2018 K900 New Car Test Drive
Introduced as a 2015 model, Kia's large rear-drive sedan has changed little since its debut. That steadiness continues into the 2018 model year, with little change evident.
Two powertrains are available. Offered in base Premium and upgraded Luxury trim levels, the 3.8-liter V6 develops 311 horsepower and 283 pound-feet of torque. The 5.0-liter V8 comes only in Luxury trim, generating 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is unavailable.
All K900 sedans are well-equipped with leather upholstery and power-adjustable heated/cooled front seats, and a navigation system. Kia's infotainment system, with a 9.2-inch screen, does a fine job. Compared against similarly priced full-size, rear-drive sedans, differences between Kia's version and other makes are substantial.
Unlike some luxury-level competitors, including such European automakers as Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the K900 lacks much potential for personalization. Only a simple selection of extra-cost options and packages can be added.
Sedate K900 styling isn't jarring by any means, but it's not exactly stimulating, either. Body design is more restrained and less expressive than Kia's other rear-wheel-drive sedan, the recently launched Stinger.
Simulated portholes near front fenders are reminiscent of those used long ago on Buick models. Taken as a whole, the various chrome elements add little to the sedan's appeal.
Fuel economy falls short of class leaders, but K900 riders can expect a library-quiet ride. Five adults can sit comfortably, though the fifth occupant might feel a bit squeezed.
Eight airbags include protection for back-seat passengers. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera are standard.
Several forms of active-safety technology are available, but only for top models, as an option Luxury-trim models may be fitted with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, and a head-up display. All are included in a costly VIP Plus Package.
In addition to those safety features, the VIP Plus group for V8 Luxury trim level includes a 16-way power driver's seat, reclining and cooled rear seats, and adjustable headrests. Active lane control, which can steer a wandering sedan back into its lane, isn't available at all.
Largely because of low sales totals, the K900 has not been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
V6 Premium ($49,900) comes with the 3.8-iter V6 engine, 18-inch wheels, a panoramic moonroof, leather seat upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker audio system, and a 9.2-inch infotainment screen. Buyers can select from only three body colors: white, black, or silver. No individual options are available for V6 models. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
V6 Luxury ($54,900) adds softer leather upholstery, additional speakers, a heated steering wheel, and wood trim.
V8 Luxury ($61,900) upgrades to the 5.0-liter V8 engine and includes 19-inch chrome/alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, and surround-view camera system.