2019 Kia Cadenza

#159
in Midsize sedans
2019 MODEL
$32,900 - $43,900 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

A great way to sell a car would be to introduce luxury features and lots of standard equipment from a segment above and that is exactly the story with the 2019 Kia Cadenza. Come 2019, Kia has made a lot of features standard on the Cadenza, some even from a segment above and in no time, it has become the most luxurious car in the segment, still at a competent price.

The 2019 Kia Cadenza comes powered with a 3.3L, V6 engine which produces 290 horsepower and 253 lbs-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Cadenza has very elegant styling and luxuriously appointed in the interiors but priced at just $32,900 for its base variant.


The Cadenza takes on the Chevrolet Impala, the Ford Taurus and the Chrysler 300. All the cars are powered by V6 engines producing around 300 horsepower and while all these cars are quite close on performance, the Cadenza is certainly the most premium offering in the segment. Let's have a better look at the Cadenza and how it fares against the competition.

2019 Kia Cadenza Features

The Cadenza comes in three trims – Premium, Technology and the Limited. All trims are powered by the same engine and are also mated to the same gearbox. Each trims juts adds on more to the features but even the base trim is pretty well equipped for that matter. The top trim really gets luxurious for that matter and the cadenza actually intends to compete against European premium cars.

Trim

Premium

Technology

Limited

MSRP

$32,900

$37,990

$43,900

Key Features

Sunroof

19" Alloy Wheels

Cruise control

 

18 inch wheels

Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade

19-inch wheels

 

Power-folding side mirrors

LED Headlights and LED Fog Lights

Automatic high beams

 

Navigation and smartphone integration

Navigation and Harman/Kardon Premium Surround Sound

Head-up display

 

8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen interface

Lane Departure Warning

Wireless smartphone charging

 

12-speaker sound system

Driver Attention Warning

Electric parking brake

 

Electric steering column adjustment

Lane Keeping Assist-Line

Nappa leather upholstery

 

Interior mood lighting

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistance

360-degree exterior camera views

 

Blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert

Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go

Automatic emergency braking

 

Powered rear sunshade

 

Lane keeping assist feature

 

Manual rear door shades

 

Paddle Shifters

 

Heated and ventilated front seats

   
 

Heated rear seats

   

We’d Recommend:

We’d recommend you the top of the line, Limited trim as it comes with all the technology you would ever want in a car. Also, in its top trim, the Cadenza intends to compete against European luxury cars and for that matter, it is very well priced for what it comes it. The Limited trim makes great value for money if you are willing to consider an alternative for the European luxury cars.

2019 Kia Cadenza Engine

“While not as quick as its rivals, the Cadenza's V-6 engine is extremely refined and competent. The transmission could be more civilized, but the Smart driving mode makes the most of the powertrain's capabilities.” – Car and Driver

Models

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

MSRP

$38,890

$37,595

$38,305

$39,040

Engine

3.3L V6 DOHC

3.6L V6

3.5L V6 Regular Unleaded

3.6L V6 Regular Unleaded

Transmission

8 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

8 Speed automatic

Horsepower

290 hp @ 6400 rpm

305 hp @ 6800 rpm

288 hp @ 6500 rpm

292 hp @ 6350 rpm

Torque

253 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm

264 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm

254 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

260 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm

The Cadenza is powered by a 3.3L, V6 engine which produces 290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 253 lbs-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. While the engine is adequately powerful for the car, there is no hint of sportiness from the engine. The power delivery is more gradual than instant but it sure is smooth and refined. It is an effortless cruiser.

The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The gearbox is tuned towards efficiency in that it likes to be at a higher gear at low rpms. Also, at full throttle it is a bit reluctant to downshift and passing maneuvers may take a little more time than you would expect. Still, it’s a fairly decent gearbox and gets its job done well enough.

When compared to the other engines in the competition, the Cadenza is competently powered. Only the Chevrolet Impala is a little more powerful than the others in the competition. The Kia and the Chrysler have 8-speed automatics whereas the Impala and the Taurus come with 6-speed gearboxes.

