Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed reviewing Kia brand vehicles. I have checked out 8 models in that time and was even able to drive my family 9 hours down to San Diego last year to a Kia sponsored golf event in a 2014 Sorento.
During that weekend at the 18th hole of the Aviara Golf Course a gorgeous new Kia Cadenza floated majestically in the water and I stared at longingly from our VIP skybox (and prayed no one hit it with a golf ball).
A year later, I got behind the wheel of that car, a 2014 Kia Cadenza to be exact, in Portland Oregon for a road trip to Astoria. Although it was just my husband and I and the trip was just for 3 days, we got a good feel of the car and here are 6 things I want you to know about the Kia Cadenza.
1. It has a sleek and sexy look! I love the curves on the 2014 Kia Cadenza, they’re fluid and make for a gorgeous outline and the smoky blue color added to it’s luxurious look. Now I loved the Optima, but this car is longer and wider as you would want in a sedan, but the best part is that it doesn’t feel too hard to maneuver. I used to drive my husband’s 1969 Chevy El Camino and that thing was a boat, I’d have to stop midway into the driveway and get out for him to pull it the rest of the way into the garage.
The Cadenza has front and tail LED lights and fog lights as well as a unique grill, and the side-mirrors (with turn signal indicators) fold into the car when it’s turned off all adding to it’s nice appearance. I noticed others as they nodded and shot approving glances our way when checking out the car.
2. The seats are like buttah! Sliding into the car, I immediately oohed and ahhed at the comfort of the smooth Nappa leather seats. Of course I was driving, but the front passenger can know that reclining the seat will put you in an instant slumber, who needs a hotel room-save money and sleep in the Cadenza! Okay, that’s a stretch but with the addition of the power lumbar support in the driver’s seat, I was ready for the two hour drive ahead of me or even a four hour drive. Heated seats were great for the cold, gloomy weather the PNW offered us, and in the luxury package rear seats are heated and the front ventilated.
Also with the luxury package there’s a power driver’s seat cushion extension to add a little support under the knee I guess, wasn’t necessary in our opinion though. The interior of our car was white which makes me nervous as a mom and as a klutz, I’d prefer the gray color scheme if I were choosing. Also, you can move the passenger seat forward and back easily but unlike the driver’s seat you cannot raise the seat higher. I’m 5’1″ and as a passenger I felt the seat is too low and wanted to roll up a towel to sit on.
3. Panorama! Let there be light! With the panoramic sunroof, there can be light when little sun exists like in the PNW. I don’t like the feeling of being tired first thing in the morning because those pesky rain clouds make it so dark out, so open up that shade and let the light in and almost feel like you’re in a convertible. The downfall, less headroom for my husband. At 5’10” he’s not a huge guy, but with part of his daily ‘uniform’ being a hat, he either has to remove it or hold onto it getting in and out of the car. He may have also cursed a little bumping his noggin, tall people problems!
4. Buttons, Controls, Oh My! Just being the two of us, you’d think there wouldn’t be whining and complaining that it was too hot or too cold in the car, wrong! My husband and I run at opposite body temperatures, so having the climate control makes us happy travelers (this includes the seat heaters and coolers I mentioned earlier).
Along with my must have USB port and cup holders, a few new gadgets and features help make a smooth, safe ride. The electronic parking break is easy to set and we had to test it because it seemed TOO easy, but had my left leg ghosting a foot break that I’m used to in my own car. With the Technology Package, added controls like Advanced Smart Cruise Control maintains a set distance to the vehicle ahead and helps bring the car to a full stop if necessary-brilliance Kia! Also the Lane Departure Warning System offers audible and visual alerts to the driver should they unintentionally drift into another lane, another smart addition. Something I like too is the Blind Spot Detection on the side mirrors that light up when a car gets in that tricky area. I often wonder what designers think when they have a fabulous 8″ Navigation System, but then just below you put the temperature gauges and (cool old-school looking) analog clock and further down the display controls. It’s counter-intuitive in my opinion, just when I set the radio station my hand is moving around searching for something not there. The Infinity Surround Sound Audio System was nice but when the FM stations went in and out of HD, the quality diminished, Sirius/XM was not installed at the time of my test drive.
By the way, the Rear Camera Display is usually a perk I appreciate for safety, this time in the rainy weather I noticed droplets on the screen and an occasional fogged out display, fluke?
5. Power Rear Window Sunshade! Something I have not seen in a car I’ve driven, I like the ability to set a more private, shaded back seat without dimming the window too dark you can’t see out of it. In action with a press of a button…
I think this is great for parents with a child in a carseat (especially facing backward) to keep the sun out of their face as well. This perk is part of the Luxury Package.
6. Road Trip Friendly! The Cadenza has a V6 engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and offers an EPA estimated 19 city/28 highway mpg as far as fuel economy goes. We traveled to and around Astoria from Portland, a little jaunt to Seaside, stopped for a pitstop in Longview, over to Mount St. Helen’s, and back to Portland with just less than a quarter-tank to spare and drove just under 300 miles. The trunk has ample space for luggage too, we could have easily put stuff for the 3 kids back there too if they’d come along.
Overall, we enjoyed the quick trip with the 2014 Kia Cadenza, especially it’s luxurious look and feel. MSRP puts the Cadenza in the $35,100 range but we tested it with the added Technology and Luxury Packages that pushed it over to $41,900.
The Kia Cadenza was offered on loan in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and all our own.