Bottom line: Forget the glitzy TV advertisement featuring the svelte urban woman arriving at her class reunion in a black Cadenza. The guys gawking at her as she exits the automobile are not focused on the car. They are looking at her. Most of them arrived at the event in a BMW.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The Cadenza gets good marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: It is an indisputably attractive car that turns heads. But with time it becomes like a hot date — interesting while it lasts, but not generating enough passion or other interest to merit a callback.
Body style/layout: The Cadenza is a large midsize entry-level luxury sedan with a front engine and front-wheel drive. Those of you familiar with the Hyundai Azera sedan will find a certain similarity, especially in the 3.3-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
Engine/transmission: The Cadenza comes with a gasoline-fueled 3.3-liter, 24-valve V-6 with variable valve timing (293 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque) linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.
Capacities: Seats five people. Cargo capacity is 15.9 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is recommended).
Mileage: No hooray here, either. It gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; an onboard emergency communications system; and side and head air bags.
Price: The 2014 Kia Cadenza starts at $35,900, with a dealer’s invoice price of $33,255. Onboard navigation and other popular options can add $6,000 to the total, and there’s an $800 destination charge. But word in the market is that dealers are bargaining on this one, certainly not adding premiums. How could they, with so many BMW dealers struggling to keep up with demand for their 3-Series cars?