2014 Kia Cadenza
Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications for Kia Motors America (KMA), talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com about the 2014 Kia Cadenza.
The most technically advanced Kia e-ver is how Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA, introduced the 2014 Kia Cadenza. Sprague went on to make a joke about the brand awareness of Kia in the beginning, with people ending up at Ikea, instead of a Kia. After just 18 years of being in the United States, Kia is the 8th largest car company and you still can’t buy them at Ikea.
Sprague says the days of ostentatious display of wealth has diminished since 2008, that there have been changes, “people want a richer life instead of a life of riches.”
The Cadenza is offered in one trim level, known as Premium, with a starting MSRP of $35,100, plus $800 destination and handling for a total of $35,900. If you tweak out your car with all the luxury and technology available the car will still be under $41,900.
The average price in this segment is $44,765, with competitors such as Buick Lacrosse, Toyota Avalon, Acura TL, Hyundai Azera, Nissan Maxima, and Lincoln MKZ. The Toyota Avalon comes the closest, in my opinion, to design and luxury to the Cadenza.
The Cadenza shares the same wheelbase as the Kia Optima and is the closest in nature to a Hyundai Azera, Kia’s parent company.
The Cadenza is equipped with Kia’s most powerful 3.3-liter that utilizes a gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology V-6 engine ever. The smooth-revving 3.3-liter utilizes gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology that improves performance while producing fewer emissions. Power comes through a six-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sportmatic manual shift mode and paddle shifters. The GDI powerplant produces 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 255 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm.
I slid into the fully loaded Cadenza, grabbed the leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel, put the heated seat on, and set the NAV system to our intended destination. My colleague, sitting in the back seat, put his heated seat on as well, just one more plush option on a Kia that shouldn’t have made it to the United States.
Known as K-7 in Korea the Cadenza wasn’t scheduled for the U.S. market, but once Kia realized the success of the Optima they also realized there was more room to grow. Just bringing out a bigger vehicle wasn’t in the cards, this car is full of standards that set the bar for the rest of the competition.
Henry Bzeih, Chief Technology Strategist Connected Car & infotainment was excited to announce that the UVO connect, which Has about 10 million lines of code, is free for the first 10 years or 100,000 miles and will be SIRI friendly by 2014. Bzeih said that in a study by Stanford University, focused on On-Star as the study, people said they thought of On-Star as an insurance policy, but weren’t interested in paying for it. It only made sense after that to offer UVO for free!
You add the amenities from paddle shifters, eight standard airbags, heated steering wheel, a hot and cold seat for the driver, panoramic sunroof, ergonomic keyfob, Kia’s first blind spot detection system, and adaptive cruise control and sunscreen in back with a shield and you’ve got luxury items on a car that rival the Genesis or Equus. Add in the complimentary factory scheduled maintenance program and you’ve got a credible contender in the premium sedan segment that will give the competition a run for its money. Money, that if you are smart, you are saving.