2017 Kia Cadenza Review


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2017 Kia Cadenza Overview

After a fairly impressive debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show, Kia’s next-generation 2017 Cadenza looks to bring a little more styling flair, some slick interior upgrades, a marginal increase in power, a new automatic transmission, and a smoother ride to dealer showrooms this fall. Let Toyota be on notice that Korean-based Kia’s second-generation Cadenza 5-seat full-size touring sedan has the Japanese manufacturer’s Avalon firmly in its sights, though, as before, the all-new Cadenza is actually a product of Kia’s California design studio.

Returning for the 2017 model year in 3 trims, the base Cadenza, the up-featured Premium, and the flagship Limited, this classy front-wheel-drive-only (FWD) sedan boasts a new look with a pair of restyled grill choices, a tweaked front fascia complemented by new “piano key” LED taillights, and some added exterior chrome.

Inside, new contoured and semi-swiveling front seats are expected to make entering and exiting the 2017 Cadenza a bit easier, while a debuting wraparound dashboard is bolstered by brand-new soft-touch interior surfaces. Additionally, a new remote trunk-lid opening feature is complemented by added trunk space (currently at 15.9 cubic feet), but the rear seats still don’t fold down. For an improved cabin feel, check out the standard leather upholstery with available diamond-stitch pattern, new interior color scheme, and re-engineered heating on the upgraded power-adjustable front seats.

Look for more lightweight high-strength steel in the 2017 Cadenza’s body and frame, while an upgraded electronic control unit (ECU) should improve steering response. A longer wheelbase and new (though still touring-oriented) suspension system will feature Amplitude Selective Damping shock absorbers with Kia’s Hydraulic Rebound Stopper, minimizing the effects of rough roads.

Upgraded technology on the 2017 Cadenza lineup includes a forward collision-warning system with emergency braking, as well as smart blind-spot detection added to the Drive Wise semi-autonomous self-driving feature. A new wireless phone charger, an available head-up windshield display, and a Harman Kardon 12-speaker premium audio system are also brand-new. Kia’s UVO telematics and infotainment suite, with an 8-inch touchscreen display, will now feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The standard powerplant in Cadenza remains a 3.3-liter V6 expected to offer 3 more ponies over the current version, for a total of 296 hp, coupled with a new front-wheel-drive-dedicated (FED) 8-speed automatic transmission for 255 lb-ft of torque. The new transmission and lighter vehicle weight are expected to result in marginally better fuel efficiency compared to the current 19 mpg city/28 highway/22 combined.

Returning features on the Cadenza include 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a remote garage door opener, a rear-view camera, and a standard Infinity CD/MP3 player with 8 speakers, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio input are all slated to return in the base Cadenza and Premium trims.

The Premium and Limited trims add standard features like a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, and genuine wood interior accents, while the top-shelf Limited throws in memory for driver settings, LED interior lighting, heated rear seats, GPS navigation, and UVO-interfaced smartphone apps.

Standard safety equipment in the 2017 Cadenza is scheduled to include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head curtain airbags, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, daytime running lights, and front fog/driving lights (LED in the Limited). Additional standard safety features are expected to include self-leveling headlights, a post-collision safety system, and a remote antitheft alarm. Look for the Limited to add the newly upgraded Drive Wise system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, and an electronic parking brake.

Other than the Toyota Avalon, the all-new 2017 Cadenza is again expected to challenge familiar competitors like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Chevy Impala, and Volkswagen Passat.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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