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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

Final efficiency numbers, however, have not yet been released.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

The black roof panel visually slims the large sedan.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

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

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

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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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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.

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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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow

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

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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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/Roadshow
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