2020 Kia Cadenza Limited Review by Mark Fulmer +VIDEO
A Redesigned Sedan with a Flourish
By Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
I use the word "flourish" because "cadenza" is a musical term denoting a soloist flourish. And the 2020 version of this sedan from Kia does do that, both outside and in.
On the outside, there is a new hood and grille, a new look to the front fascia, and a new rear bumper and trunk lid. The headlights are thinner, the taillight runs full-width, and both are LED. Even the 19 inch wheels have been restyled.
On the inside, you'll find Nappa quilted leather seats with additional power-operated adjustments for the driver’s and front-passenger seats. The front seats added a ventilation function (the kids call them "bun coolers") and the rear outboard seats are heated (you guessed it, "bun warmers"). The 630-watt 12-speaker Harman Kardon system is a delight to the ears. Being a full-sized sedan there's plenty of room for five adults. The trunk will give you 16 cubic feet of cargo space.
A redesigned dash has both a 4.2-inch color display is inside the instrument panel, while a 12.3-inch touchscreen is used for the infotainment system. For everyone's devices there are three additional USB ports as well as a 10-watt wireless fast charger for smartphones. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are built in, as is multi-device Bluetooth connectivity. And to help project either your mood or the mood you want to have, a multi-color ambient LED lighting system is provided.
A 3.3-liter V-6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive creates 290 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. There are four driving modes available, and the double-edged sword of the V-6 means a smooth comfortable ride with good acceleration comes with mileage numbers in the high 20's. If you have frigid winters the Remote start is a handy system. Safety systems that used to be optional are now standard: automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control (excellent for long hauls and communter traffic), automatic high beam headlights, active lane control, and safe exit alerts for obstacles that could be approaching when opening a door. For all those tight parking situations you'll appreciate the surround-view monitor.
If you're wondering about reliability, it's good to know that the Kia brand is on an upswing and was ranked second in dependability last year indicates a strong future.