chassis that received little attention from Kia designers during the course of its nearly eight-year run in the American market.
09. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Delivers Advanced Safety Features
The 2014 Kia Cadenza is, of course, loaded with the requisite number of airbags required by federal regulators to keep occupants safe during the worst of collisions. In addition to dual forward airbags, side impact airbags, and side curtain airbags that deploy along the entire length of the vehicle's passenger compartment, when equipped with the Technology package the Cadenza also provides a blind spot monitoring system that can detect vehicles lurking just outside of the driver's vision in lane beside it. This system is bundled with a lane departure warning feature that will chime and flash should the driver wander outside of his or her assigned lane without first activating the turn signal.
10. The 2014 Kia Cadenza Will Compete Against A Mixed Group Of Sedans
The 2014 Kia Cadenza is entering into a full-size sedan market where it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell luxury offerings apart from the bread-and-butter models. All-new vehicles like the Toyota Avalon and the Chevrolet Malibu can now be spec'd into near-premium territory, as can the recent Ford Taurus. Hyundai's in-house Azera competitor will likely siphon at least a few sales away from the Cadenza, while automobiles from Lincoln and Acura are also in play. The Cadenza has a hard road ahead of it in terms of differentiating itself from the competition, but if its yet-to-be-announced pricing keeps it in the $35,000 range, it should turn more than a few heads.