2019 Kia K900 front.

Kia took the wraps off its redesigned, second-generation K900 flagship luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show. Like the original, the 2019 K900 is positioned as a value-driven luxury car that promises the features and experience found in prestige-brand rivals at a significantly lower cost.

Now based on the capable Genesis G90, the large Kia looks more tailored and stately than before. Under the hood is a twin-turbo V6 shared with the Genesis G80 and G90, as well as the Kia Stinger, routing power using standard all-wheel drive. 

2019 Kia K900

What it competes with, in size: BMW 7 Series, Genesis G90, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class
What it competes with, in price: BMW 5 Series, Genesis G80, Mercedes-Benz E-Class

What it looks like: A large luxury sedan

Powertrains: 365-hp, 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

On-sale date: Early winter 2018

Outside

The conservatively styled second-gen K900 is a marginally bigger car than the one it replaces, to the tune of a 2.3-inch-longer wheelbase and an extra inch of overall length. Kia says the new K900 has a more rigid body than the previous model, thanks to greater use of structural adhesives. 

Inside

Kia has upped the K900’s game inside the cabin, with lots of metal veneer and a choice among four different types of open-pore, matte-finished wood. Front seats come with both heat and ventilation.

The driver’s seat has available 20-way power adjustability, and the front passenger seat can be adjusted 16 ways. Passengers can personalize the second-row settings as well: The rear seats can be adjusted up to 14 ways, including a seatback that can recline, and it has optional heated and ventilated seats there to boot.

A 12.3-inch touch-screen infotainment display is perched high on the dashboard, and with a controller knob on the center console. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are included. A Maurice Lacroix analog clock sits in the middle of the center stack, adding a touch of class.

K900 buyers will have the choice of a 7-inch instrument cluster or an optional 12.3-inch version. A 9.7-inch head-up display is also available, capable of showing speed, navigation, audio, and driver-assistance information on the windshield in front of the driver.

For music lovers, the K900 has a 900-watt, 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon audio system—the most powerful system Kia has ever put into one of its cars. Turn off the powerful stereo, and the K900’s cabin should be even quieter than before, thanks to a host of new insulation materials throughout the vehicle’s structure.

2019 Kia K900 interior.

What Drives It

Kia has ditched the K900’s V6 and V8 engine options in favor of a 3.3-liter, 365-hp twin-turbocharged V6 shared with other Genesis and Kia models. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission combined with standard all-wheel drive; the original K900 came only in rear-wheel-drive configuration.

Kia says the front and rear suspensions were re-engineered, with the aim of quicker turn-in and a more athletic handling feel than the car it replaces. The last K900 was far more comfortable floating down the highway than it was at carving corners, so we’ll be keen to see whether or how much handling has improved.

There will be an available electronically controlled suspension system that constantly reacts to road conditions.

Safety & Driver-Assist Systems

The 2019 K900 comes with a comprehensive list of advanced safety systems, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic warning, and driver-attention warning. Kia’s Blind Spot View Monitor gives a live video feed of adjacent lanes when the turn signal is activated.

Another system, called Safe Exit Assist, watches for potential hazards when passengers open a door. It will prevent the door from being opened (even if the door is unlocked) if the system senses a cyclist or motorcycle approaching the car from behind.

CR’s Take

Kia offers this full-sized luxury sedan for the price of a midsized luxury sedan offered by established boutique brands. The original K900 has been an extremely slow-selling model for Kia. On paper at least, the new K900 might be a more capable and pleasant car, but the Kia logo may continue to hinder its appeal to well-heeled customers. That's a shame, because it promises to be a richly appointed car for the money.

2019 Kia K900 rear.


Check out CR's complete 
coverage of the 2018 New York Auto Show.