Automobiles

Say hello to the all-new Kia Cadenza

Kia's full-size premium sedan undergoes a massive refresh for its second generation, which should arrive in dealerships next year.

It wouldn't be a Kia without those quad-lamp fog lights.

Kia

The Kia Cadenza is a bit of an also-ran. Stuck between two of its own family members -- the Hyundai Genesis and the Kia K900 -- the Cadenza has never been a huge seller outside of Korea. It's currently pushing less than 1,000 units out the door per month in the US. But that's not going to stop the automaker from rolling out an all-new generation with an aesthetic redo that should help turn some additional heads in the Cadenza's direction.

Kia unveiled its new Cadenza in South Korea (where it's called the K7) today, but details are deliberately scant. For the time being, we're left with just two pictures. The automaker promises "high levels of interior quality and contemporary luxury," but there isn't much to back up those claims just yet.

Up front, the Cadenza gains a far more aggressive countenance. The lines in and around the front bumper are sharper, and the Cadenza's new grille is similar to the one on the also-recently-refreshed Optima sedan. Kia's traditional quad-lens fog light design returns in full force, as well.

The rear end continues to draw a bit of inspiration from other, better-established luxury brands. We see a hint of Lexus ES in the general form of the taillights, from the chrome strip spanning the trunk lid to the way the lights travel upward along the quarter panel. The trunk looks significantly less long than the Lexus', though, which gives the Cadenza more of a fastback-style rear end that's becoming increasingly popular in every segment.

It's a handsome car, there's no doubt about that. And it might be enough to put the Cadenza in a good position against others in its segment, including the Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Buick LaCrosse. We'll find out when the car debuts in multiple markets some time in 2016.

There's a bit of Buick and Lexus in the new Cadenza's tuchus, but we'd stop short of calling it derivative.

Kia