2017 Kia Cadenza

Where do they come up with these names? Cadenza? Sounds like a piece of furniture, credenza. Outside of the name I’ll give Kia an “A” for effort.

The Cadenza is Kia’s Camry fighter. It’s within inches of a Camry’s size. Unlike others the Cadenza offers only one engine, a 3.3-liter V6. It’s rated at 290 hp. The only transmission is an 8-speed automatic. No one seems to rave about Kia’s powertrains but I cannot find fault with them. The power and refinement are on par with the competition. And Kia offers a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I know a few people who own a Kia and I’ve heard no complaints about reliability.

The Cadenza is a nicely styled vehicle in my opinion. And fit and finish, at least outside, is good. Where I found the Cadenza fell short was its interior.

At first look it is gorgeous. The seats are trimmed with Nappa leather. I would prefer almost any color rather than the white of these seats though – white looks great when it’s clean but it’s a chore keeping it clean (at least for me).

The problem is some of the trim just seemed, well there’s no other word, cheap. There are “wood grain” interior accents that in no way look or feel like real wood. I have a habit of bracing my left knee on the door. In the Cadenza my knee was up against the door speaker and the speaker cover flexed constantly making an annoying creaking noise.

Yes these are small things but small things can ruin an otherwise excellent car.

Kia prides itself in being less expensive than the competition. It’s hard to compare because there are only three Cadenza models; Premium, Technology, and Limited. The Limited, the model tested is the top model and it is more expensive than a Camry XSE V6.

I enjoyed the Cadenza. I actually got along with the technology in it. I’d call it a luxury car. But it needs work to be a real contender. Just my opinion.

3.3-liter V6
290 hp
253 lb-ft
8-speed automatic




3,799 lbs.

Fuel economy
20 mpg city/28 mpg highway

Tire size


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