Acceleration

Models

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

0-60 MPH

6.8

6.2 sec

5.2 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter mile

N/A

14.8 sec

13.7 sec

14.2 sec

Engine

3.3 LV6 DOHC

3.6L V6

3.5L V6 Regular Unleaded

3.6L V6 Regular Unleaded

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.7

8.0

8.4

8.4

The Cadenza accelerates to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.8 seconds which is the slowest in the competition here. There is certainly no hint of sportiness from the car and a time of 6.8 seconds is quite below the average for this class. Acceleration is gradual and kit takes considerable time to build up mits pace. However, this car is not about outright acceleration.

Ride and Handling

The Cadenza intends to be a comfortable cruiser and that it does very well. It has a very good ride quality, perhaps not the best in the segment, but still plenty well. The cabin is hushed and all noises have been insulated pretty well indeed. It soaks up undulations on the road very well too.

A comfortable ride quality means compromised handling and the Cadenza lives up to that. There is considerable body roll around corners if you push it a little hard. Also, dips in the asphalt cause the body to lean and rock to the side more than in other large sedans.

The steering, like in most Kia’s is mostly numb. The steering is light and easy to operate at low speeds but does not weigh up adequately at higher speeds. Also, there is very little feedback from the road through the steering. It’s typically Kia and if you are a laid back driver, you wouldn’t complain at all. However, it’s certainly not for the enthusiast.

Braking

Model

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

12.6

13.9

13.6

Brake Rear (in.)

11.8

12.4

13.6

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3770

N/A

4140

4013

60-0 MPH (ft.)

120

130

N/A

121

The Kia Cadenza does have good brakes. It decelerates from 60 mph to a standstill in 120 ft which is pretty impressive for the segment. In fact, the Kia has the least braking distance in the competition here. The brake pedal is adequately communicative and responds well to inputs on the pedal. There is good biting force and the braking remains predictable too.

2019 Kia Cadenza Fuel Economy

Model

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

MPG (city)

20

18

18

19

MPG (highway)

27

28

26

30

MPG (combined)

23

22

21

23

Tank Capacity (gal)

18.5

18.5

19.0

18.5

The Kia Cadenza has the best fuel economy in the segment. The Kia has been optimized for fuel economy and it really delivers on that. 23 miles to the gallon combined is pretty good for the segment. However, the Chrysler 300 also returns 23 miles to the gallon combined and the others are not far behind either.

2019 Kia Cadenza Interior

“The Cadenza's classy, well-built cabin provides the same luxuries as its rivals and then some. Outward visibility is good, too. A high-quality, elegant interior pulls cues from class-above manufacturers.” – Car and Driver

Design

The interiors too carries over the premium feel with an understated elegance. The cabin has been laid out simplistically, nothing much fancy really but the moment you are in the cabin, you know it’s a premium car. The wood-like trim on the dashboard and accents of stitching all around give it a rich feeling. Material quality used are very nice and finish and fit levels are top notch too. There are a few hard plastic panels here and them but you easily ignore them.

An 8-inch infotainment screen takes center place on the dashboard flanked by the AC vents on either sides. The climate controls and the audio controls are neatly stacked in two bands of switches. The center console area with the gear lever and several other controls look sleek as well.

The steering particularly feels very good to hold. It can also be heated and the digital screen in the instrument cluster in between the two analog dials are one of the coolest in the class. The aesthetic sense that went into designing the cabin is very pleasing. It is classy and certainly above its segment.

Seating and Comfort

Model

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.5/58.3/45.5

39.9/57.9/45.8

39.0/57.9/44.2

38.6/59.5/41.8

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.6/56.5/37.2

37.4/56.9/39.8

37.8/56.9/38.1

37.9/57.7/40.1

Again on paper, the Kia does not have the best interior dimensions but it has plenty of space inside. There’s good headroom even with the panoramic sunroof and plenty of legroom. The seats themselves are very comfortable. The front seats are heated or cooled and supremely comfortable. Kia wanted to make this car a great cruiser and with its cabin and seats on point, it really helps the purpose of the car.

