Song and dance as new Kia Cadenza makes its debut on the world’s stage

The Big Apple hosted the world debut of the all-new Kia Cadenza at the New York International Auto Show.

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss – The Cadenza improves upon all the elements that made its predecessor an award-winning success, boasting a precisely crafted cabin, cutting edge technology for connectivity and driver assistance, a stronger body structure, and powertrain enhancements for a more premium experience behind the wheel, Kia said.

The Kia Cadenza: brimful with technology. Picture: Motorpress
The Kia Cadenza: brimful with technology. Picture: Motorpress

“The new Cadenza adds an extra dose of excitement to the large-car segment with its striking, aggressively handsome looks and premium refinements,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “Everything you see and touch in the Cadenza’s cabin has been improved, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”

The second-generation Cadenza is set to go on sale in late 2016, but there is no confirmation yet if it will be seen in South Africa.

Designed at Kia’s California design studio, the birthplace of the Track’ster and GT4 Stinger concepts, as well as the iconic Soul, the Cadenza’s precision-machined exterior exudes confidence, with clean lines offset by expressive details. It all starts with Kia Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer’s oft-quoted philosophy focusing on ‘the simplicity of the straight line’, which is defined by a single gestural contour that spans the length of the car to create a sleek profile.

Head on, the Cadenza is more expressive thanks to the newly designed front fascia. While the signature Kia‘tiger nose’ grille is still an unmistakable design trait, it has evolved into a new hexagonal shape that emphasises the Cadenza’s visual width with lines extending underneath the headlights.

Unlike other cars in the segment, the Cadenza is available with two different grilles. Lower trim models will come with the “Diamond Butterfly” front grille that features the same three-dimensional pattern as several siblings within the Kia line-up, but has its own unique appearance thanks to the concave shape. Higher trim models will come with the “Intaglio” grille, featuring vertically oriented, faceted blades.

The interior has been redesigned. Kia designers visually widened the Cadenza’s interior space with a wraparound dashboard that flows into the door panels and features real stitching. The door panels themselves have been adorned with higher quality soft-touch materials, while soft leather envelopes the Cadenza’s cabin space. Nappa leather is available with quilted seat bolsters accented by diamond shaped stitching that dresses up the Cadenza’s cabin.

For the 2017 model year, buyers have greater opportunity to customise their Cadenza, as a dark brown interior colour has been added, bringing the total number of colour combinations to four. Like the outgoing model, the White Package remains an option, but it has been upgraded with a new black wood-grain-style trim finished with a pearlescent sheen.

Improvements were made throughout to ensure a more pleasant driving experience. The driver’s seat has been lowered for a sportier and more stable feeling, while engineers extended the seat cushion slightly and developed an innovative cushion extension mechanism that slides and rotates, making it easier for drivers to find their comfort zone behind the wheel. The heating elements used for the seat warmers have been re-engineered to more evenly distribute warmth, and as a KIA first, the seat heaters now utilise a smart control system to automatically lower the heater operating mode after a certain period of time.

The first Kia to be sold in America under the Drive Wise sub-brand, the Cadenza offers driver assistance features such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning. Another Kia first is the Smart Blind Spot Detection System.

Brimming with technology, the cockpit is designed to provide a more harmonious human-machine interface with ergonomically intelligent design, intuitive controls, and a suite of enhanced convenience features making the driving experience enjoyable and effortless.  New to the Cadenza is the Head Up Display (HUD), which shows key driver information such as speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions on the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight. In addition, the Surround View Monitor has been updated with improved software and resolution that gives the driver a clearer birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle, with newly added reverse guidelines offering confidence when backing into confined spaces.

Other features new to the Cadenza include Smart Trunk, which conveniently opens the boot lid if the sensor detects the key fob for more than three seconds, and a wireless smartphone charger. The latest generation of KIA’s UVO system featuring Android Auto and Apple® CarPlay is standard, while a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon® system featuring Clari-Fi™ music restoration technology is an option.

Underneath the hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-litre V6 engine, which has been retuned for improved fuel economy. With an estimated 216 kW, the engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia engineers also focused on durability and reliability during the development of the all-new Cadenza. Running the V6 at full power and under full-load conditions for 41 consecutive days equates to more than 100 000 miles of real-world use, providing owners with the confidence that the all-new Kia Cadenza is built for the long haul.

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