The all-new 2017 Cadenza arrives to market with higher levels of luxury, technology and convenience than its predecessor, and it comes wrapped in a beautiful, bold design inspired by the simplicity of the straight line. The second-generation Cadenza boasts a stronger body structure and powertrain enhancements along with a more engaging driving experience than before.
“The new Cadenza adds an extra dose of excitement to the large-car segment with its striking looks and premium refinements,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “The Cadenza’s cabin has been improved in early every way, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”
Elegant and Confident Exterior
Designed at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger concepts as well as the iconic Soul, the Cadenza’s high-end image exudes confidence and modernity. It all starts with Kia Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer’s oft-quoted philosophy focusing on “the simplicity of the straight line,” defined by a single gestural contour that spans the length of the car, creating its sleek profile. This lineation visually links matching Z-shaped lighting signatures in the headlights and LED tail lights, affording the all-new Cadenza a more distinctive road presence, day or night.
Head on, the Cadenza is more expressive thanks to the newly designed front fascia. While the signature Kia “tiger nose” grille is still an unmistakable design trait, it has evolved into a new hexagonal shape that emphasizes the Cadenza’s visual width with lines extending underneath the headlights. But the more substantial change to the front end is the distinct concave grille, which curves in toward the engine bay, giving the Cadenza its handsomely chiseled face.
Unlike other cars in the segment, the Cadenza is available with two different grilles. Lower trim models will come with the “Diamond Butterfly” front grille that features the same three-dimensional pattern as several siblings within the Kia lineup, but with its own unique appearance thanks to the curved form. Higher trim models will come with the “Intaglio” grille, featuring vertically oriented, faceted blades.
LED technology within newly designed “piano key” taillights add to the Cadenza’s striking appearance, as it creates visual depth while also complementing the Z-shape lighting signature. Other thoughtful details include tasteful chrome garnishes in all the right places such as on the trunklid, side mirrors, and rear quarter windows, while chrome side molding lends to the Cadenza’s sleeker profile.
While the new Cadenza has the same overall length as the outgoing model, it’s slightly wider and lower in height. The wheelbase has been stretched slightly, contributing to nearly a half-inch of increased legroom for rear passengers. Achieving Cadenza’s sportier profile was achieved by extending the roofline rearward more than two inches, while maintaining rear headroom and slightly improving trunk space.
Exquisitely Comfortable Interior Space
The interior is thoughtfully redesigned with higher quality materials than the preceding model and higher levels of craftsmanship throughout. Like the exterior, the Cadenza’s soft interior contours are offset by sheared surfaces. Kia designers visually widened the Cadenza’s interior space with a wraparound dashboard that flows into the door panels and features real stitching. The door panels themselves have been adorned with higher quality soft-touch materials, while soft leather envelopes the Cadenza’s cabin space. Nappa leather trim is available with quilted seat bolsters accented by diamond-shaped stitching. For 2017, buyers have greater opportunity to customize their Cadenza, as a dark brown leather trim interior color has been added, bringing the total number of color combinations to four. Like the outgoing model, the White Package remains an option, but has been upgraded with a new black wood-grain-style trim finished with a pearlescent sheen.
Using 3D printed components, improvements were made throughout the cabin to ensure a more engaging driving experience. Early in the design process, 3D printed components provided a sense of how parts feel and respond to the human touch. The driver’s seat has been lowered for a sportier and more stable feeling, while engineers extended the seat cushion slightly and developed an innovative cushion extension mechanism that slides and rotates, making it easier for drivers to find their comfort zone behind the wheel. The heating elements used for the seat warmers have been reengineered to more evenly distribute warmth, and as a Kia first, seat heaters now utilize a smart control system to automatically lower the heater operating mode after a certain period of time.
The Driving Experience
The 2017 Cadenza is built upon a strong foundation with a body structure composed of more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) — more than twice the amount used in the outgoing model, while a driver’s knee airbag brings the total number of airbags in the vehicle to nine.
Bolstering the new Cadenza are cutting-edge driver assistance features1 such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning. Another Kia first is the Smart Blind Spot Detection System1 which is designed to sense unintentional drifting toward an adjacent vehicle and automatically brakes the opposite side front wheel to help maintain the vehicle’s intended course.
Side body panels are stronger and feature increased tensile strength steel to improve Cadenza’s dent resistance. With an increased use of structural adhesive and hot-stamped components, structural stiffness has been increased by more than 35 percent, helping improve driving dynamics. Thanks to the use of aluminum instead of steel in areas like the front steering knuckles, the overall chassis is lighter, while larger bushings on the front and rear subframes improve lateral stiffness and NVH characteristics. Further improving the ride are Amplitude Selective Damping (ASD) shock absorbers that maximize ride comfort without sacrificing stability in addition to a Hydraulic Rebound Stopper (HRS), which works to provide a smoother ride over harsh or broken surfaces. The retuned suspension has improved the Cadenza’s lift coefficient (the up-and-down forces exerted on a moving vehicle), resulting in better high-speed stability and handling. Steering is more responsive than before with better on-center feel thanks to a new 32-bit Electronic Control Unit (ECU), replacing the 16-bit processor in the outgoing model.
Newly designed standard 18-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in P245/45R18 tires while the available 19-inch alloy wheels are shod with aggressive P245/40R19 Michelin®2 tires. Behind the wheels, larger brake rotors improve overall braking performance and feel, with the front brakes increased from 11 to 12 inches, and the rears having grown marginally from 11 to 11.1 inches.
Harmonious and Modern Cockpit
Brimming with technology, the cockpit is designed to provide a more harmonious human-machine interface with ergonomically intelligent design, intuitive controls, and a suite of enhanced convenience features that make the driving experience enjoyable and effortless. New to the 2017 Cadenza is the Head Up Display (HUD)3, which shows key driver information such as speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions on the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight. In addition, the Surround View Monitor1 has been updated with improved software and resolution that gives the driver a clearer birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle, with newly added reverse guidelines inspiring greater confidence when backing into confined spaces. Other features new to the Cadenza include Smart Trunk, which conveniently opens the trunk lid if the sensor detects the key fob for more than three seconds, and a wireless smartphone charger. The latest generation of Kia’s UVO system featuring Android AutoTM4 and Apple CarPlayTM5 is standard, while a 12-speaker 630-watt Harman/Kardon® audio system featuring Clari-Fi™6 music restoration technology is an option.
Efficient and Durable Performance
Under the hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine, which has been retuned for improved fuel economy7. With 290 horsepower and 253 lb-ft. of torque on tap, the engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based eight-speed automatic transmission. The newly developed transmission is highly efficient, providing quick and crisp shifts for a more engaging driving experience through the available column-mounted paddles. Despite having two extra cogs, the eight-speed transmission, which was designed in-house, is lighter than the unit in the outgoing model.
Kia engineers also focused on durability and reliability during the development of the all-new Cadenza. Running the V6 at full power and under full-load conditions for 41 consecutive days equates to more than 100,000 miles of real-world use, providing owners with the confidence that the 2017 Cadenza is built for the long haul.