The large, second-generation Cadenza proves again to be an upscale vehicle that favors passenger coddling over driving verve.

The slick, punchy 3.3-liter V6 has been retuned for better fuel economy. Further aiding efficiency is a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic. The result is a commendable 24 mpg overall on regular gas.

This is a big, front-wheel-drive car, and it feels a bit cumbersome as it tries to hustle through turns. Nor is the ride quite as plush as its luxurious cabin implies. Though generally pleasant, the suspension falls short of the class-leading Chevrolet Impala when it comes to filtering out road imperfections.


The hushed, well-made interior is where the Cadenza shines. Broad doors make entry easy, the wide front seats fit most people well, and the rear seat has abundant legroom. The controls are refreshingly straightforward, and the infotainment system doesn’t require much of a learning curve. Plus, there are plenty of modest-sized compartments to stash small items.

We commend Kia for making forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard on higher-trim Cadenzas. But these two important safety systems aren’t available at all on the base Premium. That’s a shame, because stepping up to the Technology version means spending an additional $7,000 on top of the $32,890 base price.

Read the complete Kia Cadenza road test.

2017 Kia Cadenza

HIGHS: Acceleration, smooth powertrain, quietness, braking, interior room, controls
LOWS: Lacks agility, automatic emergency braking not available on Premium trim
POWERTRAIN: 290-hp, 3.3-liter V6 engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
FUEL: 24 mpg

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the July 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.