I bet many people are surprised to hear hat Kia produces a luxury sedan. Well, I was also surprised at first. As a matter of fact, the South Korean automaker has actually done a great job with the sedan which can gradually rise to challenge German luxury sedans. The sedan is large and limo-like.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers represents the brand and actually rides in one. Though it seems absurd to pay over 50,000 for a Kia sedan, the price is all worth as the model packs a host of standard equipment which no other similarly priced sedan can match. Similarly equipped and sized sedans are way more expensive.
2016 Kia K900 Exterior
The 2016 Kia K900 full-size sedan will be offered in three trim levels which are the Premium V6, Luxury V6 and Luxury V8. The exterior look is a good blend of luxury and sophistication.
The luxury sedan is 200.6 inches long, 74.8 inches wide and 58.7 inches tall which show the K900 is a huge sedan. It is based on the BH-L platform which is also used on the Hyundai Genesis.
The base V6 Premium trim comes standard with the signature “tiger nose” grille flanked by automatic xenon headlights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, LED DRLs and LED fog lights. The base model rides in 18-inch alloy wheels. It also features automatic rain sensing wipers and windshield wiper de-icers, front and rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors as well as a hands-free power trunk lid.
Other standard features include a shark-fin roof antenna. The Luxury V-8 adds LED headlights, 19-inch wheels and a surround view parking camera system.
2016 Kia K900 Interior
The interior styling is enticingly close to its German rivals. The styling is up-to-date with current technologies. To start with, there is a 9.2-inch infotainment system mounted in the middle of the dashboard. It also features a power tilt –and-telescoping steering wheel.
The cabin further features a genuine wood trim that is heavily lacquered with a glittered finish which is a bit of a letdown as it looks plastic-like. Its BMW iDrive-like infotainment controller is complicated and its unintuitive menus are a bit frustrating. It also features numerous buttons spread all over the cabin making it look a bit cluttered. The cabin also lacks a rear entertainment system, audio controls for rear passengers and seatback trays.
Nonetheless, the cabin is very comfortable and cozy. It features heated and ventilated seats, leather upholstery, and 8-way power front seats with 4-way lumbar support. The front seats are heated and ventilated. The rear seats are also heated. There is also a 14-speaker Lexicon audio system with HD and satellite radios, CD player, a front USB port, an auxiliary audio jack as well as a media player interface.
The Luxury V6 trim adds a gear shifter with steeling wheel paddle shifters, a heated steering wheel with wood trim, upgraded leather upholstery and a wood interior trim. The trim also has a VIP Package which adds a surround view parking camera which is standard on the V-8 Luxury trim and a number of driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking system, lane departure warning and blind-spot warning among others.
It also adds 12-way driver and 10-way front passenger seats with a simulated headliner. It also adds a Rear Seat VIP package which features 60/40-split seat with power-reclining. The seats are also power adjustable with lumbar support, are ventilated and feature airplane-like folding sleeper headrests.
In addition to a bigger engine, the Luxury V-8 trim adds an upgraded instrument display and an array of driving aids such as blind-spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning as standard. The trim has a VIP Plus package which offers quilted leather upholstery, soft-close doors and a wood seatback trim.
In terms of safety, the K900 is equipped with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear parking cameras, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert all as standard on the V8 but optional for the Luxury V-6. Also, a forward collision mitigation system is offered as standard on both Luxury trims.
Engine Specs and performance
Under the hood, the 2016 Kia K900 is equipped with two drive-trains. New for 2016 in the US, the sedan will be availed with a V-6 engine. As such, the base engine on the base Premium and also available on the Luxury trim is a 3.8 L V-6 engine which puts up 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is mated to a standard 8-speed automatic system that sends power to the rear wheels. AWD is not available. The engine is estimated to return 17 mpg in city, 26 mpg on highway and 20 mpg on combined drives by EPA.
The most potent engine available only on the V-8 Luxury trim is a 5.0 L V-8 engine which comes good with 420 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The engine is also offered in rear wheel drive as standard.
The V-8 is EPA estimated to return 15 mpg in city, 23 mpg on highway and 18 mpg on combined drives. The vehicle runs from standstill to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds which though respectable is a bit sluggish as a number of other sedans of similar size can run faster.
Price and release date
The 2016 Kia K900 is already in dealer showrooms. The addition of the V-6 engine in the US market brings affordability to the lineup. The base Premium trim starts MSRP at $ 49,950 inclusive of a $ 950 destination charge. The Luxury trim with a V-6 is more expensive at $ 54,950 while the top-of-the-range Luxury V-8 goes for $ 62,850.
The large luxury sedan market is very tough and is dominated by the trio of German luxury automakers (Audi, Mercedes and BMW). Although Kia says they are aiming at the likes of BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, those seem too far out of reach for Kia at the moment.
We believe its real rivals are the likes of Hyundai Equus, the Infiniti Q70 and Acura RLX. All in all, Kia has done a great job at its first stab in this really tough segment.