Kia has been on fire with new product lately, and at the New York Auto Show they continue the burn with their redesigned second generation 2017 Kia Cadenza sedan.
Playing in the heart of the large-scale front-wheel drive sedan class with the Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse is the Kia Cadenza, an offering that has been a strong player here in North America since its arrival here just two years ago.
But Kia isn’t standing still, unveiling a redesigned second-generation of the Cadenza with new styling from nose to tail, an all-new interior, and a significantly updated powertrain and chassis – all to keep it competitive and fresh against rivals.
While it’s identical in length to last year’s model, the Cadenza’s new design is slightly wider and lower than before, and gets a longer wheelbase by just a small amount. The roofline extends two inches further into the rear deck as well, all of it giving the Cadenza a sleeker profile.
An all-new face continues Kia’s tiger nose design theme but has a unique concave profile that brings something different to the game. And here, two grille styles will be available, the top trim grade getting the vertical chrome bars you see here.
Z shaped LED headlamps make a new signature day and night, and the Cadenza gets Kia’s ice cube style LED fog lights. At the rear, a new piano key LED tail light design also brings a more vivid and distinct signature at night.
Even though it’s near identical at first glace, the body structure is all new and lighter than before, using over 50% high strength steels for 35% greater rigidity, and Kia aims for better safety marks from the IIHS when it’s tested.
An all-new interior improves on what was already class leading in terms of finesses and material quality. More sweeping and horizontal, the new dash design wraps around for a wide look and feel, with seating set lower for a more substantial aura from behind the wheel.
A new diamond quilted Nappa leather will be available in four colors including a new dark brown and continuing to be available in the popular White Package. A new black wood-grain-style trim is also available that has a pearlescent look.
New is an optional head up display which has become all the rage lately, as looking at the instrument cluster is such a bother. There’s also an improved surround view monitor that stitches images from all four cameras together quite nicely.
Center and front is also Kia’s UVO infotainment system that’s standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Optional is a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system.
The other big news for the 2017 Kia Cadenza is in the drive. It gets the brand and the class first front-wheel drive 8-speed automatic transmission which promises better drivability and fuel economy. It’s 3.3 liter V6 is re-tuned this year, expected to offer about 290 horsepower.
Powertrain updates go along with several chassis tweaks including new suspension subframes and knuckles, Amplitude Selective Damping shocks, and a new power steering system thinking with 32-bits instead of just 16. All of this Kia says will improve handling. We’ll see when we get to drive one.
And last but not least, the Cadenza wouldn’t be hip if it didn’t have the latest driver assistance and safety systems which now fall under Kia’s Drive Wise marketing umbrella. These will include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and a good deal more.
The 2017 Kia Cadenza goes on-sale in late this year with pricing and final specs to be announced closer to that time. And you can count on a full drive review when we get behind the wheel of one.