2015 Kia Cadenza

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Kia Cadenza receives a few minor changes. The Limited trim sees a new grille insert and fender accent as well as some new standard features. The latter include Flex Steer (adjustable steering assist), a surround-view camera, LED cabin lighting, new wood and metallic accents, an analog clock and a USB port in the rear armrest. The Premium trim now offers a few new options in the form of the Technology package and panoramic sunroof.

Last year, the introduction of the Cadenza gave the company a solid contender in the large sedan class. Long gone are the days when Kias lacked muscle; the Cadenza packs a nearly 300-horsepower punch from its 3.3-liter V6 engine. That power is sent to the front wheels via a smooth six-speed automatic. Although the Cadenza has been tuned to provide a sportier drive than the Azera, it is still more a luxury cruiser than a sport sedan.

Though it's a large sedan, the 2015 Kia Cadenza isn't the floaty, luxury barge you might expect. It's composed when driven around turns, and in general, this full-size Kia just feels smaller than it is. Performance is similarly unstressed, as the Cadenza swiftly powers up on-ramps and passes slower cars with ease. Power delivery is very smooth, and the automatic transmission provides timely shifts.

Exterior Highlights
Large sedan available in Premium and Limited trim levels

The 2015 Kia Cadenza is a large sedan that comes in two trim levels: the very well-equipped Premium and even more lavish Limited.

Standard features on the Premium include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding sideview mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power driver seat, eight-way power passenger seat, heated front seats and a ventilated driver seat. Standard high-tech features include a rearview camera, rear park assist, an 8-inch touchscreen display, Kia's Uvo voice command system, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio and a 12-speaker Infinity sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod/auxiliary audio inputs.

Optional on the Premium is the Luxury package, which includes active xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a windshield wiper de-icer, a 7-inch gauge cluster display, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, driver memory settings, a power driver seat cushion extender and a power rear window sunshade. There's also the Technology package, which includes 19-inch wheels, water-repellent front windows, adaptive cruise control, an electronic parking brake and a suite of driver warning systems (blind spot, rear cross-traffic, lane departure). The panoramic sunroof is available as a stand-alone option.

The Limited trim includes all the above as well as upgraded exterior trim, a surround-view camera system, driver-adjustable steering effort (Flex Steer), additional wood-grain interior trim, a simulated suede headliner, rear parcel shelf and sun visors, LED lighting, an analog clock and a fold-down rear armrest with a USB port. The Limited also offers a trio of color-themed packages at no added cost. The White Interior package features white leather upholstery, while the Black and Gray Interior packages are similarly executed with their respective colors.

Cleanly styled cabin, touchscreen interface with large virtual buttons, top-notch comfort, roomy cabin, rearview camera

Although loaded with upscale high-tech features, the Cadenza's cabin is cleanly styled and ergonomically friendly. Handsome design and quality materials are seen throughout, while controls for the audio, climate, phone and navigation systems are easy to find and use. The touchscreen in particular features large virtual "buttons" with logical placements. This is one of the best examples of a multitasking electronics interface we've seen in any car, regardless of cost.

The Cadenza's comfort is also top-notch, with plump, well-shaped seats front and rear that provide solid back and leg support. The cabin is roomy all around, though taller drivers may want to reconsider getting the panoramic sunroof, as it robs a few inches worth of headroom. A wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustments means drivers of all sizes should be able to get ideally situated behind the wheel.

Standard safety features on the 2015 Kia Cadenza include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and hill start assist. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on the Premium, while blind-spot, rear cross-traffic and lane departure warning systems are optional. All of this is standard on the Limited, which also gets a more deluxe surround-view camera system.

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