2013 Kia Cadenza. Kia, the Korean manufacturer who’s currently turning everything it touches into gold, seems to think there is potential for another crack at the full size sedan segment. Their previous offering, the baroque and unloved Amanti, didn’t create much of a splash.
We weren’t sad to see the Kia Amanti ride off into the sunset. Its odd styling, floaty suspension and lack of refinement did little to endear it to American buyers. Its replacement, the 2013 Kia Cadenza, on the other hand, has piqued our curiosity, especially in the wake of several new Kia models that have impressed us.
Styling, both inside and out, is a vast improvement over the outgoing Amanti. We expect the drivetrain to make significant strides forward, too. Globally, the Cadenza is offered with engine choices that range from a 162 horsepower four cylinder to a 286-hp V6. We’re currently unsure which power plants will be available to U.S. customers, but expect the V6 will make it stateside when the Cadenza goes on sale late this year. We also count on a six-speed automatic to be the sole transmission choice. We’ve yet to drive the 2013 Kia Cadenza, but check back later in the year for a full review.
The Cadenza includes the brand’s signature grille, illuminated headlight cluster surrounds and an Audi esque rump with LED taillights. Knowing who they kidnapped their head designer from, this should come as no surprise.
With a wheelbase of 2,845 millimetres and an overall length of 4,965 mm, the Cadenza is shorter than all other full-size sedans except the Nissan Maxima, but Kia is announcing class-leading front headroom and legroom.
The new sedan’s interior design is elegant, if not quite as striking as in the Optima; the more conventional appearance might be a logical decision, given the target audience. It should include however, the same 3.5 inch colour LCD trip computer, located in the speedo and tach, that’s found in its smaller sister. A 12.3-inch LCD screen should also highlight the centre stack.
In foreign-market Cadenzas (it’s actually called the K7 in Korea), where the car is already on sale, interior features include available packages with suede, Nappa leather, aluminum accents, a power rear window sunshade, ventilated front seats, an overhead lighting console with LED lamps, a power panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel and a folding rear-seat armrest with auxiliary audio and seat heater controls. Exactly how many of these features will be carried over to our market remains to be confirmed (we say bring ‘em all).
Safety features haven’t been spared, as the sedan will be equipped with eight airbags, audible front and rear park assist, a rear view camera, a lane-departure warning system as well as traction and electronic stability control systems.
Although the Cadenza show car unveiled at the 2009 Seoul Auto Show flaunted 20-inch alloy wheels, our production version will likely feature 17- and 18-inch wheels instead. The Korean-market version makes do with a 2.4 litre inline-4 (201 hp) and a 3.0-litre V6 (270 hp), but we’ll only get the company’s 3.5-litre V6, serving up 290 horsepower and mated to a 6-speed automatic.
According to Kia Canada, the Cadenza will arrive on our market in the fall of 2012 at the earliest. Final specs, features and pricing should be available early next year.