That's no bad thing, though; the Azera's a smooth-sailing sedan. Under the hood is a 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 putting out 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with, oh yes, Sportmatic manual mode. That power hits the ground via a sport-tuned suspension with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear configuration, matched with either 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, there's a whole host of nice leather surrounded by wood and chrome accents, with a driver-focused cockpit (sort of like the Optima) with a seven-inch TFT color touchscreen display. Premium options include things like Nappa leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, Kia's UVO infotainment system, HID headlamps with active lighting, heated seats and a heated steering wheel. Sounds comfy.
Kia will officially launch the Cadenza in the second quarter of 2013, with pricing to be announced closer to the on-sale date. Scroll down for the official press blast.
Sophisticated and Elegant, Cadenza Represents the Most Technologically-Advanced Kia
ever offered in the U.S. market
- Luxurious appointments, advanced technology and stunning European-inspired design boldly announce Kia's entry into the premium-car segment
- Cadenza sedan is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2013
DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the all-new 2014 Cadenza premium sedan, the most technologically-advanced vehicle Kia has ever introduced in North America. The long-anticipated announcement today at Cobo Hall during the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) confirmed Kia's intentions to enter into the premium-sedan segment. The Cadenza expands KMA's lineup of inspiring and award-winning vehicles while moving the brand up-market with an impressive list of premium standard and optional equipment, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Lane-Departure Warning System (LDWS). The Cadenza is expected to arrive in Kia retail showrooms in the second quarter of this year, and pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date.
"Since the introduction of the range-topping Optima SXL last year, we have seen an increasing number of customers in our retail outlets looking for a sedan with even more upscale amenities and technology," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. "The Cadenza is the new flagship for Kia in the U.S. market, and when it goes on sale later this year, it will introduce a number of advanced systems that promise to set a new standard in the premium segment."
With its distinctive front fascia and swept C-pillars, the Cadenza's taut European design language is evident. That it's propelled by Kia's most powerful V6 engine further announces its intentions to provide an invigorating driving experience. Inside, unparalleled premium appointments for five occupants strike the ideal balance between sport and luxury. Combining these elements with technology that, until now, has never been offered on any Kia vehicle in the market, the Cadenza quickly rises to the lofty elevation of being the brand's most advanced U.S. product.
Sophisticated Features and Technology
Offered in one opulently equipped trim level, the Cadenza takes in-car technology and premium features to an entirely new level. Standard features include an advanced navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic™ and UVO eServices, displayed on a high resolution 8-inch touch screen. Further enhancing driver assurance is a standard back-up camera and warning system, as well as a premium 550-watt Infinity® 12-speaker audio system including rear surround speakers and subwoofer. The Cadenza's standard equipment level is on par with many premium brands and boasts standard leather seat trim, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat ventilation, Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start, 10-way power adjustable driver's seat and Bluetooth® wireless technology. Two option packages are offered: The Premium Package and the Technology Package.
Check the box for the Premium Package and receive a full-length panoramic sunroof with power retractable sunshade, HID headlamps with adaptive front lighting system (AFLS), 7-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster, premium Nappa leather seats, a memory enabled 12-way ventilated driver's seat with seat cushion extension for unsurpassed comfort, heated front and rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping steering column, as well as a power rear sunshade for enhanced comfort and privacy.
Stepping up to the Technology Package adds sleek 19-inch alloy wheels, electric parking brake and Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), which maintains a set distance to the vehicle ahead and can bring the car to a full stop if necessary. The package also includes water repellant hydrophobic windshield, a radar-based Blind Spot Detection system (BSD) and a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) that provides audible and visual alerts to the driver should they inadvertently veer into another lane without using the turn signal.
European Design Evokes Premium Sport-Sedan Elegance
Penned under the watchful eye of Peter Schreyer, Kia's global chief of design, the Cadenza's broad shoulders, contoured hood, large wheels and wide stance give it a strong and grounded appearance. The striking design has a distinctive sport-sedan form, as if the car would be equally comfortable on the Autobahn or carving through the Swiss Alps.
The aggressive "Tiger Nose" front fascia instantly speaks to Kia's brand identity. Flanking the grille are quad headlights that nestle deeply behind crystalline lenses. The lower fascia is wide, lending to the Cadenza's imposing stance, and chrome trim accents around the fog lights and grille add to the vehicle's premium presence. LED positioning lights and available HID headlights provide additional European sophistication.
Perhaps best enjoyed in profile, the Cadenza's silhouette is at once strong and elegant. The vertical nose is imposing; the long hood is sensuously sculpted to meet the swept-back windshield. The greenhouse curves gracefully to the C-pillar and is surrounded by a tasteful chrome bezel that flares upward at the rear door, effectively creating a beautiful glass droplet. Beginning just aft of the front-door cutline is a chiseled indentation that sweeps upward, seamlessly transitioning into the tail lights. Classic chrome accents adorn the lower portions of the doors and the treatment continues into the rear fascia. The 19-inch alloy wheels offered in the Technology Package resemble a jet turbine and add to the Cadenza's athletic stature.
Moving to the rear of the vehicle, the standard LED taillights sit high on the deck and are designed to cut across a large portion of the vehicle, lending to the Cadenza's broad stance. The twin oval tail pipes accentuate the Cadenza's sporty and elegant design.
The interior of the Cadenza envelops its occupants in a premium environment complete with soft leather upholstery and tasteful accents of wood and chrome. Ambient lighting and horizontally positioned switch gear radiates an uncluttered and sophisticated aesthetic. An elegant analog clock centered between the center stack buttons lends a classic feel. The center console is angled toward the driver for optimized control, and an available large seven-inch high-resolution TFT LCD screen in the gauge cluster showcases a wide range of vehicle information including turn-by-turn navigation and infotainment. Elegant chrome bezels surround the HVAC and audio controls, air vents and the standard push-button start. Standard Bluetooth, wood-trim door inserts, one-touch automatic up/down power front windows and power-folding heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators all enhance the Cadenza's premium image.
Engaging Driving Experience
The Cadenza is equipped with Kia's most powerful V6 engine ever. The smooth-revving 3.3-liter utilizes gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology that improves performance while maintaining fuel efficiency. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sportmatic manual shift mode and paddle shifters flanking the leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel. The GDI powerplant produces 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 255 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. The advanced all-aluminum engine features dual continuously variable valve timing for improved fuel economy and performance, a maintenance-free timing chain, a three-step variable induction system for enhanced torque, and is designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. During durability testing, the engine is run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load.
To maximize driver engagement and performance, the Cadenza features a sport-tuned fully independent suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Cadenza rides on standard 245/45R-18 tires while 245/40R-19 tires are included with the Technology Package.
To further enhance performance and safety, while reducing NVH, 60 percent of the body structure is strengthened through the utilization of High Tensile Steel (HTS), which helps improve torsional rigidity. HTS is produced through a 1,650 degree hot-stamping process, designed to toughen steel. Further reducing the Cadenza's NVH is an extensive list of noise reducing technologies, including a hydraulic transmission mount, optimally tuned damper on the rear cross member and specially designed wheels (the multiple fins help reduce wind noise at highway speeds).