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. Ultimately it's one of the top scoring models in the large sedan class, beating the Toyota Avalon and trailing the Chevrolet Impala.
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 relatively good.
The Cadenza is not about handling agility. In everyday driving the Kia feels like the large car that it is, imparting a rather cumbersome feel. But, ultimately, handling is secure when the car is pushed to its limits. Ride comfort is sound, but it lacks the plushness that some might expect from a car in this category.