Drivetrain: A 293-horsepower V6 connects to a six-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels.
This former small-car specialist still remains strong in that department, but in recent years has branched out with a couple of full-size sedans that are anything but modest. The Cadenza is similar in size and shares the same stretched architecture as the Hyundai Azera. Clearly the Cadenza is meant to gain favor with more mature buyers who place pampering content atop their must-have criteria. The interior is low-key, but is right in step with many other luxury-oriented sedans. The hardware and trim are first-rate, the big and round gauges are easy to read and the steering wheel is comfortably thick. There’s no shortage of dashboard and steering-wheel switches and buttons to fiddle with, but at least they’re clearly marked. The start button controls a 3.3-liter V6 with 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, which is hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Although seemingly tailored for older buyers, the car’s “sport-tuned” suspension is somewhat firmer than that of some competitors. Content-wise, the Cadenza certainly has its luxury game going on. Base models pile on the goodies with a leather-fitted interior, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control with front- and rear-seat ventilation, navigation system with eight-inch touch-screen display, rear camera with backup warning and a 550-watt Infinity-brand sound system. To that you can add Luxury and/or Technology packages, the latter of which has 19-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard) plus a feature that Kia calls “hydrophobic” front side windows that will repel water.