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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

      Take Three for Kia's Big Sedan

    Kia’s second attempt at a full-size sedan, the Cadenza wasn’t a big success for the company. Over the course of four years, less than 30,000 Cadenzas were sold. This might make you think Kia would get out of this segment. Not so. Last year, Kia introduced an all-new Cadenza with various improvements to try and improve the fortunes of it. Let us see if they make a difference.

    • The previous-generation Cadenza didn’t really stand out in terms of design. The only distinctive item you could point out was the tiger nose grille. Otherwise, it was 195.7-inches of car. This has been addressed with the redesign of the Cadenza and it looks quite sharp. Up front, Kia has widened and added a concave shape to the tiger nose grille The front LED headlights feature a unique Z-strand to provide some eye candy. Move towards the side and it looks like an Audi A7 in profile with the hatchback-esq sloping roofline.
    • Kia has made some noticeable improvements to the Cadenza to look and feel more premium. There is abundance of soft-touch materials used on the dashboard and door panels, along with surprising touches such as the dark wood trim and quilted leather on the seat bolsters. The center stack has been slightly tweaked with a revised layout that makes it easier to find the various functions.
    • In terms of tech, the Cadenza Limited features an 8-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. We like UVO as its interface is simple to understand and is quite fast in terms of performance. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto add another plus point for this system. The Limited also comes with a heads-up display which can display speed, navigation, and other details. In our test car, the display was quite blurry and you had to really focus on it to make out what it was showing. Hopefully, this issue was only limited to this particular vehicle.
    • Those sitting the back will appreciate the large amount of legroom available. Headroom is quite tight for taller passengers due to the roofline and optional panoramic sunroof. 
    • Power comes from a 3.3L V6 offering up 290 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. This is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic. Compared to the last Cadenza we drove back in 2013, the new model feels slightly quicker. Part of that can be attributed to the new automatic that helps keep the engine in the sweet spot of power. However, the Cadenza does lose out to competitors in terms of acceleration. Those who timed the Cadenza to 60 mph said it takes between 6.5 to 6.8 seconds, which puts it on the slow end of the full-size sedan class.
    • Fuel economy also falls behind competitors with EPA figures of 20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. I saw an average of 22.1 mpg for the week with mostly city driving.
    • Kia has done a great job of giving the Cadenza one of the smoothest rides in the class. Even roads ladened with potholes are mostly ironed out. Road and wind noises are kept to very acceptable levels.
    • This does mean the Cadenza shows a fair amount of body roll when cornering. Passengers will be bracing themselves if you decide to take a corner a bit too fast. For most buyers, this isn’t a huge deal.
    • Our test Cadenza Limited rung in at $45,290 with destination, which is a lot of cash to drop on a big sedan. It is a nice sedan and can justify the large price tag, but will people be willing to spend that much for a Kia? Personally, I would get the Technology as that gets you everything you need and comes in under $39,000.
    • It seems odd that Kia is competing in a class where their previous attempts didn’t really make a dent. But the second-generation Cadenza shows Kia isn’t willing to give up in a certain class. While the full-size sedan class is venturing into the sunset, it is nice to see automakers give it their all to produce models that stand out. The Cadenza is a prime example of this.

    Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Cadenza, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Kia
    Model: Cadenza
    Trim: Limited
    Engine: 3.3L DOHC 24-Valve GDI V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,400 
    Torque @ RPM: 253 @ 5,200 
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/28/23
    Curb Weight: 3,770 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hwaseong, South Korea
    Base Price: $44,390.00
    As Tested Price: $45,290.00 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)

    Options: N/A

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    It's an OK car in a dying segment competing with great cars (Impala, Avalon, Lacrosse). At $45k, you can get a loaded Lacrosse that will dust this thing in acceleration, luxury, and fuel economy, not to mention available torque vectoring AWD. At $35-40k, you're squarely against the Impala and Avalon with better V6s and great road manners.

    I see the Cadenza as the car getting passed over for Kia Optima Limited models (which I see regularly) on their own lot, which is unfortunate because it's better than the Optima. It's not the segment buster it has to be to succeed.

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    The problem with all these full size sedans, is what does a Cadenza do that an Optima Limited doesn't?  The Optima with a turbo is probably quicker and rides/handles similar.  The Optima seats 5, probably has most of the same features, same infotainment, and the Optima is about 4 inches shorter, so it isn't like you give up loads of interior room.   It is just a tough segment for any automaker as most people don't want a large sedan, and even if they do, they probably don't see it worth paying $10k extra to get an Avalon or Cadenza over a Camry or Optima.

