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REVIEW • MOTOR MATTERS

2016 KIA CADENZA

2016 KIA CADENZA

The Kia Cadenza joined the South Korean
automaker’s lineup in 2014 as its first full-size sedan.
Though it’s been joined by the larger, rear-drive
K900 luxury four-door, the Cadenza still strikes us as
the ultimate sedan in the Kia lineup. It’s styled and
packaged well, has a premium level of refinement,
and proves that Kia should be taken seriously at the
$40,000 price point. Luxury badge or not, it can seem
like a very good deal to a great many families and
comfort-minded folks.
The Cadenza is closely related to the Hyundai
Azera, but the two are well differentiated by unique
exterior and interior treatments. The Azera’s smooth,
flowing design and deeply sculpted sheetmetal stand
in contrast to the Cadenza’s taut, more athletic look.
Inside, there’s a mix of traditional and forward-thinking
design. The look is rich and finely detailed, with softtouch and nicely grained materials for the upper dash,
plus woodgrain for the steering wheel and dash and
door trim. Controls and displays are laid out in a cockpit
style, with plenty of supplementary steering-wheel
controls.
The Cadenza feels quick and responsive relative to
other large front-drive four-doors, but it’s not a true
sport sedan by any stretch. Power is provided by a
3.3-liter V-6, making 293 horsepower and 255 poundfeet. The V-6 doesn’t make all that much torque at the
low end of the rev band, which means that stepping
away from a standing start, or up a steep hill, feels a bit

.com

BASE PRICE

more sluggish than you’d guess from its power output—
until the revs build, and then you rocket ahead. Steering
lacks road feel and requires a lot of small corrections
to stay on course on the highway. Still, When driven at
anything but a sport-sedan pace, this is a car that feels
confident on the back roads yet maneuverable in town.
The Cadenza has top-notch interior comfort, without
those boat-like old-fashioned big-car motions. It’s
also luxury-car quiet inside. Get the Luxury Package
and you’ll have ventilated front seats, heated rear
seats, and even an extendable driver’s thigh bolster—
something rare in this class of cars and something that
will be appreciated by tall drivers. In back, the available
panoramic roof really limits headroom, though.
Once you’re in, this is a sedan, that won’t let you down
on the subtle details. The Cadenza is a very quiet-riding
sedan, with almost no wind noise, and very little road
noise, at highway speeds. Materials, and the leather
upholstery, are very impressive throughout the cabin.
The Cadenza has earned top ‘good’ scores from the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in most
tests but hasn’t been subjected to the new smalloverlap crash test, which mimics an impact with a
telephone pole. Because of that lack of data, it’s not
eligible for the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick awards. The NHTSA
hasn’t tested it at all.
Kia isn’t actually calling the Cadenza a luxury sedan-just a ‘premium’ one. And it’s in an in-between market
niche that some shoppers might find just right. At

SITTING PARKED FOR EXTENDED
PERIOD WILL NOT DAMAGE A CAR
BY RAY MAGLIOZZI

Hi, Ray:
Dear Car Talk:
I own a Honda Fit that is included in the
big air-bag recall. Honda has provided me
with a loaner car while we wait for parts
to fix the problem (thank you, Honda).
When Honda gives you a loaner, you sign
a statement agreeing not to drive your car
at all. The recall notice from Honda also
indicates that the Fit should not be driven
until the repairs are made. My car has now
been sitting in my garage for nearly three
months. What damage might be happening
to my car, if anything, because it has been
sitting for so long? -- Fred

$32,990

about $34,000, the
EPA est. MPG
19/28
Cadenza includes lots
of standard equipment
SPECS
•	6-speed Shiftable Automatic
and is quite the value
•	5 Yr./ 60000 Mi.
considering it’s about
•	Bluetooth
the same price as a
well-optioned Optima
•	V6
(SX Limited), Accord,
•	Front Wheel Drive
or Camry , all of which
•	5 Star Consumer Rating
are smaller. With
•	Top-notch Interior Comfort
the Luxury Package
and the Technology
Package added to
that, you get things like a panoramic sunroof, power
retractable sunshade, Nappa ventilated seats, a heated
steering wheel, 19-inch alloys, smart cruise control,
blind-spot detection, and lane departure warning—all
for about $43,000.
The Cadenza gets Kia’s UVO eServices system, which
provides integrated roadside assistance, diagnostics,
and other services, through a paired smartphone (no
separate subscription is required). It also has Kia’s eightinch touch-screen system that responds well to natural
voice commands and includes plenty of traditional
physical buttons to back things up. Navigation is
included as a standard feature, and it’s one of the best
systems on the market, with clear, colorful displays, live
traffic information, and easy-to-intuit split-screen views.
www.thecarconnection.com

Nothing. The worst thing that will happen is
that the battery will go dead and you’ll lose all
your radio presets.
It’s possible that the belts will dry out a little
bit and you’ll get a small amount of surface
rust on your brake discs, which will wear off
in 20 minutes of driving. I guess if you’re truly
unlucky, a family of mice might move in and
procreate under your hood. Even mice find the
Fit roomy.
If you had written to us when you first
parked the Fit, I would have suggested that you
disconnect the battery. But it’s kind of done
that on its own. It’s probably dead by now, and
will need to be recharged. But that’s not a big
deal.
If it’s not dead, I suppose you could run the
engine for half an hour every other week or so.
You’re not supposed to drive it, but I assume
there’s no danger in starting it. Well, just to
be safe, put on a football helmet and turn your
head to the right before you turn the key.
But honestly, Fred, at this point I would do
nothing; just leave it. When Honda calls you
and says your parts are in, tell them to send

a tow truck to come and get it. After all, it’s
not safe for you to drive it, so they won’t be
expecting you to start it and drive it in.
And the tow-truck driver will jump-start the
car if he needs to. Then Honda will recharge
the battery when they make the repairs.
And then when your car is completely
repaired, you can drive your loaner back to the
Honda dealer, swap it for your car, and leave
them the football helmet, too.

***
Keep your car on the road and out of the
repair shop by ordering Click and Clack’s
pamphlet “Ten Ways You May Be Ruining
Your Car Without Even Knowing It!” Send
$4.75 (check or money order) to Car Talk/
Ruin, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL
32803.

***
Got a question about cars? Write to Car
Talk in care of this newspaper, or email
by visiting the Car Talk website at www.
cartalk.com. (c) 2016 by Ray Magliozzi
and Doug Berman. Distributed by King
Features Syndicate, Inc.

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