Why the 2015 Kia K900 Matters:
With corporate parent Hyundai wowing luxury seekers with the full-size Equus sedan, it was only a matter of time before Kia got into the act, too. The 2015 Kia K900 borrows its platform from the Equus, but it presents itself with the styling flair that has become the trademark of the Korean brand. Ostensibly, the K900 aims its ultra-premium act at vehicles like the Lexus LS, and, to a lesser extent, the Audi A8, and while dynamically its chassis and drivetrains might not be at quite the same level as its German rivals the vehicle does deliver when it comes to comfort equipment and technological gadgetry.
What’s New for the 2015 Kia K900:
- The 2015 Kia K900 is an entirely new vehicle
- The K900 is the first entry for the Korean brand into the upscale luxury segment
- Platform is borrowed from the Hyundai Equus, but styling is more dynamic
- The K900 bears Kia’s only V-8 engine option and rear-wheel drive layout
- The full-size sedan also debuts new advanced safety equipment for the brand.
New 2015 Kia K900: Styling and Design
Although the 2015 Kia K900’s overall proportions might be reminiscent of the Hyundai Equus, it manages to carve out its own visual identity through the careful implementation of the same cues that work so well on vehicles like the Kia Cadenza and the Kia Forte. Kia’s styling department has graduated from outright theft to genuine inspiration, which is why the K900 looks familiar and not at all out of place alongside other luxury cars such as the previously-mentioned Lexus and the Jaguar XJ. On the whole, the K900 is even more successful than the handsome Cadenza at emitting a premium vibe, which is important when attempting to convince buyers to fork over their hard-earned dollars in the absence of an established brand’s logo on the trunk lid.
New 2015 Kia K900: What’s Under the Hood
The 2015 Kia K900 starts out with a 311 horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6, with the option of upgrading to a 5.0-liter (CHECK) eight-cylinder mill good for 420 horses. The latter is a first for Kia, although we have seen both of these direct-injection engines in one form or another across a variety of Hyundai products in the past, and each delivers respectable performance.
Also new with the Kia K900 is its standard eight-speed automatic transmission, a gearbox tuned more for smooth cruising than abject acceleration – which is perfectly acceptable given the market that Kia is targeting with the car. Fuel mileage figures have yet to be released for the K900, but look for them to be in line with the 15-mpg city and 23-mpg highway offered by the Equus. All-wheel drive is not currently on the options sheet for the sedan, which might turn off a few potential northern buyers.
New 2015 Kia K900: Features and Technology
The 2015 Kia K900 can be loaded to the gills with gear, which, in addition to its quiet ride, sleek styling, and affordable price, figures to be the main attraction for luxury car shoppers. Much of the gee-whiz stuff is aimed at rear-seat riders, including available fully-reclining outboard buckets, the ability to remotely tilt the front passenger seat forward, and full heating and cooling for those sitting in the back. Expect power assistance everywhere in the car – including the trunk lid – as well as Kia’s latest vehicle interface technology.
From a safety perspective, the Kia K900 comes standard with front and rear cameras to make parking easier, and ultrasonic parking assistance is also on hand to help berth the large sedan. A top-down camera system, blind spot monitoring system, a lane departure warning system, and rear cross-traffic detection system can also be had with the car, and its optional stop-and-go adaptive cruise control comes with Kia’s first implementation of its forward collision warning system.
2015 Kia K900: What Autobytel Thinks
The parallels between the 2015 Kia K900 and the current Hyundai Equus are definitely there, but what’s interesting are the very different marketing efforts associated with each car. Whereas the Equus is available with no Hyundai badging at all, (along with a dealership experience that includes concierge service and guaranteed isolation from other Hyundai customers and models if so desired), the K900 is very proudly a Kia – both in styling and attitude. Kia also claims that the K900 is more of a driver’s car than one might expect, and the presence of a V-6 option indicates that the brand is striking a balance between the attainable and the aspirational. Either way, the K900 will be a low-volume model that should help the brand decide the course of future luxury efforts.
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