    I always thought the Cadenza had a nice interior.  But I wouldn't spend $45k on a Kia sedan, it isn't that nice.

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    On 5/31/2017 at 10:15 PM, smk4565 said:

    The problem with all these full size sedans, is what does a Cadenza do that an Optima Limited doesn't?  The Optima with a turbo is probably quicker and rides/handles similar.  The Optima seats 5, probably has most of the same features, same infotainment, and the Optima is about 4 inches shorter, so it isn't like you give up loads of interior room.   It is just a tough segment for any automaker as most people don't want a large sedan, and even if they do, they probably don't see it worth paying $10k extra to get an Avalon or Cadenza over a Camry or Optima.

    I always thought the Cadenza had a nice interior.  But I wouldn't spend $45k on a Kia sedan, it isn't that nice.

    Optima turbos are slow. Like 7+ seconds to 60 and a mid-15 1/4 mile while sounding like a blender. I'd definitely take a Cadenza over the Optima Limited.

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    On 5/31/2017 at 0:20 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

    45K for a KIA......let that sink in for a moment.

    I'd spend a few grand more and get an A4 Prestige, lol. Or anything else, really.

    Or a life time supply of bus passes, actually...or a Cannondale and $43,500 in the bank.....

    On 6/1/2017 at 11:39 PM, cp-the-nerd said:

    Optima turbos are slow. Like 7+ seconds to 60 and a mid-15 1/4 mile while sounding like a blender. I'd definitely take a Cadenza over the Optima Limited.

    I have a kitchen appliance that would like a written apology from you for defamation of character.

    On 5/31/2017 at 10:15 PM, smk4565 said:

    The problem with all these full size sedans, is what does a Cadenza do that an Optima Limited doesn't?  The Optima with a turbo is probably quicker and rides/handles similar.  The Optima seats 5, probably has most of the same features, same infotainment, and the Optima is about 4 inches shorter, so it isn't like you give up loads of interior room.   It is just a tough segment for any automaker as most people don't want a large sedan, and even if they do, they probably don't see it worth paying $10k extra to get an Avalon or Cadenza over a Camry or Optima.

    I always thought the Cadenza had a nice interior.  But I wouldn't spend $45k on a Kia sedan, it isn't that nice.

    Actually the Avalon is a pretty decent product and everyone I know with them is very happy with them. Better yet, they don't go around comparing them to every other car on the planet on automotive forums.  C and G is the only place where we can go from talking about a 65 VW Bus and van life to an S class Mercedes and its role as the number one selling luxury car in less than ten posts.

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      At least using the phone as the vehicle's key does work a bit better. It only takes a few seconds for the phone to make the connection to the vehicle and you can start it up. Although, I found myself wondering wouldn't it be easier and faster to have the key. The only feature that makes any sense to me is the ability to share the key with other people, but lock down certain aspects.
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      Calm and Collected
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      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

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      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
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      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
  • Posts

    • There are so many effing reasons to believe we actually went.    https://youtu.be/UT23ogeC1nI
    • Been a crazy Tuesday, so playing devils advocate and yes it is an established FACT, I agree with you on. But still stirring the pot to see what rises!  
    • Honda showed off their first of 10 up coming BEVs, the Honda SUV e:prototype which is scheduled to go on sale spring 2022 as the first Honda-brand EV in China. Interesting is that Honda has kept very quiet about their Global plans for EV's or even PHEVs. Honda which has not in the past had much R&D into BEVs signed a contract with GM to use their BEV platform for EVs and one could make the assumption that this is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV auto. Honda has also stated that they will use the Ultium platform of batteries and motors in future auto's also. If this Honda SUV e-prototype is based on the Chevrolet Bolt platform, it is a striking image. Honda also then premiered their Breeze PHEV as their first ever plug-in hybrid model. This auto is based on Honda's original hybrid system that has been sold in Europe as well as the North America market. The Breeze will go on sale in China in the second half of 2021. Honda has stated that their third generation of Honda CONNECT will be available in the Breeze and all new products coming out in China this year and moving forward. All Honda brand auto's will have advanced driver-assistive systems and over-the-air updates, wireless delivery of software updates. Honda Global | April 19 , 2021 "Honda Exhibits the World Premiere of the “Honda SUV e:prototype” at Auto Shanghai 2021" View full article
    • https://jalopnik.com/the-evos-is-the-future-of-ford-sedans-like-it-or-not-1846721014         https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a36166446/lincoln-zephyr-concept-revealed-china/              
    • You can't question something that is an established FACT.  It is like flat earthers questioning if the Earth really a globe. I am not going to even discuss this.  Honestly, I was of a higher opinion of you.
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