Infotainment System

The infotainment system in the Cadenza is pretty good for its standards. It comes loaded with lots of features as standard but the system is sometimes slow to respond to command. It’s a touchscreen unit and navigation through the menus can also be confusing at times.

But that’s just a matter of time and other than the fact that we would have liked a faster response time, the system is pretty nice with good graphics and features. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which makes things all the more convenient. However, the navigation system is not very efficient every time in identifying all streets properly.

Interior Features

  • Navigation and smartphone integration
  • 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen interface
  • 12-speaker sound system
  • Electric steering column adjustment
  • Interior mood lighting
  • Blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert
  • Powered rear sunshade
  • Manual rear door shades
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • 12-way driver’s seat with seat cushion extension
  • Automatic high beams
  • Head-up display
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • Electric parking brake
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • 360-degree exterior camera views
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist feature
  • Paddle Shifters

Cargo Capacity

Model

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

16.0

18.8

20.1

16.3

The Cadenza has the smallest trunk volume in the competition here. Still the boot is large enough to pack in three large bags and then some more. It’s big enough to carry all you would want to carry over a weekend trip for your entire family.

2019 Kia Cadenza Exterior

“Thoughtful touches give the 2019 Kia Cadenza an upscale look, and while its styling doesn’t excite as much as the Stinger, many would confuse this Korean sedan for a German if the badge was removed.” – The Car Connection

Design

The Kia Cadenza is a very premium looking sedan. It has a certain poise and elegance to it which really makes it look like it belongs to a segment above. The designers have kept it simple, yet elegant. The concave grille reminds you of Maserati and the Z-shaped LED DRLs give it a distinctive look. The quad LED fog lamps add some zing to the otherwise simple and neat, but very elegant front fascia.

Come over to the sides and the neatness continues. There are so sharp lines or creases, just beautifully contoured fenders and wheel arches to bring out the curves of the car. The 19 inch gloss wheels look absolutely stunning and contributes a lot towards the premium look at the Cadenza

The rear continues to be flush and neat. The LDR DRLs have been imitated at the rear as well with a chrome band joining the two tail lamp units. The sloping roofline gives a nice silhouette and the dual exhausts on either side complete off the look.

Exterior Dimensions

Model

Kia Cadenza

Chevrolet Impala
 

Ford Taurus

Chrysler 300

Curb weight (lbs.)

3770

N/A

4140

4013

Length(in)

195.7

201.3

202.9

198.6

Width(in)

73.6

73.0

76.2

75

Height(in)

57.9

58.9

60.7

58.7

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

N/A

5.1

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

112.4

111.7

112.9

120.2

Track width (in) F/R

63.1/63.4

62.2/62

65.3/65.5

63.4/63.8

The Cadenza does not have the biggest dimensions in the segment. In fact it has the shortest length, almost the narrowest after the Chevrolet Impala and also the shortest. It still has competitive wheelbase in spite of being shorter in dimensions from its rivals. In spite of being short on paper, the Cadenza is still a pretty big car, suitable for its segment.

Exterior Features

  • Unique Vertical Design Front Grille
  • Body-Color Heated Power Mirrors w/ LED Turn Signal Indicators
  • Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade
  • Solar Control Glass
  • Sound-Absorbing Front Windshield and Front Door Windows
  • Projector Beam Headlights w/ Auto Leveling
  • LED Headlights
  • LED Front Fog Lights
  • LED Rear Combination Lamps
  • Integrated Dual Exhaust w/ Chrome Surround
  • 19" Alloy Wheels, Dark Satin Finish

2019 Kia Cadenza Safety

The Kia Cadenza comes loaded with plenty of safety features. In fact it is perhaps the best loaded in terms of safety tech in the entire class. The Cadenza has not been tested by NHTSA as of yet but IIHS has rated the 2018 model of this car and it carries over pretty much unchanged to the year 2019. In that respect, it scored very well by IIHS receiving ‘Good’ rating is almost every criteria.

