The large, second-generation Cadenza proves again to be a pleasant, upscale sedan that favors accommodations and power but dynamic prowess is not its strong suit. It is very roomy, with a smooth powertrain, decent fuel economy, and easy to use controls. While it doesn't delight in terms of ride and handling, Kia's competitively-priced large sedan does plenty of things right.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
NA
2017
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
NA
2017
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags.
Road Test

The large, second-generation Cadenza proves again to be a pleasant, upscale sedan that favors accommodations and power but dynamic prowess is not its strong suit. It is very roomy, with a smooth powertrain, decent fuel economy, and easy to use controls. While it doesn't delight in terms of ride and handling, Kia's competitively-priced large sedan does plenty of things right.

Like its predecessor, the second-generation Cadenza is powered by a slick 3.3-liter V6 engine. However, it's now mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps both responsiveness and fuel economy. The big Kia's 24 mpg overall on regular fuel is quite good.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Kia Cadenza owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Clock

"Occasionally the hands of the analog clock on the dashboard turn, very fast, a few times around the clock's face."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"Heat and cooled seats quit working. Problem was bad seat switch assembly. Took a long time for dealer to get required replacement part."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)
Keyless entry

"On several occasions, the push-start button stopped working when the temperature dropped below 60º. After a few visits to dealer a new battery was installed and that seemed to take care of the issue. Additionally, the driver-side button that unlucks the car, located on the door handle, stopped working. A new handle was installed at dealer."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"At 12000 miles the engine light came on due to a faulty sensor for the thermostat. Kia replaced at no cost"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

"bad sensor causing check engine light to activate. Dealer replaced sensor and thermostat"

Anonymous, VA (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

"Engine light indicated a problem. Dealership replaced electric thermostat assembly under warranty."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Wind noise

"Wind noise from passenger side windows."

Anonymous, PA (2017 Kia Cadenza Unsure 3.3-L V6)

"WIND NOISE SOUNDS LIKE IT IS COMING THROUGH THE AIR VENTS. BROUGHT BACK TO DEALER 3 TIMES. UNABLE TO LOCATE PROBLEM. COULD BE COMING FROM THE MICHELIN TIRES. DIDN'T WANT TO SPEND OVER $1000 FOR A NEW SET ,SO AM LIVING WITH THE NOISE."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"I'm hard on breaks but they wore out too soon."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)
Rotors

"I left the car outside for a month while on a trip. The brake rotors pitted where in contact with the brake pads"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"I live in Southern Florida where the temp is never less than say 50 degrees. System sometimes defaults to 32 degrees on the temp sensor. This causes the auto A/C not to come on. I switch to manual and it works that way. The, when the temp gets to the right temp the auto works fine."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

"The temperature gauge kept reverting to 32 degrees so my A/C wouldn't go on. After ten or 15 minutes the gauge would reset to the proper temperature and everything worked fine."

Stuart B., FL (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"I did not even notice it really but when I took it in for first check Kia told me of the problem and automatically fixed it with no down time"

Anonymous, GA (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Engine harness

"Engine light on #3 cylinder . Four times to dealer, 32 days in shop"

Anonymous, NY (2017 Kia Cadenza Premium 3.3-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Caused tires to wear out prematurely"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Software update fixes

"Could not change time on Electronic clock"

Anonymous, NC (2017 Kia Cadenza Limited 3.3-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Problem(s) fueling the tank

"welded seal of fuel tank was not completely welded closed, leaking from fuel tank. Dealer corrected"

Anonymous, VA (2017 Kia Cadenza Technology 3.3-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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