Kia’s been constructing the Okay900 luxurious sedan for half of the previous decade, however I am prepared to guess a lot of you have got by no means heard of it.
The primary-generation Kia Okay900 was really a reasonably candy journey, balancing upscale appointments and excessive worth, however had bother discovering success. Maybe consumers simply could not reconcile the concept of a full-size luxurious sedan from Kia, the model with dancing hamsters in its commercials. Regardless of the trigger, this completely good automotive was an especially poor vendor. Since its introduction in 2014, Kia has solely bought simply over 5,200 Okay900s within the US.
Relatively than lower its losses, Kia is hoping to do higher with a vastly improved second-generation mannequin, which I just lately had the prospect to pattern in Korean-spec K9 guise. Is it second time’s a attraction for Kia’s huge luxurious sedan?
The Okay900 is a really luxurious proposition, and places its greatest foot ahead with a well-appointed cabin behind its comfortable shut doorways. The match and end have dramatically improved over the outgoing Okay900, with richer leather-based and better high quality stitching. Actual uncovered wooden and brushed metallic accents on the dashboard, steering wheel and consoles spherical out the premium inside.
At evening, the driving force and passengers are handled to ambient lighting with seven “mood-enhancing” shade themes designed in partnership with shade consultants Pantone. If none of these seven pre-set designs fit your fancy, the 14 factors of LED illumination may be personalized to any shade within the RGB spectrum by way of a menu within the infotainment system.
And actually, what sort of luxurious sedan does not have an analog clock in its dashboard? Kia is the newest automaker to accomplice with a watchmaker for its timepiece, with a Maurice LaCroix Masterpiece clock within the Okay900’s cabin. This little bit of dashboard jewellery seems beautiful with its guilloche dial and Roman numeral indices, however it’s only a regular electrical clock behind that fairly face.
Displayed prominently on the dashboard and A-pillars are speaker grilles that look nearly like precise copies of the Burmester system you will discover in a satellite radio and streaming audio — however that is no audiophile’s rig on wheels. Luckily, the Okay900’s cabin is so darn quiet that the system does not must deal with a lot highway noise and might actually shine even at average volumes.. Behind these audio system sings the 14-speaker Lexicon premium audio system. Audio high quality is fairly good — actually ok for
The entrance seats are comfy and vast with adjustable bolsters, lumbar help and surfaces which might be heated and ventilated. Whenever you swap the drive mode into Sport, the bolsters robotically shut up a bit, hugging the driving force as if in anticipation of curves. That is some spectacular consideration to element.
The backseat expertise is, in some methods, higher than the entrance. The vast heart console options redundant infotainment controls permitting rear passengers to command both the primary dashboard system or their very own particular person leisure shows. The suitable-rear passenger may even whir an unoccupied entrance seat ahead and out of the way in which for an enormous expanse of legroom. (This maybe makes extra sense in Korea, the place the K9 serves as a luxurious livery automobile, type of like a contemporary Lincoln City Automobile.)
UVO dashboard tech
The Okay900 will get an ultra-wide eversion of Kia’s UVO infotainment system, primarily based round a 12.Three-inch touchscreen show. This new era of UVO appears to borrow a little bit of its design from BMW’s iDrive — notably its skill to show map and auxiliary data in a split-screen configuration. Nevertheless, I discover that UVO’s menu construction, group and management interface is considerably less complicated and simpler to grasp than any of the German programs.
The onboard maps are simple to learn with clean animation. The system tends to inform the driving force to “flip now” about an eighth to a quarter-mile too quickly, which might result in some confusion in navigation, however it’s doubtless only a quirk of the Korean-spec software program.
The UVO system options commonplace Android Auto and Apple CarPlay USB connectivity, however you would possibly need to give Kia’s personal interface a strive first. The baked-in software program comes with helpful options like a voice memo system that can be utilized to shortly report audio notes for playback later. I do my greatest brainstorming on the highway, and actually love this characteristic.
UVO consists of visitors and ETA updates, however it additionally notifies you while you’re approaching sharper curves, harmful freeway segments the place accidents are extra doubtless, and even velocity bumps on facet streets. Climate updates embrace a line telling me if it is a good day to scrub the automotive or not. We in all probability will not get wherever close to that degree of element within the US-spec Okay900, however it’s value mentioning these options of the Korean software program as issues that may finally make their means Stateside.
The Okay900’s will get numerous driving help upgrades, too, because of Kia’s Drivewise suite of applied sciences. Full-speed adaptive cruise management that works in stop-and-go visitors, and ahead pre-collision alert and brake help assist when visitors instantly comes to a whole cease. There’s lane-keeping steering help, lane departure alerts, blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system, as nicely.
Powertrain and efficiency
Globally, the K9/Okay900 will likely be obtainable with a Three.Eight-liter V6 and Hyundai/Kia’s outdated workhorse 5.Zero-liter Tau V8. However within the US, we’re solely getting one engine: the turbocharged Three.Three-liter V6 from the.
This twin-turbo V6 makes 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automated transmission and solely obtainable with all-wheel drive. And earlier than you get too enthusiastic about that Stinger connection, do not forget that the Okay900 is a bigger, heavier automotive, and has a way more comfort-oriented mission.
There’s loads of energy for passing and cruising. Round city, the eight-speed automated feels good and unobtrusive. The Okay900’s exhaust notice is quieter than the Stinger’s, even when the automotive is in sport mode. Drivers can select between Sport, Eco, Consolation and a customizable drive mode. Missing an adaptive suspension, these modes principally modify the burden of the steering, the habits of the transmission, the responsiveness of the throttle and add additional engine acoustics within the Sport setting.
Journey high quality could be very plush. I am advised the suspension will likely be firmed up earlier than reaching the American market, however I hope not an excessive amount of. The Korean market K9 feels very nice and I would hate for pressured sportiness to damage this soft cruiser. Keep tuned for a full report when US-spec Okay900s develop into obtainable for testing later this 12 months.
Out there later this 12 months
Kia just isn’t solely including extra content material and high quality to the Okay900, it is re-emphasizing the automotive’s worth proposition, as nicely. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed simply but, however I do not anticipate it to vary an excessive amount of from the outgoing mannequin’s $50,00Zero to $65,00Zero value vary.
In the meantime, the first-generation Okay900 has discovered a second life as among the best values within the pre-owned luxurious market. If Kia can maintain its pricing in verify, the brand new 2019 Okay900 may additionally faucet into that market as a really compelling different to a pre-ownedor Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It will even be taking pictures throughout the bow of the , and offered that consumers can look previous the badge and see the worth.
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