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2015 Kia K900 V-8 Long-Term Update 10

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/5/2015 Zach Gale, Motor Trend Staff

Executive luxury sedans must competently execute every detail — it all counts when you're spending big money on a car with more features than can be explored in a brief test drive. With our long-term 2015 Kia K900 V-8, I've comprehensively covered plenty of those features and discussed how the car drives, but after more than 15,000 miles behind the wheel, there remain a handful of features that deserve a quick shout-out — and one thing I wish would go away.

Credit card smart key — Also offered on the Hyundai Equus, our $66,400 Kia K900 arrived with a traditional key fob as well as a slim unit that's slightly thicker than a credit card and could fit into bigger wallets. The distinctive key is a cool feature you won't find on some expensive luxury cars, and I've found it useful mostly when driving alone. As an alternative to the traditional key fob, however, the so-called credit card smart key isn't valet-friendly, as there's nowhere to put a key ring. Also, it could mean your front passenger must wait a few seconds for you for to touch the driver's-side hands-free keyless access button before getting inside the unlocked cabin because the smart key lacks an unlock button to press as you approach the car.

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Adaptive cruise control — In the last K900 V-8 long-term update, I talked about how I wouldn't miss the car's adaptive cruise control if I had to drive a non-loaded model, and that's still true. For those who like zoning out on traffic-filled highway drives, though, the adaptive cruise control can come in handy. Although for now, I still prefer to have control over the acceleration and braking, my K900's infrequently used adaptive cruise is an effective aid that can bring the car to a complete stop if necessary; more basic systems disengage at less than around 30 mph. To get the system going again, just flick a switch on the steering wheel. Although the technology isn't perfectly smooth, it's good enough to keep using over many miles of traffic at speeds from 0 mph. Like most others I've tried, the system doesn't react as fast as I would like when changing lanes, but I consider that a positive because it encourages fewer lane changes.

2015 Kia K900 V-8 Long-Term Update 10

© Provided by MotorTrendLED map lights — The LED map lights in the front and rear light up and fade away gradually, and the system can be set to only have the rear driver's-side light illuminate if, say, that door has been opened, and so on for the other doors.

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Trunk cargo net — The K900's cargo net reminds me of the $24 CarGo Protection System in our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Sport in its attempt to provide stay-in-one-place, non-intrusive storage solutions. The K900's cargo net is held in place at four corners of the trunk, and because it's flat on top of the thick trunk mat, it's never in the way when you don't need it. When you do, just stick whatever you don't want moving (like soda or eggs) underneath the net and it's more protected than before. To give an extreme example, I could have used the feature when I once took a Motor Trend fleet car on an unplanned canyon run with a container of tasty brownie bites in the trunk — by the end of my drive, the container held much larger, fused-together brownie globs … MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image


And the thing I wish would go away? That's the damned "drive safely" legal drive safely agree screen. It's not completely Kia's fault, but I hope the automotive industry can one day move beyond those screens on vehicles that require an agreement to drive safely every time you get behind the wheel. On a family member's 2014 Lexus RX 350, the similar legal screen is automatically agreed after a few moments. In the case of cars with forced-input screens such as that of the K900, I'm guessing a disturbing number of drivers agree before getting back to their texting-and-driving routine.

What do you think: Do you mind the drive safely agree screens?

More on our long-term 2015 Kia K900 V-8 here:

2015 Kia K900© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Kia K900
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