How Kia Continues to Evolve The Cadenza

The Kia Cadenza has been a hit in the United States since it first arrived from South Korea in 2013. Looking to compete with the Hyundai Azera, this executive car was released due to the positive reception from fans (an indication that the brand actually listens to their customers).

“The introduction of the Cadenza was a response to customer demand for a Kia product that was larger and even more luxurious than the SXL trims of our Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan, and as our first step into the premium segments, it helped continue the transformation of the Kia brand, paving the way to our luxury flagship sedan, the K900,” said Orth Hedrick, the Vice President of Product Planning at Kia Motors America.

This year’s model will certainly be the best in the nameplate’s short history, and that’s following an impressive 2015 model year. Some enthusiasts assumed that Kia would perhaps carry over many of the 2016 Cadenza’s features to the 2017 model, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Of course, considering the company’s willingness to evolve their vehicles, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

While you’ll probably notice more changes as you’re shopping for a Kia Cadenza in Miami, continue reading to see how the brand continues to revamp the full-size car…


Changes certainly weren’t unanticipated, especially since we saw several between the release of the 2015 and 2016 model. After having produced a highly-regarded, beloved Cadenza in 2015, the engineers went ahead with several revamps to the 2016 model. The brand offered a new base trim that included a number of upgrades, like the eight-inch color touch-screen (featuring a standard navigation system) and a rear camera display. Designers also threw in the powerful Infinity audio system, an eight-way and ten-way power-adjustable front passenger/ driver’s seat, the brand’s innovate dual-zone climate control technology, and their push button start. While customers had to previously dish out some extra cash to secure these special amenities, they were now able to get it all with the Cadenza’s new base trim level.

Kia also revised some of the offerings on their other trims, as well. A new panoramic sunroof was included on the middle Premium trim, which are accompanied by a plethora of other exclusive standard features (like the UVO eServices infotainment system and rain-sensing wipers). The top Limited time level was fully-loaded, including monstrous 19-inch chrome alloy wheels, an exclusive front grille, a luxurious wood trim, and a new surround-view monitor, allowing you to see all the happenings behind your car.

Kia will continue to look to revamp their vehicle in 2017, and we’ve gotten an initial look at their plan via the Cadenza’s exterior. Engineers made their car’s body more sculpted and defined, and the revamps on the vehicle’s width and height will certainly make the nameplate more recognizable to prospective owners. Of course, the Cadenza was already a perfectly stylish vehicle, so the engineers ensured that they wouldn’t be compromising any of the vehicle’s best attributes.

“The all-new Cadenza boasts a purposeful new design and will feature high levels of interior quality and contemporary luxury,” the brand said in a statement. “The next-generation Cadenza maintains the progressive, contemporary image of the current model, and the sharper, more defined lines and wider, lower stance give the new model a modern and thoroughly distinctive new look – with key design elements ensuring the new Cadenza remains recognizable as a Kia.”

Engineers and car companies are always focused on the vehicle’s silhouette, so you’ll notice that the Cadenza has a new “sleek, elongated” contour. Among these major changes in the inclusion of a new long bonnet, as well as a subtle “rising shoulder line” and a “swept-back roofline.” The release also notes how the window-line will start to fall a bit as it gets towards the back of the vehicle, but the sudden “kick up” will help give the vehicle its intended “purposeful, ‘lean-forward’ stance.”

Finally, engineers redesigned the front and rear of the car to add more “confidence and definition” to their vehicle. To do so, a signature tiger-nose grille was added up front, as were eye-grabbing wraparound LED headlamps and “muscular” fenders. Out back, owners will find a square bumper and wide LED lights. Distinct lines and chrome detailing help give the Cadenza it’s stylish, luxurious look, while the twin exhausts help add a slight level of intimidation.

Otherwise, we’ve only gotten a brief look at the 2017 Cadenza’s interior via one picture released by the brand. Kia said the cabin “has been designed anew” and will feature a “fresh, luxurious appearance and layout” that will help accentuate the vehicle interior dimensions. Inspired by European and Italian designers, the interior will also include some higher-quality materials and an entirely new “premium” design.

Of course, as we previously mentioned, the 2016 Cadenza was a perfectly capable mid-size car, and engineers will surely carry over many of the vehicle’s best attributes to the 2017 model. The 3.3-liter V6 will likely stick around. Partnering with the innovative electronically controlled six-speed automatic overdrive transmission (with Sportmatic technology), drivers can expect an impressive 293 horsepower and 255 pounds-feet of torque. Furthermore, the unit is relatively fuel efficient, delivering a 19 city-mile per gallon and 28 highway mile per gallon fuel efficiency.

The mechanics should stay the same too, including the front-wheel-drive capabilities and the four-wheel disc antilock braking system. Drivers can still expect an ideal driving experience via the motor driven power steering capabilities and the front and rear suspension systems (featuring stabilizer bars, gas/dual-flow damper shock absorbers, and MacPherson struts).


The safety features should remain unchanged, as the engineers will presumably not be focused on improving the 2016 model’s “good” rating via the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the highest rating the institute hands out). The vehicle came with dual front advanced airbags and dual front/rear seat-mounted side airbags, which team up with the steel unibody to offer a safe and protective structure.

Engineers also included lower anchors and tethers for children, a system that’s installed around a child to keep them protected in case of a collision. To help prevent an accident, engineers included Vehicle Stability Management and Electronic Stability Control (keeps the Cadenza on its intended path), a Traction Control System (assures that your wheels are spinning at the correct rate), a Brake Assist System (adds some help as you attempt to decelerate on sleek surfaces), Hill Start Assist Control technology (assures your vehicle won’t roll backwards while traveling on a hill), and a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (pretty self explanatory).

The fact that the brand is so willing to revamp their popular Cadenza is a testament of Kia’s dedication to the consumer. While some companies may look at the positive sales of a respective model and be content to roll over the same design, Kia is clearly focused on improving every small aspect of their cars. Just like we’ve seen previously with the Forte or Rio, the Cadenza will continue to undergo several changes as long as it continues production.


Kia’s willingness to evolve and revamp their vehicles isn’t exclusive to the Cadenza. The brand is constantly looking for fresh, modern ideas, and it’s unlikely that you’ll see a particular model roll over an identical vehicle from the previous year. Whether they’re improving the engine, solidifying all of the dependable safety features, inserting the newest innovative technology, or modernizing the style of the exterior, you can be confident that next year’s Kia models will look nothing like this year’s.

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