Kia is moving into unknown territory with its $60,000 K900 luxury sedan in many ways. Not only will it act as the company's flagship model, it will be the Korean brand's first car in the US with rear-wheel drive and a V8 engine. The first batch will hit showrooms in March, but according to Edmunds, it will be a soft launch in some ways, because only around 30 percent of dealers have paid a premium to sell the plush ride.

Kia has sent the selected dealers back to school to make sure they are prepared to sell the K900 to the industry's famously finicky luxury sedan buyers. The company believes its flagship model will be "a catalyst in support of our long-term strategy to elevate the ownership experience," said James Hope, Kia's National Manager for product communications, to Autoblog in an email. According to Edmunds, the dealers paid about $30,000 each in required training, tools and showroom displays. It wants the improvements to "shift the culture" in its dealers to be ready to welcome luxury buyers, according to Hope. Kia Director of Public Relations Scott McKee told Autoblog that the brand expects buyers to be "independent thinkers" from a blend of current Kia owners stepping up to the K900 and conquests from other luxury brands.

Kia has been slowly building awareness of the K900, especially with its Super Bowl ad, but it still has a long road ahead of it to prove what makes it crown jewel different. The company believes more dealers will sign up to sell it once public awareness for the new sedan grows. "There has never been a better time to challenge the status quo," said Hope. Also, a V6 model will launch in the future at a lower price, which should bring more people into the updated showrooms. Given what Kia has accomplished in the US in the last 20 years, it would be foolish to count the K900 out, but that doesn't mean it will be easy to break into the luxury sedan market.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Matt Crowe
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good article. However, the statement "it will be the Korean brand's first in the US with rear-wheel drive and a V8 engine." is not accurate. I own a 209 Kia Borrego that has rear wheel drive with a V-8 engine.
      • 9 Months Ago
      At over $60k Kia is reaching and tempting failure. At this price point you compete with established names like Mercedes E class, BMW 5 and Lexus GS. Kia does not have the name and prestige or the after sales service and that is what is being payed for over around 50k. It may have more standard features or a V8 but not the recognition. At $45k this car is a 60k it will rot in showrooms.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'd rather drop another 18k for a Porsche Panamera. I've looked at Kia and I can't say their luxury is really luxury up close. Its a lot of hype. I would say Kia is more like Lincoln than a Lexus. I'd give the nod to the Lincoln.
      • 9 Months Ago
      My thoughts can be summarized thus: lol$80,000Kia Longer version: In Ontario (Canada) this would be a $79k car, give or take a few hundred bucks. But the target demographic buy a luxury car mostly for the attention that they'll get while driving it, and so brand names are important. Kia isn't exactly a luxury brand, neither is Honda nor Toyota, which is why the Acura and Lexus brands were created.
      Danny Buck
      • 9 Months Ago
      I was able to view and sit in one of these last weekend at the Dallas Auto Show. Sorry to say, I wasn't impressed. Nothing that was glaringly wrong with the car, but it didn't feel at all special either. In many ways it felt just like the Genesis I rented a couple of years ago, right down to the rather uncomfortable driver's seat.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I think it looks great and fulfills its role well, grabbing Kia design cues and pulling them in an upscale, elegant direction. But the level of luxury and the driving experience don't seem to justify anything close to a $60K base price, even if that is well equipped. This should be starting in the low 40s, as a natural step up from the Cadenza. A $25,000 gap in the Kia lineup just makes no sense.
        • 9 Months Ago
        I agree. Even though Lexus has a car at 47k and then the next one is 72k. However, Lexus does not have any car below 30k. Whereas Kia, has most of its cars in the sub 20k range. ....which hurts their vision as a luxury brand. A 60k car buyer would love to say, "Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche......" but "Kia"......just does not have cache' worthy of 60k
      • 9 Months Ago
      And I'm sure those other 70% are devastated......
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wish Kia well but Kia is perceived as a "cheap" brand to the public.This car is trying to play in a "status market." This market is wear people say " oh my beemer is parked over there" " here are the keys to my valet" and on and on. I give kudos for Kia for trying buts its going to be a failure and to top it off its name which makes you thing of a "dog aka K9" lol
      • 10 Months Ago
      What percentage of Hyundai dealers sell the Equus? Aren't they required to have an exclusive/separate dealership facility to qualify?
      • 2 Months Ago

      This dog wont hunt.

      KIA sold a pitiful 56 of these last month.  No wonder the dealerships don't want them.

      • 9 Months Ago
      Looks like a cartoonish interpretation of a European luxury car. Plus $60k for a Kia is ridiculous.
      • 9 Months Ago
      The chrome wheels are an interesting choice this day in age...
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