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Oct20

2019 Kia K900 First Drive Review

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2019 Kia K900 First Drive Review

The Kia K900 has been an afterthought within the luxurious market virtually because it was launched about four years in the past. Or perhaps a by no means-thought. By means of September of this yr, Kia bought simply 260 examples, which was about ninety fewer than the identical time final yr. And with gross sales like that, most of us figured Kia would simply let the mannequin quietly disappear into the ether, particularly with the launch of the brand new Genesis luxurious model, and Kia’s new halo, the Stinger. Contemplating the car’s yacht-like demeanor and forgettable appears, we would not have missed it. But Kia is decided to maintain the K900 alive in America, and has launched a totally redesigned mannequin. Maybe much more shocking than the truth that the mannequin is again, is that it is truly fairly good. Consider it as a much bigger, extra plush Kia Stinger.

That could be exhausting to consider by simply taking a look at it. Whereas it is definitely higher proportioned than its predecessor, with a physique that highlights its rear-drive bones, it is boring. It hides its roots properly, not getting the onlooker excited or leaving a serious impression. There’s hardly a pointy crease or daring character line to be seen – a stark distinction to the fierce, outre Stinger. It does not even look very similar to different Kias, which all share a household resemblance of their grilles and athletic stance.

The K900 is quite a bit bigger than the Stinger, too. The wheelbase is about eight inches longer, and general size is up by almost a foot. Width and peak are larger by roughly 2 and three inches respectively. This all places the K900 within the size territory of full-size luxurious flagships, however Kia says it is concentrating on consumers of midsize luxurious sedans such because the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Collection with a price of round $60,895 for the bottom mannequin, and $sixty four,895 for the VIP mannequin. These are shut estimates.

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It is a “extra in your cash” type of argument, however there are extra direct rivals to the K900 that muddy the water, just like the Volvo S90, Lincoln Continental, and Cadillac CT6. On paper, all three appear to be compelling choices to the K900 with decrease base costs, comparable size, and extra distinctive styling. However the K900 has a serious energy benefit with its standard 365-horsepower twin-turbo V6. The S90’s standard engine makes simply 250 horsepower, and the optionally available non-hybrid engine simply makes 316 horses. To beat the Kia, you must get the hybrid S90 with four hundred horsepower, and a base price of over $sixty four,000.

The Cadillac CT6 is in an analogous predicament with simply 265 horsepower from its base engine, and the Kia’s output is just exceeded when choosing one with the 404-horsepower twin-turbo V6, which additionally rings in at over $sixty four,000 with no choices. Solely the Lincoln can beat the Kia’s energy for the cash with its four hundred-horsepower engine obtainable at a base price above $fifty two,000. However you will convey it as much as almost $60,000 matching the K900’s features.

The interior of the K900 mirrors the exterior. On this case, the design seems like an amalgamation of many different flagship luxurious automobiles. The low, large sprint that bows outward has a definite Mercedes vibe, notably with the aluminum-end piano-key fashion buttons and analog clock (which Kia proudly notes was designed by Swiss watch model Maurice Lacroix). The shifter, steering wheel, and air vents mix into the sprint in a fashion evocative of Audi. The lengthy curves of the wooden and prime-stitched leather-based panels within the doorways are harking back to Lexus. And the aluminum speaker grilles appear to be those on each luxurious car available on the market. All of it simply seems somewhat generic.

2019 K900

However the excellent news is that every thing feels very top quality. The standard Nappa leather-based feels supple but sturdy. All the wooden, except for that on the steering wheel, is actual and given a stunning low-luster end that highlights the fabric. The leather-based and wooden are completely in all places within the cabin, too. The infotainment is far simpler to make use of than most luxurious German automobiles because it’s based mostly on the straightforward system present in different Hyundais and Kias, and it seems to be nice with recent graphics and displayed on the excessive-decision 12.three-inch display. The VIP trim that we examined used a display for the instrument panel, too, and it gives quite a lot of gauge choices with slick graphics. It isn’t fairly as shiny and clean as Audi’s digital cockpit, however the animations and design are extra fascinating.

