South Korean automaker Kia has earned a reputation for building stylish cars at affordable prices, and now it is taking that business plan to the premium segment with the all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza. The new flagship sedan reached Kia dealers late last month, offering amenities and technology more typical of German luxury brands, but without the steep price. Kia’s most advanced vehicle carries a starting MSRP of $35,100 and is offered in one trim level with two option packages.
Mixing styling cues from the latest Kia Forte, Optima and the automaker’s K9 sedan sold in South Korea, the Cadenza sports a distinctly upscale look. Behind the signature grille and swept-back headlights lies a potent V6 engine producing 293 horsepower, while the interior features available Nappa leather trim and even optional heated rear seats. Kia is also including its advanced UVO eServices, which connect to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to provide navigation, audio streaming and maintenance statistics through an eight-inch touchscreen. Kia will also include complimentary routine maintenance in line with other luxury brands.
“European luxury automakers have done a good job convincing people they need to spend a lot to get a premium product, but Kia is turning that idea on its head with the Cadenza,” said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Kia of Elgin, a Kia dealer in Illinois. “Buyers will get sophisticated styling, a refined driving experience and top-notch features without paying a puffed-up price for one of the old-money badges. The Kia Cadenza is the luxury car for modern drivers who aren’t afraid to choose their own path.”
Kia isn’t limiting its fresh offerings to luxury vehicles, though, as the redesigned 2014 Kia Forte sedan also joined showrooms in April. The most affordable vehicle in its class, the new Forte sedan is longer, lower and wider than the previous generation. The car is also up to 280 pounds lighter than the outgoing model thanks to extensive use of high-tensile steel, yet it offers more interior space for occupants and their gear.
With two new models coming into play, Kia is hopeful that sales will continue to rise. April saw 47,556 Kia models leaving showrooms, a new brand record for the month. Two American-made vehicles made a significant impact on that tally. Combining for nearly 50 percent of the brand’s sales in April, the Kia Optima led the charge with 14,678 units sold, while the redesigned Kia Sorento crossover moved a healthy 8,909 units.
“Car shoppers are getting smarter every day, and they’re really doing their homework to find the vehicle that has the most content for the best price,” added Levy. “That’s why Kia’s sales have shot through the roof. No other automaker offers such a compelling range of stylish vehicles at affordable prices, and with seven all-new or redesigned models coming out this year, we expect that sales will continue to climb.”