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2015 Kia Cadenza

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/19/2015

New for 2015

The 2015 Kia Cadenza gains a new grille design and fender garnish on Limited models, standard eight-way power front passenger seats, rear armrest with cup holders and USB charging, LED room/map lights, chrome trim finishes, wood grain with metal accents, and an analog dash clock design. Premium-trim vehicles are now available with the Technology package and a stand-alone panoramic sunroof option. Limited variants gain FlexSteer and the Surround View Monitor multi-camera parking system as standard equipment.


Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Kia Cadenza is a front-drive full-size sedan slotting above the midsize Optima and below the K900 luxury car. Its sole engine option is a 3.3-liter V-6 with 293 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is average for the class at 19/28 mpg city/highway.


Comfort is the 2015 Kia Cadenza's forte, with a ride that's "smooth, well-sorted and amazingly comfortable." While it isn't a sports car, the car remains confident around corners but not at the sacrifice of ride quality. The V-6 and the well-tuned six-speed automatic work well together and provide great acceleration despite the Cadenza's near 4,000-pound curb weight.

Interior space in the 2015 Cadenza is generous for passengers and a decent 15.9-cubic foot trunk. While the cabin's design is conservative, its build quality is top-notch with high-grade materials that "feel rich." Controls for the infotainment system, which features Kia's UVO interface, is logical, intuitive, and centralized in the large eight-inch touch screen.

The 2015 Kia Cadenza has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

What We Think

Among full-size sedans, the 2015 Kia Cadenza is an excellent choice since it offers features normally found in luxury cars that cost more. In a 2014 First Test, we said that the car offers high levels of comfort thanks to an excellent chassis that isolates passengers from road imperfections. This doesn't come at the cost of good handling because the Cadenza "corners surprisingly flat and confidently." However, in a 2013/2014 Full-size Sedan Comparison, we noted that its steering "lacked much feel" and that the six-speed automatic was slightly slow to downshift.

Refinement is also another strong point, with a cabin that is "whisper quiet" even at higher speeds. The features offered on the Cadenza is also impressive with digital clusters, adaptive headlights, upgraded leather, heated seats front and rear, cooled front seats, and a host of safety aids like blind spot warning and lane departure warning, putting it on par with more expensive vehicles in terms of equipment.

You'll Like

  • Smooth ride and stable handling
  • User-friendly infotainment system controls
  • Well-built and refined cabin

You Won't Like

  • Average fuel economy
  • Transmission is slightly slow to downshift
  • Numb steering feel

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Avalon
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Hyundai Azera
  • Ford Taurus
  • Nissan Maxima


4 star


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