Kia moves toward luxury with Cadenza

It was 18 years ago that Kia Motors entered the U.S. marketplace. After a shaky start, the company turned itself around and is now the eighth-largest brand in the country. It is one of only three brands whose U.S. sales have increased for each of the past four years.

Continuing the momentum, Kia has seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles making their debut this year. One of them, the 2014 Cadenza five-passenger sedan, was introduced to members of the automotive media last week in Del Mar, Calif.

Cadenza is Kia’s new flagship vehicle. Dressed in equipment associated more with upscale brands, it’s designed to give Kia a nudge into the mid-luxury market.

In the Cadenza press kit, Kia steers away from “luxury” to define the car, opting instead for “premium-level.” Cadenza’s intended niche is described as “the emerging market between mainstream and luxury.”

At the media program, Orth Hedrick, director of product planning at Kia, described Cadenza’s target customers as looking for standard premium appointments, advanced technology, a dynamic ride, luxury-car craftsmanship, and Euro-inspired styling without the European price tag. He said Cadenza offers best-in-class interior volume and front legroom.

Among the vehicles Kia named as Cadenza’s competitors are the Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon, Acura TL and Lincoln MKZ.

The Cadenza is sport-tuned, has front-wheel drive configuration and is put forth in one trim level, the Premium. Its engine is Kia’s most powerful to date: a 3.3-liter GDI (gasoline direct injected) V6 generating 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with Sportmatic manual shift ability, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are standard. It comes with 18-inch wheels; 19-inchers are optional.

Fuel economy ratings are 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and regular unleaded gasoline is recommended.

Standard features include fog lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, 10-way power adjustable (including lumbar) driver’s seat, four-way power front passenger seat, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control with rear-seat vents, smart key keyless entry, navigation system with 8-inch display screen, Sirius Traffic, Bluetooth, rear-view camera, a 550-watt CD/MP3 Infinity audio system with 12 speakers and satellite radio, and Kia’s UVO eServices telematics system.

Seats are leather, with premium Nappa leather available as an option. Classy highlights in the cabin include wood and chrome accents and soft touch points.

Among the other available options are a panoramic sunroof with power-operated shade, ventilated driver’s seat, power rear sunshade, power-adjustable steering wheel column, and a heated steering wheel. A lane departure warning system and a blind spot detection system are also available, and Cadenza is the first Kia to offer advanced smart cruise control, which automatically maintains a set distance from the car in front of it.

Optional features are clustered into two packages: Luxury and Technology.

Base pricing, including destination charge, starts at $35,900. Add the Luxury Package and the total is $38,900. A fully loaded version including both the Luxury and Technology packages is $41,900.

Cadenza is the first Kia to come with a complimentary scheduled maintenance program. It’s built in South Korea and is arriving now at local dealerships.

More in Herald Business Journal

Best foot forward: Ferndale company to make custom shoes easy

Long specializing in insoles, Superfeet is putting 3-D machines in stores to make customized shoes.

Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz has been called up and will be spending much of the year away from his office. He is going to Afghanistan. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Port of Everett CEO reporting for duty — in Afghanistan

Les Reardanz has been called to active duty with the Navy for an eight-month deployment.

Alaska Airlines to announce Paine Field destinations Tuesday

The Snohomish County airport’s passenger terminal is slated to see flights this fall.

Early boarding pass: Everett’s rising passenger terminal

Here’s what to expect when two airlines begin passenger service at Paine Field later this year.

Closing of 63 Sam’s Club stores impacts small business

The retailer has historically prided itself on the services it has provided small business members.

Ford goes ‘all in’ on electric cars with $11 billion investment

That’s up from the $4.5 billion that Ford said in late 2015 it would invest through the end of the decade.

New pickups from Ram, Chevy heat up big-truck competition

Big pickup truck sales are important to automakers, which make huge profits on them.

Intel underfoot: Floor sensors rise as retail data source

The sensors can also be used in office buildings to reduce energy costs and nursing homes for falls.

Most Read