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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2015 KIA K900 REVIEW


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2015 Kia K900
HEELS ON WHEELS: 2015 KIA K900 REVIEW

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE K900 VEHICLE Only Kia would dare to offer a vehicle lineup that spans for affordable compacts to a more luxurious full-sized sedan with rear drive, better known as the K900. Like the also-glamorous Cadenza, it’s sleek and technologically advanced – but with more performance thanks to a roaring 5-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.

I drove a 2015 Kia K900 with that standard 420-horsepower direct-injection 5-liter V8 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Available in just two trims – Premium or Luxury – my model featured the following standard features: Nappa leather upholstery; wood trim interior accents; three-zone climate control; an upgraded Lexicon Logic7 audio system with XM Radio; UVO eServices telematics; backup camera with park assist; a navigation system with an 9.2-inch touchscreen; heated front and rear seats; power front seating; push-button start; leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls; back-up sensors; LED headlights with Dynamic Bending Light; a suite of safety technology; nineteen-inch chrome alloy wheels; a power retractable rear sunshade; and power trunk open and close. Price as described comes to $59,500 without options.

Kia is bold enough to compare the K900 to the BMW 750i and Lexus LS 460. Now in its second year of existence, additions for the model year include an optional interior Highline Package that includes beige or black Nappa leather and wood-trimmed heated steering wheel.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: The K900 is quite the lesson in opulence and comfort, attractive in just about every way and angle, inside and out. What’s really notable is how second-row passengers receive first-class treatment with an array of power controls that can even move the front passenger seat forward. Kia’s in-car UVO eServices adds voice-command navigation, music and calls, in addition to a whopping 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with a backup camera. Yet with all these advanced choices, the K900 is a smart arrangement of commands and buttons, and syncing your iPhone takes just seconds. My model featured an additional $6k VIP Package that included a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, driver’s seat cushion extension, and ventilated rear seats with lumbar support among other things.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2015 Kia K900 is not yet rated by The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) and it is not listed with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Usually these large sedans do fairly well in safety crash tests. The K900 features as standard equipment an advanced airbag system, ESC, anti-lock brakes, VSM, and many safety tech features like Blind-Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning – all of which are very helpful on a car of this size in everyday driving situations, from backing out of busy parking lots to changing highway lanes.

Cost Issues: The Premium trim starts at $54,500 with my Luxury trim and optional packages coming in at $65,500.

Activity & Performance Ability: In true Kia fashion, the K900 features responsive and smooth acceleration. Outfitted with a complex suspension system, this larger sedan lag can handle those tight turns and rough service with grace and precision. And additional performance benefit is the rear-drive layout that encourages spirited driving, backed by a solid chassis consisting of ultra-high tensile strength steel for a body that displays exceptional strength and rigidity. The advanced safety options are also key for a vehicle of this size so as to keep the experience serene.

The Green Concern: The 5-liter V8 does pretty good job of not shocking buyers with its fuel economy numbers of 15-city and 23-highway for a combined 18 miles-per-gallon – keep in note some SUVs with V6 engines deliver this.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
Out to challenge your notions of just what vehicle brands can and cannot create a luxury oriented sedan, the 2015 Kia K900 has as much elegance and performance as its better known competitors – well worth the test drive.

©2015 Katrina Ramser