2017 Kia Cadenza Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Mar 24, 2016
  • Completely redesigned full-size sedan
  • Stronger and stiffer platform
  • Upgraded front-seat comfort
  • More rear-seat room and trunk space
  • Quieter and more upscale inside
  • Improved driving dynamics and fuel economy
  • New convenience, infotainment, and safety technologies
  • On sale in late 2016



2017 Kia Cadenza front quarter photo Kia hasn’t made much of a dent in the full-size sedan segment, despite the fact that its entry, the Cadenza, is a handsome car with a compelling value proposition.

Though it is not an old car, the Cadenza is redesigned for 2017 in a bid to capture more full-size family car sales. Kia introduced the new Cadenza at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, and it will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2016.

Exterior Features

Wider and lower than the previous Cadenza, the new 2017 model sits on a slightly stretched wheelbase and features an extended roofline but is the same length as the outgoing model.

Up front, the Cadenza’s “tiger-nose” grille evolves, featuring a hexagonal shape and an unusual concave insert. Lower trim levels have Kia’s familiar three-dimensional pattern while upper trims have a new vertical blade design. To help the Cadenza stand out at night, the headlights and taillights display a Z-shaped lighting signature.

Kia reports that the new Cadenza’s body panels feature increased dent and door-ding resistance. A set of 18-in. aluminum wheels is standard, and the car can be fitted with 19-in. aluminum wheels.

Interior Features

Compared with the previous Cadenza, the new 2017 model is quieter thanks to use of acoustic laminated windshield and front side window glass, a full floorpan undercover, and additional insulation.

Kia also says that the cabin is rendered in higher-quality materials, and leather upholstery is standard equipment. Occupants face a wrap-around dashboard with real stitching, and four different interior colors are available, thanks to the addition of a new dark brown hue.


2017 Kia Cadenza interior photo For 2017, the Cadenza’s driving position is lower and the front seats have longer cushions than before. For greater comfort, the driver’s seat cushion is available with an adjustable extension, and the front-seat heaters are revised for better distribution of warmth and to automatically dial down the heat setting after a period of time.

Kia also improved rear-seat comfort, adding an extra one-half inch of rear legroom to the 2017 Cadenza. The car’s trunk is larger, too.

Optional Features

In addition to a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system with Clari-Fi music-restoration technology, 2017 Cadenza buyers can opt for premium Nappa leather with quilted, diamond-stitched seat bolsters. A White package continues, adding white Nappa leather with new black woodgrain trim.

Under the Hood

Kia updates the Cadenza’s 3.3-liter V-6 to get better fuel economy for 2017, and the engine is estimated to make 290 horsepower. It is paired with a new 8-speed automatic transmission (Kia’s first), which supplies power to the car’s front wheels. Kia says it tested this powertrain, under load, running at maximum power, for 41 consecutive days in order to ensure durability.

Suspension, steering, and braking system changes are expected to make the 2017 Kia Cadenza more enjoyable to drive. The brakes are larger, the electric steering has a faster processor for improved on-center feel and off-center response, and suspension modifications improve the ride quality without sacrificing stability and handling, Kia says.


More than 50% of the Kia Cadenza’s new structure is composed of advanced high-strength steel. Not only does this improve safety but also it provides a 35% increase in structural stiffness.


2017 Kia Cadenza rear quarter photo Kia confirms that the new Cadenza will have 9 standard air bags. Available features are bundled as Drive Wise technologies, and they include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning.

A new “smart” blind-spot warning system is also available, able to identify when the Cadenza has unintentionally drifted too close to a vehicle in an adjacent lane, automatically responding by tucking the car back toward the center of the intended lane of travel.


Kia upgrades the Cadenza’s optional surround-view camera system, which now offers improved image clarity, and new visible guidance lines when parking. New features for 2017 include a head-up display, Smart Trunk that automatically opens when it detects the presence of the key fob, and wireless smartphone charging.

The latest version of UVO eServices infotainment technology is also aboard the new Cadenza as standard equipment, supplying the car with smartphone-projection capability in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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