“We’ve previously been blown away by the value-packed Kia vehicles we’ve had the chance to feature. That’s why when I was invited to Virginia to drive the redesigned 2017 Kia Cadenza — I didn’t expect anything less than amazing!”
First Drive: The 2017 Kia Cadenza
The setting was beautiful and worthy of a serene movie set — the Salamander Resort & Spa is a stunning 340 acre property complete with state-of-the-art horse stables, equestrian competition courses, and of course, a 5-star resort, spa and restaurants. This is the place Kia chose to unveil the equally-stunning 2017 Kia Cadenza.
A while back we had the chance to spend some time with the Kia K900, and while it was beautiful and extremely comfortable, we all agreed that it was simply a bit “too much” on all ends. Too big, too expensive, too fancy. But guess what? The new baby K900 may be the perfect solution for that.
The 2017 Kia Cadenza is by all means a luxury sedan. From the gorgeous exterior lines that shout modern and cutting-edge, to the supple diamond-quilted Nappa leather seats, to the incredible Harman Kardon sound system, Kia’s new luxe ride inches closer to the K900’s features, but in a more compact, sleeker and less-expensive package.
Following a delicious breakfast overlooking the horse stables, a brief product introduction took place so we could learn what makes the new Cadenza so special, and let me tell you — it’s a lot. The base-model Cadenza starts at only $32,000 and features plenty of amenities that are otherwise optional with the competition, while the fully-loaded SXL model I drove was decked out and came in at about $44k.
The keywords, power, poise and value come to mind when reflecting upon my experience behind the wheel. My driving parter, Paul and I had a great time touring the beautiful roads and small towns surrounding Middleburg, VA., and we were able to get a great feel for the Cadenza. I’d like to tell you that we took it easy most of the time, but with a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an “estimated” 290 horsepower paired to a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, it was nearly impossible to not “step on it” here and there!
Sure the exterior is gorgeous, and the driving experience is smooth and relaxing, but the one place where you’ll spend most of your time is on another level. The interior of the 2017 Cadenza reflects that of a car much, much more expensive. It features leather, wood, hand-stitching, and the well-laid out controls that we’ve come to appreciate and love from the Kia lineup. Besides the now common features like heated and cooled seats, lane departure warning, and the awesome UVO infotainment system, new for 2017 is a heads-up display so you never take your eyes off the road, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
After spending most of the day driving this beauty, and often stopping to capture the gorgeous scenery, it was time to head back to the Salamander Resort & Spa and watch U.S. Olympians and their respective thoroughbreds show us their incredible skills on the Kia-studded equestrian course.
It’s easy to get a feel for a particular vehicle after a few hours on the road, but it’s certainly not enough time to discover all the features and benefits the way they’re intended to be used. That’s why I can’t wait to reunite with the 2017 Kia Cadenza sometime soon and get to experience it with the entire family. As we know, it’s the kids that are the real judges, right?
The 2017 Kia Cadenza will go on sale in October of this year.