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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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