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Kia reminds us that it makes a Cadenza by updating it (pictures)

Kia's updated 2017 Cadenza attempts to steal back some of the limelight from its smaller, more desireable sibling: the Kia Optima.

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Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Antuan Goodwin
2017 Kia Cadenza
1 of 37 Sarah Tew/Roadshow

2017 Kia Cadenza

Kia pulled the wraps off of its new 2017 Cadenza at the 2016 New York auto show. Since its launch in 2013, the Cadenza has struggled to garner attention from the shadow of Kia's more popular Optima.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The full-size sedan uses a front-wheel-drive configuration.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The eight-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to the front rolling stock has been newly developed for the Cadenza.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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At the heart of the powertrain is a 3.3-liter V-6 engine.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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For this generation, the V-6 has been retuned with a stronger emphasis on fuel economy and to work with the new eight-speed.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Final efficiency numbers, however, have not yet been released.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Power figures have also not been finalized, but Kia is estimating around 290 ponies.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Despite cramming in more forward ratios, the new eight-speed automatic is actually lighter than the six-speed that it replaces.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The Cadenza's body is said to be stiffer and stronger, but also lighter than before.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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LED tail lights punctuate the simple (if also generic) rear end. A chrome accent bar ties them together.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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It's no secret that the Cadenza is essentially Kia's version of its sister company's Hyundai Azera.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Up front, the new Cadenza sees the most dramatic changes.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The headlamps are sharply angled and stretch inward to touch Kia's "tiger nose" corporate grille. Z-shaped LED accents punctuate the Caden-Za's corners.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The new Cadenza will do battle with the likes of Toyota's Avalon when it reaches the market.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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A more premium sedan than Kia's Optima, the Cadenza features more chrome brightwork and a more laid-back style.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Look closely at the tail lights and you'll see the Z-shaped accent mirrored here subtly.

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The black roof panel visually slims the large sedan.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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In its homeland of South Korea, the Cadenza is marketed as the K7.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The 2017 Cadenza is no longer than previous versions, but it's lower and wider. Within its length, the wheelbase has been stretched.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The doors feature sensors and a button for the smart keyless entry system.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Slotting beneath the K900, the Cadenza is the second most luxurious model in Kia's lineup.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Peer into the cabin and be treated to a Nappa leather interior.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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This will be the first Kia model in the US to feature the brand's new "Drive Wise" suite of driver assistance features.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, forward-collision warning with automatic braking and a lane-departure warning system keep the Cadenza current with other luxury sedans.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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This will also be the first Kia model to sport a Smart Blind Spot Detection System. When it detects that the vehicle is about to change lanes and collide with another car, it pulls the Cadenza away with bias braking.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The driver's seating position has been lowered and the dashboard tweaked for a wrap-around, sporty feel. Not visible here is a new head-up display.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Kia specifically points out that it has improved the materials on the Cadenza's door panels for this generation.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The stark design and angular face of the Cadenza tend to look better when coated with a darker color.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The Cadenza will be offered with two different grille designs: a "diamond butterfly" pattern for lower trims and this "Intaglio" vertical design for top trims.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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The brown interior shown earlier is a new color option for the Nappa leather. The Cadenza's "White Package" makes a return appearance for this generation, now featuring black wood grain trim.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Underpinning the full-sized sedan is a revised Amplitude Selective Damping (ASD) suspension, which "works to provide a smoother ride over harsh or broken surfaces" without compromising firmness and handling.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Exhaust outlets are integrated into rear bumper.

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Kia calls these "piano key" tail lights, as the design has three-dimensional elements that resemble piano keys receding into their depths.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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With electric power steering standard, an ECU upgrade could provide a handling upgrade, but we're not sure how much of an improvement to expect.

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The Cadenza will also feature the automaker's Smart Trunk feature that automatically opens the rear storage when approaching with the key fob.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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Inside, the latest generation of Kia's UVO feature Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and an improved version of the around-view camera system.

2017 Kia Cadenza
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On the subject of handling, Kia claims that a new 32-bit electronic control unit improves steering responsiveness and on-center feel than the 16-bit ECU of the previous model.

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