We return to Kia’s giant sedan historical past in the present day, at a degree shortly after the launch of the K7. Kia’s full-size front-drive for the 2010s, the K7 was referred to as Cadenza in all export markets, and was a successor to the sadly styled Opirus (Amanti in North America). Kia employed Peter Schreyer from his longtime employment at Volkswagen Group in an effort to usher in a brand new stylistic period at Kia.
Though it went on sale for the 2010 mannequin yr, Kia wasn’t fairly able to ship the Cadenza to the North American market. With the market’s basic rejection of the Amanti in thoughts, Kia referred to as on Schreyer to refresh the Cadenza and lux it up earlier than its North American launch.
Kia made an announcement in January 2013 that it could supply the Cadenza in North America, starting with the 2014 mannequin yr. Before it went on sale, Kia facelifted its giant sedan with entrance and rear clip edits. It was an try so as to add some further European-type stylistic pleasure into the Cadenza, and step away from its fairly bland authentic appears.
The modifications consisted largely of the aforementioned clip edits, in addition to a brand new wheel design. The grille of the 2014 Cadenza took on a mesh grid sample, rather than the easy chromed horizontal bars of the debut look. The grille was smaller than earlier than, and decrease down. It was newly surrounded by plastic on the entrance clip, which was formed to appear like an extension of the hood. This meant the hood shut line was not alongside the highest fringe of the grille, however was in the course of nowhere.
The grille’s form was enhanced with a extra outlined Tiger Nose look in its higher and decrease indentations, and transitioned from the outdated model’s protect form right into a extra outlined trapezoid. In distinction, the decrease valance obtained much less detailing: The decrease grille grew wider, and sections to both facet that contained the fog lamps shrunk.
Said fog lamps had been smaller than earlier than, however maintained an identical form. Fog lamps misplaced their chrome detailing, because the trim in that space migrated to the decrease fringe of the separate part that contained the lamp. The trim there was bigger than it was earlier than, and took on an aggressive fin form. Also extra aggressive had been the headlamps, which retained their exterior form however had been sharper trying inside. HiD lamps had been extra outlined trying than they had been beforehand.
The fin-like valance trim drew the attention to a brand new multi-spoke wheel design, which doubled the variety of wheel spokes from 10 to twenty and seemed extra updated. The wheels had been one of many solely modifications alongside the facet of the Cadenza, except for a trim replace to the facet mirrors. The decrease quarter of the mirrors was beforehand physique coloured, however the 2014 replace made that portion black.
At the rear the Cadenza acquired a barely sharper trunk line form than earlier than, which matched a light alteration to the tail lamp design. The revised lamps had been of a sharper trapezoid form, and lacked the curved decrease edge that made them look a bit Volkswagen. They had been additionally easier trying below the lens, as LED lighting arrived. Elsewhere on the rear, a redesigned bumper carried a slimmer chrome trim strip, and added crimson reflector lenses for visible curiosity. There was additionally a revision on the dual exhaust trims, as trapezoids grew to become ovals.
The Cadenza’s inside skilled a notable improve with its 2014 refresh, as Kia supposed the automobile to compete within the decrease finish of the premium market in North America. Gone was the loopy cut-out protect form on the middle stack, changed by a way more fashionable floating design. Materials had been upgraded, trim was made extra substantial to the attention, and wooden appeared.
The heart stack was dominated by a big coloration infotainment contact display screen. Previously the display screen was smaller and had crimson pixels with primary journey info. Buttons on the middle stack had been reworked solely, and seemed extra upscale and extra fashionable. Gauges had been new too; Kia modernized by way of a big central speedometer with a sweeping needle, like a Mercedes-Benz.
The North American Cadenza (just like the Amanti) was meant as a worth proposition premium automobile, and supplied (as normal) the type of tools that often value hundreds further, or was not present in its competitors. Kia supplied Nappa leather-based seats as normal on Cadenza, in white, beige, or black. Navigation and the aforementioned flashy wheels had been additionally normal tools. The leather-based seats had been heated up entrance, and the driving force’s had optionally available air flow. Rear outboard seats may be heated, and rear passengers might optionally expertise pure mild by a dual-pane sunroof.
All Cadenzas within the North American market used the identical 3.3-liter Lambda sequence V6, probably the most highly effective engine supplied within the first era Cadenza. It produced 290 horsepower, and 255 lb-ft of torque – aggressive (however not sporty) on the time. Upon launch, the press usually decided the Cadenza was a pleasant automobile. However, it wasn’t as mushy and comfy as one thing like an Avalon, and wasn’t as sporty as an Acura or as luxurious as a Lexus. Cadenza was firmly within the center floor – and that wasn’t an advantageous place when the badge on the entrance didn’t precisely scream “premium sedan.”
With all its normal options, Kia priced the Cadenza extra like an Acura TL or Lexus ES than its extra related or softer competitors just like the Nissan Maxima or Toyota’s Avalon. The decrease Limited trim requested $35,900 ($44,859 adj.), whereas the upmarket Premium was $41,900 ($52,357 adj.).
Unfortunately, the more-for-less proposition the Cadenza supplied in 2014 wasn’t one that the majority clients discovered interesting. The 2013 launch as a 2014 mannequin yr noticed 8,626 gross sales, with an extra 9,267 in calendar yr 2014. In 2015 that determine dropped to 7,343, and in 2016 it fell once more to 4,738.
And if these American figures appeared lackluster, think about these of Canada: Between 2013 and 2016, Canadian Kia sellers bought 694 Cadenzas complete. The first era’s banner yr there was 2013, the place 195 had been bought. Undeterred, Kia was prepared with an all new Cadenza for the 2017 mannequin yr, which we’ll cowl in one other installment.
For now, we step again to the flip of the last decade as soon as extra. In 2010 when the Cadenza was Kia’s model new sedan, there was one other huge new Kia in improvement that was even bigger, costlier, and extra luxurious. For the primary time for the reason that 2002 Mazda Sentia-sourced Enterprise, Kia ready to promote a full-size, rear-drive luxurious automobile. It was K900 time.
The new Kia’s foundation was sourced from a Hyundai, as one would possibly count on. Hyundai developed a successor to its flagship car a few years earlier than, and in 2010 lastly launched its second era Equus. Hyundai’s first Equus was really a Mitsubishi design, the place Hyundai had some enter in its improvement. The practically 200-inch lengthy sedan was front-wheel drive, and used a longitudinal V6 or V8 engine. Both Hyundai and Mitsubishi produced the brand new sedans (and limousines) at their respective vegetation. While Mitsubishi’s Dignity was a whole flop, Hyundai’s Equus was massively in style, and have become the status giant luxurious sedan to have in South Korea. It remained in manufacturing from 1999 to 2009.
For 2010 its alternative was the brand new rear-drive Equus, which was a pure Hyundai design and was bought to minimal success within the North American market from 2010. It was the Equus’ BH-L rear-drive platform which Kia used for its new luxurious automobile, named KH-L in Kia’s utilization. It could be the primary rear-drive sedan Kia ever bought in North America (their different modern rear-drive factor was the oft-forgot Borrego SUV.)
Much like Cadenza, the K900 was designed by Peter Schreyer. It was additionally penned in within the late 2000s, shortly after the Tiger Nose transformation of the model. Despite its a lot completely different mission, the K900 (above) seemed similar to the Cadenza. We’ll choose up there subsequent time.
[Images: Hyundai, Kia]
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