Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

December 27, 2013

Cadenza moves Kia upscale

Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, Cadillac and Kia: In the timeless words of “Sesame Street,” one of these things is not like the other.

While most luxury brands have spent decades honing their upper-class images, Kia started its life doing just the opposite — making the cheapest of the cheap economy cars for people buying on a budget.

Today, though, Kia is building cars that exude the same air of sophistication and exclusivity as those luxury brands, something that’s especially the case with the new Cadenza.

The Cadenza, an all-new model introduced for 2014, is an upscale, mid-size car that shows just how much Kia has improved in recent years. Its build quality feels as tight as a Lexus, styling looks as athletic as a BMW and cabin is as sumptuous as anything on the market.

In fact, my overall impression after driving the Cadenza for a week is that it feels like the kind of car that usually comes with a $50,000 to $60,000 price tag. Its starting price is around $35,000, though, and my test car rang up at $41,900, showing how Kia still aims to provide a good value even as it moves upscale.

While it’s not a true sports sedan, the Kia Cadenza takes some design inspiration from BMW. This mid-size car is Kia’s latest move upmarket.

While it’s not a true sports sedan, the Kia Cadenza takes some design inspiration from BMW. This mid-size car is Kia’s latest move upmarket.

Will luxury-brand buyers actually show up at the Kia lots to compare it? It’s tough to say, seeing how brand-conscious many of those buyers can be. But anyone looking for a bargain on a high-content, high-style sedan should take a close look at the Cadenza.

It feels like a premium car in many ways. It has the kind of cabin that makes you want to run your hands over all the materials — the smooth leather on the seats, the soft texture on the dash and the headliner that feels like suede.

Text Only

Latest News
Life
Sports
Business