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2015 Kia K900 V-8 Long-Term Update 6

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The Motor Trend long-term fleet is remarkable for its variety, and the large and luxurious 2015 Kia K900 V-8 is on the extreme end of the comfort spectrum. So the K900 made quite an impression when associate online editor Erick Ayapana -- the chaperone of our long-term 2015 Honda Fit EX -- spent some quality time behind the wheel:"This might be the best road-trip car in MT's current long-term fleet," he said. "It's quiet, there's tons of space, and I was able to find a comfortable seating position right away. That said, it's a great road-trip car as long as the roads are straight. Steering feel is very soft, and the feedback is disappointing -- steering kickback, for example, is something I would tolerate in an economy car, but not a luxury sedan approaching $70,000. The V-8 is smooth, though I wish the gearbox responded quicker to downshifts. Sport mode seemed to help."Ayapana noticed a few needs-improvement areas, including the fact that the fantastic head-up display becomes useless if you're wearing polarized sunglasses, something I've mentioned in a previous update. That issue isn't unique to the Kia -- our long-term Mazda3 uses a small fold-up panel inside the cabin to avoid the problem. The solution provides a head-up display alternative that does work with polarized sunglasses, but it might not look sufficiently premium in a $66,400 car and doesn't display info quite as high as the Kia's.
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Welcome Theatrics

Although the K900's hands-free keyless access feature is great, Ayapana and I would prefer capacitive technology that senses when your hand is on the door and automatically unlocks it instead of you having to push a button on the door. It's a minor concern, but some other luxury cars have it -- not to mention Ayapana's $19,025 Honda Fit.Though seeing the side-view mirrors unfold and the puddle lights appear as you approach the car should please owners, other luxury vehicles already outdo the K900's "welcome theatrics." The Hyundai Genesis projects a Genesis badge on the ground below the side-view mirror, and the Lincoln MKC goes further in this department than anything I've driven yet. As you approach the MKC, LEDs in the headlights, taillights, and door handles gradually illuminate, plus Lincoln features its version of the light-projection tech/gimmick from the bottom of the side-view mirror. My point: Automotive luxury trends can move quickly, and even though 2015 is the K900's first model year in the U.S., I would already like to see Kia -- the automaker that offered power-folding side-view mirrors on a subcompact -- continue updating its welcome theatrics tech. The competent K900 has the power to surprise, but it also has more to prove to attract the few first-tier executive sedan drivers actually considering a Kia.More on our long-term Kia K900 V-8 here:

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2015 Kia K900 V-8 Long-Term Update 6

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