That's a good looking saloon...
It is indeed. Kia seems to have grown out of that phase where it tried too hard to impress with its designs. The new Cadenza's styling is more understated and elegant than that of any previous Kia model.
Have they changed the Tiger Nose grille?
No, it's still a Tiger Nose, but in the Cadenza it gets two variants, the ‘Diamond Butterfly’ and the ‘Intaglio’. The grille itself is more concave than before.
How about the interior?
The cabin is also simple and clean in its layout, and the quality of materials and workmanship is much better than what we have been used to in a Kia this side of Quoris. There's quilted Nappa leather upholstery and good quality wooden trim to choose from the four interior packages offered.
Is it spacious inside?
It's probably one of the roomiest in class, which also includes the Toyota Avalon, the Nissan Maxima and the Chevrolet Impala. The leg and headroom at the rear is particularly impressive.
Any mechanical changes from the first generation?
There are two powertrain options offered, both variants of Kia's 3.3-litre Lambda V6. The top end GDI engine makes 284 horsepower, while the lower spec MPI unit puts out 270 horses.
That's not much of a difference...
You're right. In terms of power, there isn't much of a difference. But the big difference is in the transmission. The GDI is mated to a super slick eight speed auto box, the first of its kind in a Kia. Meanwhile the MPI's power is transferred to the front wheels by a six speed gearbox.
How's the ride and handling?
Even in these departments, the Cadenza has improved quite a few notches over the previous model. The ride is as smooth as that of an Avalon or a Lexus ES 350, while the steering offers significantly more feedback than the previous one's.
Kia has always been good with technology features? Is it the same with the Cadenza?
Yes it is. In fact the Cadenza is packed with the kind of tech features seen in models from a more premium class. From head up display, smart trunk and wireless charging to blind spot detection, smart cruise control, lane departure warning system and around view monitor, the list of features is quite impressive.
It must be expensive then...
Well, the price for our region hasn't been announced yet, but Kia assures us that it will be quite competitively priced. Hopefully by the time we bring you the full review in the mag the prices should be out.