  • Dual Front Advanced Airbags
  • Dual Front and Rear Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags
  • Driver's Knee Airbag
  • 3-Point Seat Belts for All Seating Positions
  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
  • Rear Child-Safety Door Locks
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • High-line Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Side-Impact Door Beams
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Impact-Sensing Auto Door Unlock

2019 Kia Cadenza Competition

Kia Cadenza vs Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala has a little more power and torque than the Cadenza but that does not make much real world difference. What the Cadenza does much better than the Impala is in its ride quality and premium feel that the cabin gives. The Impala is also not the most enthusiastic handler but neither is the Cadenza. The Impala however just cannot match the premium-ness of the Cadenza. Yes, the Impala has a little more performance than the Cadenza but the Cadenza is much better value for money for what it offers.

Kia Cadenza vs Ford Taurus

Very close on paper, the Ford Taurus is the better performer of the two. It comes with all-wheel drive and handles better than the Cadenza. That said, the Taurus is really let down by its interiors. It does not have any sense of occasion and the all black theme does not help it either. The Cadenza also has a better sense of style. And talking about style, the Taurus does not match up on the level of premium-ness of the Cadenza. At the same price point, choosing between these cars depends on what you want. If you want performance, the Ford is a good choice, but for everything else, it’s the Cadenza.

Kia Cadenza vs Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 is a luxurious sedan, still not quite as modern as the Cadenza. It looks elegant but seems like it belongs to the last generation. The interiors are well appointed but lacks the aesthetics of the Cadenza. Yes, it has good ride quality and a quite cabin but so does the Cadenza. Also, it’s not so great in terms of handling or performance either. Being more expensive than the Cadenza, it does not make much sense to buy the 300. The Cadenza would be a much better car to live with.

2019 Kia Cadenza Final Verdict

The Kia Cadenza is an extremely good car for what it is. It looks very stylish, it has great interiors which are loaded with technology and garnished with great materials all over. The ride quality is very nice and it’s an effortless cruiser. Yes, it’s not the fastest and performance is not really its forte but it will do most other things much better than its competitors.

The Cadenza makes for a great daily driver and it really feels premium and special. Considering the price at which it is being offered, it also makes great value for money. No other car in this segment does so many things quite as great as the Kia Cadenza.

Pros

Very stylish looks

Premium interiors with great materials used

Lots of technology and safety features at this price point

Very spacious interiors

Cons

Not very sporty in either acceleration or handling

Trunk is smaller than its rivals

Headroom may be less for tall passengers with the sunroof

What's New?

Usability improvements for the touchscreen and the instrument cluster

Standard blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and power-folding mirrors on Premium models

Luxury package equipment now standard on Technology model


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$32900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

290 hp @ 6400 rpm

torque

253 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

dimensions

wheelbase

112.4 in.

length

195.7 in.

width

73.6 in.

height

57.9 in.

curb weight

3633 lbs.

capacity

cargo volume

16 cu ft.

payload capacity

1085 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/27 mpg

highway range

499.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 years/60000 miles

drivetrain warranty

10 years/100000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2019 Kia Cadenza in Snow White Pearl color  2019 Kia Cadenza in Platinum Graphite color  2019 Kia Cadenza in Aurora Black color
Snow White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Kia Cadenza Premium

Premium

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$32,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $32,900 MSRP (20 mpg/23/27 mpg) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5 NA

 2019 Kia Cadenza Technlogy

Technlogy

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$37,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Technology 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $37,990 MSRP (20 mpg/23/27 mpg) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5 NA

 2019 Kia Cadenza Limited

Limited

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$43,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $43,900 MSRP (20 mpg/23/27 mpg) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5 NA

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