In a world where brands like Lincoln and Acura have seen their identities evaporate in a gentle breeze of competent, but forgettable products, it’s unusual to see a luxury vehicle like the 2014 Kia Cadenza come into being. The Kia Cadenza sashays onto the world stage wrapped in a startlingly eye-catching package that conceals a remarkably old-school take on how a premium car should drive - and one that doesn’t seem to line up with the successful strategy of innovation and re-definition that the Korean brand has followed in recent years.
In fact, it’s hard for me to describe the 2014 Kia Cadenza in accurate terms without it sounding as though I am criticizing the car. Typically, any vehicle that hints that it might be more interested in not spilling your coffee than winging through the slalom with its tires on fire draws the ire of automotive journalists. In this case, however, because I am so certain that Kia designed the Cadenza to be exactly what it is and that it’s less-than-engaging driving character is not accidental, I am happy to evaluate the vehicle on its own merits rather than hold it up to a standard that was clearly never part of the sedan’s design brief.