Kia’s all-new Cadenza saloon is making its debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show, where its new looks, refined cabin and improved tech represent a clear improvement over its predecessor.
Kia will start selling the second-generation Cadenza in late 2016, with pricing expected to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date, which means we’ll have to wait a while longer until we’ll be able to know its exact value compared to direct rivals.
Kia Motors exec Orth Hedrick said that “the new Cadenza adds an extra dose of excitement to the large-car segment with its striking, aggressively handsome looks and premium refinements. Everything you see and touch in the Cadenza’s cabin has been improved, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”
Underneath its hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine, putting down an estimated 290 HP (exact figures to be released at a later date). The power will go to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based 8-speed automatic transmission – which is said to provide “quick and crisp shifts for a more enjoyable driving experience.”
During development, Kia engineers ran the V6 at full power and under full-load conditions for 41 consecutive days (over 100,000 miles of real-world use), which should put customers’ minds at ease regarding reliability.
In terms of looks, the 2017 Cadenza comes with a new front fascia, which contains the signature “tiger nose” grille, though evolved into a new hexagonal shape that’s also concave – curving toward the engine bay.
The Cadenza will be available with two completely different grilles as lower trim models will come with the ‘Diamond Butterfly’ front grille (same 3D pattern as other siblings within the Kia range), whereas higher trim models will feature the very Maserati-like ‘Intaglio’ grille with vertically oriented faceted blades.
Onlookers will also notice the Z-shaped lighting signatures in both the headlights as well as the LED taillights which should afford the all-new Cadenza a more distinctive road presence whether it’s day time or night.
Inside, there are higher quality materials than in the preceding model, though it’s the wraparound dashboard that flows into the door panels that visually widens the cabin. The door panels themselves now feature higher quality soft-touch materials, while soft leather can be found all over the Cadenza’s cabin space.
The driver will sit lower for a sportier and more stable feeling, while the new Head Up Display will provide key information such as speed and turn-by-turn navigation. Additionally, the Surround View Monitor has been updated with better software and resolution, giving the driver a clearer view of the area around the vehicle.
As for connectivity, the Cadenza will feature the latest generation of Kia’s UVO system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, while a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon system with Clari-Fi music restoration tech will serve as an optional extra.
Safety-wise, the all-new 2017 Kia Cadenza will pack systems such as the Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning. Another first for Kia is the Smart Blind Spot Detection System which senses unintentional drifting toward an adjacent vehicle and automatically brakes the opposite side front wheel to help maintain the vehicle’s intended course.