Perhaps you’ve already noticed this, but the traditional lines of distinction between what does and does not constitute a luxury car have blurred. Don’t worry. You don’t need an optometrist. You just need to decide whether you want a luxury car for the badge it wears, or if you want a luxury car because it is actually luxurious.
If you’re in the latter camp, allow me to direct your attention to the new 2014 Kia Cadenza. Yeah, that’s a Kia up there in that photo, a full-size sedan equipped with $6,000 in option packages and wearing a window sticker of $41,900.
Now, before you choke on that number, keep in mind that loaded versions of the Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Impala, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Avalon can easily cost that much, or more. And the thing is, when I get into the Kia Cadenza and drive it, those aren’t the models that I think of as key competitors. Instead, I’d peg this against an Acura TL or RL, a Cadillac XTS, a Hyundai Genesis, a Lexus ES, a Lincoln MKS, and a Volvo S60 or S80.
That, dear reader, makes the 2014 Cadenza a raging bargain of a luxury sedan, even if it wears a Kia badge.