PAS S ING LANE I CHARL E S DONALDSON 2017 KIA CADENZA Upscale Comfort and Style! Comfort, style and performance are the makings of what so many of us want in a sedan. We are not looking for a car that looks like the vehicle next door; instead, a car that makes the neighbors fill with envy. There are many options in the mid-size sedan class, yet in the large car category, there is only a handful. One make and model that is rising up on the charts is the 2017 Kia Cadenza. Kia created the Cadenza for their customers who longed for a vehicle that was slightly larger than their very successful mid-size Optima model. The Cadenza was originally launched in 2010 and remodeled in 2016. With the redesign, the Cadenza has grown in both wheelbase and width which results in a roomier cabin. For 2017, the Cadenza is available in three flavors: Premium, Technology, and SXL. Underneath the hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine, which has been retuned for improved fuel economy. With an estimated 290 hp on tap (about three horses less than last year), the engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based 8-speed automatic transmission. The newly-developed transmission is highly efficient, making up for the few clicks down in horsepower, and provides quick and crisp shifts for a more enjoyable driving experience. Despite having two A L I V E E A S T B A Y n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6 34 extra cogs, the 8-speed transmission, which was designed in-house, is lighter than the one in the outgoing model. The styling of the 2017 Cadenza really stands out from its rivals with a single contour line that runs the full length of the car, helping to create a couple-like profile. The updated design incorporates Kia’s trademark quad-LED setup with the lower front grille. A walk-around of the vehicle has you taking notice of the sharp attention to style presented in all forms of lights, from the headlights to the taillights. The interior is crafted for luxury, with high quality materials and high-tech features. Soft-touch interior surfaces, real stitching available (Nappa leather with quilted seat bolsters accented by diamondshaped stitching) dresses up the Cadenza’s already-attractive cabin. The driver’s seat has been lowered for a sportier, 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, the seat heaters now utilize a smart control system to automatically lower the heater-operating mode after a certain period of time.
Alive November 2016
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