The wave of popularity that crossovers and SUVs have created in recent times has brought great trouble for sedans. Sad to say, these compact four-wheelers have placed great sedans in the category of cars that most people today love to hate. But trust a certified gear-head to spot a gem of a car from a mile away. This one does not give you the same numbers in terms of ground clearance, headroom or even trunk space. Despite this, it is definitely worth your buck. The 2018 Kia Cadenza happens to be one of the outstanding results of attention and precision. Typically the making of such automobiles goes unnoticed. Thanks to the skewed public preference for crossovers. Such a shame. It's no consolation, but that is exactly what happened to hitmakers of the 2000s like Paul Wall and Back Street Boyz even after they made us a classic like "Show me the meaning of being lonely." However, for those of us who can take risks, the 2018 Cadenza just hit the light switch, and you are welcome to be among the first to enjoy this car targeted at a richer clientele from a company that normally makes entry-level sedans.
What is new?
2017 saw the second generation Cadenza undergo some major changes that brought on high board levels of luxury, not exactly plush but good, convenience and tech features that set it a mile away from its predecessor. The bold design carries on unchanged for 2018 except for a minor change that has seen the Luxury package gain interior LED lighting and a panoramic sunroof.
What trim levels and features are there?
There are three trim levels available; the base Cadenza Premium ($32,290), the Cadenza Technology ($39,290) and the Cadenza limited ($44,690). The base premium is equipped with 18-inch wheels leather upholstery, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, heated front seats and keyless entry among a multitude of other features. The Technology trim adds features like rain sensing wipers while the range-topping Limited features a 360-degree view camera system and a smart trunk.
How is the interior?
The Cadenza seats five adults with ease with lots of legroom, but if you are as tall as Lebron James, then you might have to crunch a little. In the front, there are comfortable seats that allow a wide range of adjustments. The cabin of the Cadenza is better than what most large sedans have. It has a lot of soft-touch materials and quality that almost matches some luxury cars. The trunk is only 16 cubic feet which os a tad bit less than we would expect in a big car.
How about the tech features?
The 2018 Cadenza comes standard with Kia's UVO infotainment system which features a 7-inch touchscreen and an 8-speaker system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB, Bluetooth and dual-zone automatic climate control. The touchscreen seems to be slow to respond to touch sometimes, and some control knobs are not easy to reach. Other features that are available include a panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system and navigation displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen.
What powers it?
The 2018 Cadenza is only available with one engine choice, and that is a less powerful V6 that pumps out 290 horses, a notch lower than its predecessor. The 3.3 liter V6 is enough to get the car around without much hustle but cannot be described as fun to drive, and it does not take off at a stunning speed either. Power is transmitted to the wheels by an 8-speed automatic that is more centered on fuel economy than performance.
Which is the right model for me?
The base Cadenza comes with a myriad of standard features and has a starting price that is lower than the other two trims. Considering that they all share the same engine and transmission, the smarter choice would be to stick with the Cadenza Premium and reap maximum value for your buck.