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2016 Kia K900 V6 Luxury Sedan Review by Larry Nutson +VIDEO

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2016 Kia K900
First Class Luxury

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Many, many miles have been driven down the highway since Kia arrived bringing its vehicles to the roads of the U.S. more than two decades ago. In June of this year J.D. Power recognized the brand as the highest scoring nameplate in its 2016 Initial Quality Study (IQS) out of all 33 makes in the U.S.  This marked the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has topped the rankings.

Kia now sells over 600,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. and has become a benchmark in many vehicle segments.

Kia’s top-of-the-range K900 4-door luxury sedan first appeared in 2015 with its V8 power, rear wheel drive, good looks, refined interior, and lots of comfort and smoothness. I drove that model about a year and a half ago and have been looking forward to a revisit.

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For 2016 a V6 engine is now offered, in addition to the V8. The K900 now comes in three models - the Premium V6 priced at $49,000, the Luxury V6 priced at $54,900 and the Luxury V8 at $61,900.

When I drove the 2015 Kia K900 with V8 power, word was already out that the V6 would be coming. The V8 performs very well and will accelerate from stop to 60mph in about 5.7 seconds. Although some competitive luxury models have quicker times, the K900 V8 is no slouch. An under-six second zero to 60 is plenty for the average driver.

On this go-round I drove the Luxury V6. Power output is 311 HP coming from a 3.8L DOHC. That’s mated to an eight-speed automatic driving the rear wheels. Published reports peg zero to 60 mph at around the 6.2 second mark. By the way the V8, a DOHC 5.0-L, makes 420HP.

For 2016 there’s been a few updates on the outside with a new grille up front and at the rear there’s updated chrome trim, exhaust pipes, taillight design and a new bumper. A new smart power trunk opens the trunk automatically when the key fob is sensed in your pocket or purse near the deck lid for more than three seconds.

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The availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is another big advancement. It utilizes the front camera and Advanced Smart Cruise Control system, which adjusts vehicle speed to help maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front, and has the ability to bring the K900 to a full stop. More and more we see driver-assistance safety features being added to all new vehicles. This is not about autonomus car technology but safety items that are driver aids and will help keep you from an accidental collision.

As it goes in the world of new vehicle news I needed to drive from Chicago to Ann Arbor, MI to visit another car maker. Road trips are always a good way to get to know a vehicle. I’m now slouch on the highway but midweek travel on the interstate always will include lots of semi-trucks that influence the pace. My drive east had its share of slowdowns and re-accelerations. In spite of that, the K900 got 30mpg on the 70mph speed limit interstate. This certainly came as a surprise considering the EPA test-cycle highway rating for the V6 is 26 mpg. On my return leg I could move faster and with a more constant speed and got 31 mpg.

I’ve heard from some of my colleagues who have driven the V6 K900 that they have had similar low fuel consumption experiences on the highway. The EPA test-cycle city rating is 17 mpg and the overall combined is 20 mpg. For comparison the V8 has EPA test-cycle ratings of 23 highway mpg, 15 city mpg and 18 mpg combined.

So what kind of luxury do you get with the K900? Well, beyond the standard leather interior, navigation system, and large sunroof there’s a front and rear camera display, front and rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated front sears, heated rear seats, power adjusting steering column, heated steering wheel, a rear seat center console with climate and seat controls, side and rear window sunshades and more.

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A $5000 VIP package that was on my media-loaner includes head-up display, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, smart cruise control, power headrests, power lower cushion extension on the drivers seat, and power reclining rear seats that are also ventilated.

There’s lots of equipment to keep you safe and pamper you too. There even are soft-close power door latches and a chauffeur switch for the front passenger seat…to move the seat forward so you have lots of rear legroom.

All-in-all the K900 is one very nice ride. It’s high on comfort and luxury features, has good overall performance while not being in the sport sedan category. The V6 model is equipped with 245/50R18 tires that provide good dynamic behavior and yet are not too harsh riding. The V8 has staggered tire sizes with 245/45R19 up front and 275/40R19 in the rear that can be a bit firm-riding with their low profile.

There’s no news on whether we’ll see all-wheel drive on the K900. That being the case, I would suggest using winter tires on all of the three models if you live in a snowy-winter area.

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More details on the 2016 Kia K900 can be found at Compare the K900 to other large luxury sedans right here at

The K900 is heavy on value. Loads of comfort, features and equipment and the latest in safety technology is provided at many thousands less than other luxury brands.

© 2016 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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