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2014 Kia Cadenza

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2014 Kia Cadenza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

Mixing a segment-straddling starting price of just over $35,000 with premium-level amenities including an available Nappa leather upgrade, the 2014 Kia Cadenza large sedan is a new expression of the automaker's feature-driven value offering. Kia's largest and priciest offering to date, the Cadenza conveys a sportier image than either its Hyundai Azera corporate cousin or the benchmark Toyota Avalon, even if it isn't as fun to drive as the smaller Nissan Maxima or (barely) pricier Acura TL. The Cadenza isn't as to-the-bone refined as some of its more seasoned competitors, but the resulting ride and handling shortcomings are subtle at worst. The 2014 Cadenza is the latest surprise from Kia, but not to those familiar with the automaker's most recent offerings.

You'll Like This Car If...

Sportier than Toyota Avalon and Chevy Impala, roomier than Nissan Maxima and an arguable alternative to premium-badged sedans like the Lexus ES 350 and Acura TL, the 2014 Kia Cadenza is hard not to like.

You May Not Like This Car If...

We like the Cadenza's ride/handling mix, but the segment offers both sportier and softer alternatives for those looking for a more focused option.

What's New for 2014

A new nameplate in a new category for Kia, the Cadenza is about as new as it gets.

Driving the Cadenza

Driving Impressions The 2014 Kia Cadenza isn't as sporty as it looks, but that's probably a good thing. In the front-wheel-drive large sedan segment, comfort is a higher priority than performance, and...

the firmer ride that typically accompanies more athletic handling isn't worth the compromise for most buyers. That's not to say the Cadenza is a softy – it's shown us a good time on some good roads – only that it plays in the same comfortable ballpark as its competitors.

Built on the same platform and driven by the same V6 powertrain as the Hyundai Azera, we were surprised by the Cadenza's superior steering and suspension feel. Other highlights include a seamless powertrain that leaves the line smoothly, and a cabin that remains notably quiet on the highway. Rough pavement can belie the sense of sophistication the rest of the car works hard to convey, but overall, the Cadenza drives about the same as any of today's good large sedans.

ADVANCED SMART CRUISE CONTROL
The 2014 Kia Cadenza offers an adaptive cruise control system that will bring the vehicle to a full stop in sync with the car ahead, and automatically start forward again if the stop was two seconds or less.

WHITE INTERIOR PACKAGE
If you spend the extra $6,000 to add the Luxury and Technology packages, you'll have the opportunity to choose a ritzy white Nappa leather interior – free of charge.

2014 Kia Cadenza Details
2014 Kia Cadenza photo Interior

The Cadenza's stylishly straightforward all-black dash is a big part of the car's sporty persona. Working backward, the front seats are good but not best-in-class, the rear seat is as roomy as you expect from a large sedan and the trunk is big enough to swallow an entire foursome's golf bags. The highlight, though, may be the overall sense of quality and refinement.

Exterior
2014 Kia Cadenza photo

The 2014 Kia Cadenza is one of those un-radical designs that looks good at first, and then looks better and better as its reserved but powerful lines and subconsciously satisfying proportions work their way into your soul.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

At its starting sticker price of $35,900 with destination, the 2014 Kia Cadenza includes keyless entry and pushbutton start, leather seating, an 8-inch central display, navigation, a 550-watt/12-speaker Infinity audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite radio, plus USB, Bluetooth and auxiliary audio connectivity. UVO eServices is also standard. In addition to a bunch of other cool infotainment capabilities – many of them voice-activated – Kia's next-gen UVO system leverages your smartphone to automatically call 911 in the event of an airbag deployment, and lets you send a navigation destination from your computer to the car.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2014 Kia Cadenza is priced at $41,900 and includes premium-grade highlights such as smooth Nappa leather, an LCD gauge cluster, a ventilated driver's seat with extendable thigh support, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, a panoramic moonroof, and a bunch of other features you'll want to show your friends.

Under the Hood

The Cadenza's sole powertrain comprises a 3.3-liter V6 engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. The setup is similar to what you'll find elsewhere in the segment, and the Kia's is as good as any of them. Similarly, fuel economy is about average for the category.

3.3-liter V6
293 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
255 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg

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2014 Kia Cadenza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 36 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    7.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

An average car with too many electronic toys

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Cons: "see above"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Poor design of doorways make it difficult to get in and out esp. if a person has back problems, the electronics are cumbersome and hard to figure out, the pickup on acceleration is laborious, having no rear window wiper is a mistake,the dash clock is hard to read,other annoying lesser defects"

I sold Ford cars and trucks over 20 years

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,567

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Safe, and secure feeling, total control driving"

Cons: "No 6 way pwr pass seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"As far as cars go I have owned a Cadillac, Fords, Honda, Lexus, Dodge, and just recently at 2012 Lincoln MKS. None of these cars that I have mentioned come close to my Kia Cadenza except maybe the Cadillac STS. The style of my Cadenza in 2014 was unmatched until now! In the past year it seems like every and all the cars have stolen Kia's design! The speed the performance the ergonomics are fabulous. I had an unfortunate accident 14 years ago and my back was broken, and this Kia Cadenza is the only vehicle I have been able to sit in for more than 35 minutes without my back hurting including my conversion van. Believe me, the comfort is there along with the quality of this car. My $53,000 Lincoln was a piece of junk compared to this. Thank you Kia. Rick Vuk"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent value compared to similar luxury brands.

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Used car statistics say depreciation is huge ?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"wife and husband enjoy driving the Cadenza. Handling is great. Hwy millage approaches 30, Town millage around 19. Back seat room is great for guests and heated steering wheel is a plus. Navigation is easy to use and Bluetooth works great. Trunk has huge capacity. But we wonder why the front passenger seat is so 'low' and has no vertical power feature and why passenger seat is not cooled like the driver?"

I'm a believer!

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value, comfortable, fun to drive"

Cons: "Taller drivers may have some trouble."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2015 Cadenza SX Limited. This car has a great fit and finish. The Cadenza is very comfortable and quiet and rivals that of the other luxury cars I have owned. Acceleration is impressive. Safety and convenience features like the surround camera make driving the Cadenza a delight. I'm especially surprised by the gas mileage, averaging 23-24 mpg in local driving. The perforated leather seats have good support and long trips do not result in seat fatigue. Long road trips are enjoyable. The power fold-in mirrors make entering tight parking spaces and garages much easier. Handling is well controlled and sporty. The Cadenza represent a good value and provides more comfort and luxury than expected of a car with this MSRP. The K900 was my other choice but it was a bit too large and I didn't need that amount of power."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very good vehicle for the price

By on Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Cons: "Black exhaust soot all over back of car!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Only real problem we have had with the Cadenza is because of the GDI engine. This engine produces way too much carbon build up in the exhaust, which in turn covers the back of the car with black soot. Nasty looking for a car of this price and caliber."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Surprising auto at a great leasing pricepoint

By on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 450

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Relaxing to drive. Super deal. Spacious and quiet."

Cons: "Could use a tad more power and more steering feel."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Leased a Cadenza premium for my wife at the beginning of October and we both couldn't be more satisfied. A lot of people frown down on the "KIA" badge, never even knowing what the total experience is like. It drives quiet, has really good power and conveniences, and is getting over 22 MPG combined, which should improve. The trunk is large, seating comfort is very good, and the features it comes with as standard are not to be ignored; like the 550 watt 12-speaker Infinity sound system. We got a 24-month lease and are already waiting for the next generation to come out. The 2013 Volkswagen CC that we traded is just a memory. We're looking for a bunch of enjoyable and safe miles in this limousine-like motorcar."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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