Kia's Second Effort At Luxury Finds More Love Than The Amanti
The same recent global economic crises that have led luxury automakers to invade the small car market are also somewhat responsible for the influx of near-luxury sedans from mainstream automakers. As the likes of Mercedes-Benz
are reaching down for new customers, automakers like Hyundai
are reaching up to bridge the gap and fill in the white space between the industry's typical high-volume large sedans and established luxury sedans. Joining this emerging market, the 2014 Kia Cadenza
is the latest sedan to blur the line between value and luxury. One of Kia's core focuses has been offering value to customers, and even with a starting price of $35,100, the Cadenza still represents plenty of that kind of thinking.
Despite what might first come to mind, the Cadenza is not named after a piece of furniture. Instead, Kia
notes the name for its new front-wheel-drive flagship comes from the Italian musical term that translates as 'cadence'. The name thus fits in nicely with the brand's other musically inspired model name, Forte
. Much like the Hyundai Genesis
, the Cadenza will serve as a test of sorts to see how much customers are willing to pay for a Kia, and despite recent reports indicating that Kia has confirmed
for next year, the reality is that the availability of the bigger rear-wheel-drive flagship will be determined in part by how well the Cadenza strikes a chord with buyers.
This isn't Kia's first crack at mid-level luxury. That distinction goes to the bug-eyed, Amanti
, which was killed off in 2009. The same basic recipe is still in place – V6 power, roomy interior and a lengthy list of standard features, yet this car seems altogether better outfitted to appeal to modern consumers than the baroque Amanti. We headed out to the great weather and even better roads near San Diego to test the 2014 Kia Cadenza to see for ourselves if it has the inner harmony and cadence to keep step with full-size luxury sedans or if it's just here to make a bunch of noise.