The 2017 Kia Cadenza



After debuting in 2014, the Cadenza’s first generation didn’t last too much. Oddly, the 2017 New York Auto Show was the place to announce a quick renovation of the model, launching a new generation that changes almost everything.

What we see along with the new Cadenza is pleasant and we still have the power coming from a V6 engine. Also, plenty of safety features and cutting-edge tech was added to the whole package.

Kia decided to go all in with the 2017 Cadenza in terms of luxury and opulence. Now, this outstanding sedan wants to compete with high-end executive models from the big commercial makers, like Toyota. With this in mind, we cannot expect less than a high-quality build with fancy materials and a decent amount of power under the hood.

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Let’s take a closer look.

Specs and Drivetrain


The 2017 Cadenza packs a 3.3 L V6 engine, the same one onboard of the outgoing generation. According to the maker, this powerplant suffered a series of tweaks in order to improve the fuel consumption. But, the vague announcement from Kia, saying that this model would produce about 290 horsepower, could result worrying for many. The previous version enjoyed 293 hp on the 2016 model, so reducing power isn’t a good way to start a brand-new generation.

Nevertheless, this negative change wasn’t confirmed at all; these are only suppositions based on a vague announcement. Moving on, the Cadenza will feature a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia stated that this one will be way lighter than the outgoing six-speed. Also, the debuting gearbox will have a positive impact on fuel economy.

Just like the power and performance numbers, the fuel economy ratings haven’t been released so far. The outgoing generation of the Cadenza enjoyed 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, which seems disappointing but improvable.

Finally, among the notable changes in terms of specs, the 2017 Cadenza is getting a new 32-bit ECU. This electronic piece will improve the handling skills of the sedan and make the steering more appropriate and comfortable. The outgoing 16-bit ECU used in the previous generation wasn’t quite satisfactory, according to experts.

Body Strength and Safety


One of the major improvements coming with this new generation is the heavy use of high-strength steel, more than double in comparison with the outgoing model. The body panels suffered a similar process as well, increasing resistance. According to the maker, chassis stiffness increased by 35 percent. Despite these improvements, the 2017 Cadenza won’t be heavier. This was achieved thanks to a better use and application of lightweight materials.

First, the suspension layout is getting a revamp with aluminum elements. These changes will help in terms of weight and handling. Upgraded dampers are also included in the package. All these improvements are looking for an enhanced ride experience, free of annoying noise, interruptions, and vibration.


But, without any particular reason, Kia is focusing on the safety capabilities of this new sedan. All the improvements looking for a stiffer chassis were not made thinking exclusively in the handling or ride experience. Creating a more secure cabin involves a strong body. Now, having one, the car maker added abundant safety-related technologies.

Among all the novelties, we will find the interesting Smart Blind Spot Detection System developed by Kia itself. This feature will protect the passengers from involuntary drifting, avoiding getting out of the road or touching other cars and objects. Other technologies are most common but equally effective, just like the Forward Collision Warning and Advance Smart Cruise Control, all included in the Drive Wise Assistance safety suite.

The Bottom Line: Is the Cadenza Good for Me?

Most authorities in the automotive industry estimate a price tag between $35,000 and $40,000, so it won’t be exactly a budget sedan. Trying to compete with the Avalon from Toyota, the 2017 Cadenza will pack enough luxury and comfort. We don’t think that Kia is going to let us down in terms of performance either.

This luxury sedan could work for you if you are willing to pay that much for a model with less than 300 horsepower and quite limited options.


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