Future Models - Kia 2016 Cadenza
New York show: Front-drive Kia Cadenza not for Oz
Forward eight: The Kia Cadenza is Kia’s first front-drive model to feature an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Second-generation Kia Cadenza unveiled in NYC debuts eight-speed auto, safety tech
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24 March 2016
AUSTRALIAN Kia fans seeking a bigger sedan than the Optima had better move to
North America, where the second-generation Cadenza has just been revealed at
the New York motor show – and will be right-hand-drive only.
Nestled in the North American Kia sedan range between the Optima and the
rear-drive K900, the Californian-designed new Cadenza aims to build on the
success of its critically-acclaimed predecessor with a premium interior, high
levels of technology and an improved combination of ride comfort and dynamics.
Hyundai-Kia’s familiar 3.3-litre V6 engine has received fuel-efficiency tweaks
for the new Cadenza but the real driveline highlight is the South Korean
company’s first eight-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel-drive
vehicles, developed in-house and said to be lighter than the outgoing six-speed
despite having an extra two ratios.
Further technological advancements include a version of blind-spot monitoring
that detects when the Cadenza is getting too close to an adjacent vehicle and
brakes the opposite-side front wheel to pull it back into line and prevent a
Also available are adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning,
autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.
There is also a head-up display and higher-resolution around-view monitor
camera display with reversing guidelines for the rear camera plus Apple CarPlay
and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a 12-speaker Harmon/Kardon sound
system and automatic boot opening when the car detects someone with the key fob
behind it for more than three seconds.
Styling inside and out is closer to the premium-positioned K900 than the
everyman Optima, the grille representing an evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’
motif and higher specification levels getting a unique chrome treatment with
horizontal bars to compliment the Z-shaped LED signature strips on the chunky
headlights and sleek 3D-effect LED-illuminated taillights.
Following the premium trend of wraparound dashboards, the Cadenza interior can
be specified with Nappa leather and features soft-touch materials, leathers and
contrast stitching across four colour combinations.
The front seats have been lowered compared with the original Cadenza and fitted
with a new rotate-and-slide leg support extension plus upgraded heating
elements that are said to more evenly distribute warmth and intelligently
reduce to a background heat setting once up to temperature.
More than twice the amount of high-strength steel has been used in the new
Cadenza’s body construction than the outgoing model, the side panels are more
dent-resistant, some suspension components are now aluminium instead of steel
and overall structural stiffness has been increased by 35 per cent.
Suspension settings for comfort and dynamics have also been overhauled, with
‘amplitude selective’ dampers using additional valves to provide better body
control on various surface types and hydraulic rebound stoppers smoothing
progress over broken bitumen.
The steering system has been upgraded to more powerful 32-bit electronics,
which are claimed to improve response and on-centre feel.
Acoustic glass in the windscreen and side windows, a full floorpan cover and
increased A-pillar insulation have improved wind and road noise while reducing
overall noise, vibration and harshness.
In addition to the Cadenza’s RHD-only production, Australia’s declining large
car segment makes a weak case for the investment in conversion and import.
Despite the much-improved second-generation Optima being released in Australia
last November, sales are down 11.1 per cent to the end of February this year
with 169 registered – against a backdrop of overall Kia ales being up 25.1 per
cent in the same timeframe.
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