It additionally has a trick feature by which activating the flip sign pops open a video window displaying the blind spot on both aspect of the car. It is fantastic and we’re stunned it is not extra widespread within the luxurious area. The VIP trim additionally provides reclining, ventilated rear seats with controls to slip the entrance passenger seat ahead and fold that seatback down for ahead visibility. Rear passengers of both K900 mannequin will take pleasure in an unlimited quantity of legroom almost on par with the flagship full-size sedans such because the BMW 7 Collection and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

With all of this in thoughts, you’d anticipate the K900 to be tender and wallowy taking place the street, a basic luxurious cruiser. And it definitely does ship a comfortable journey in regular modes. All number of street imperfections are slurped up by the shocks, and fortunately, they achieve this with out rocking and rolling the occupants for the subsequent a number of hundred ft. The car’s standard twin-turbocharged three.three-liter V6 engine offers 365 clean horsepower and an ample 376 pound-ft of torque. It is very quiet and refined, and also you solely hear the low growling consumption noise whenever you actually hit the throttle. That energy is made smoother by the eight-velocity automated, an in-home unit, that gives slick shifts, although is a bit sluggish when commanded to make one manually. We did discover some wind whistling across the roof and A-pillars.

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However that is solely a part of the K900’s character. The opposite is pulled straight from the sporty Stinger. And that is each figurative and literal, as a result of the K900’s chassis is the newest model of what is discovered within the Stinger, in addition to all three Genesis sedans. The entrance and rear multi-hyperlink unbiased suspension are borrowed from the Stinger and tweaked for the K900, with enter from former BMW M head Albert Biermann. Kia additionally did loads of work to benefit from the chassis. There isn’t any panoramic sunroof out there, only a typical one as standard. This was completed to make sure the sedan was as stiff as attainable.

All of it exhibits on the street, notably the curvy canyon roads round Napa. We principally had the car in Sport mode, which companies up the suspension, makes the steering somewhat heavier, and makes shifts somewhat faster and holds gears longer, sharpens throttle response and loosens up stability management. The steering turned out to be impressively exact and weighted very nicely. Truly, the steering in Sport mode felt extra naturally weighted than the artificially heavy Stinger GT’s helm. It made it straightforward to put the large sedan on the slender roads. With extra suggestions, it would be world class.

The wheel was backed up by a suspension that stored physique roll to only a slight sway in both path. The K900 managed switchbacks by transferring weight shortly and easily. Simply because the weight did not upset the car in corners, neither did bumps. The K900 simply stored on gripping, and even with stiffer suspension settings, shrugging off imperfections and sustaining its composure. Its mid-nook competence makes the car really feel smaller than it’s, and instills confidence as much as the purpose at which the tires surrender and begin squealing, which usually results in some delicate understeer, although a foot full of fuel can coax the rear to return round and compensate a bit. You’ll be able to manually upshift or downshift with the paddles, however in the event you do not contact them for some time, it goes again into full auto mode.

2019 K900

At one level, we have been tailing a BMW three Collection with a bunch of M equipment that was hustling via the canyons, and stayed with him with out making an attempt too exhausting. Of all of the aforementioned rivals, solely the Cadillac CT6 actually matches the Kia’s nook-carving competence. And best of all, once we have been uninterested in enjoying sports activities car, we might put it again into consolation mode and let it soothe our souls in delicate suspension and quiet on the best way again residence.

The K900 is Kia’s range-topping halo vehicle, one thing that each elevates the model as an entire and demonstrates mastery of its mission. The previous is a combined bag; with no stronger id, it does not give us a transparent concept of the place Kia is headed. In that realm, the decrease-tier Stinger is definitely the religious figurehead of the model. However when it comes to particular person bona fides, the K900 hits all of the modern luxurious car core competencies: it is snug, roomy, quiet, quick and technologically spectacular. It handles nicely, and has extra energy than something in its quick neighborhood. It is positive to please anybody who remembers it exists.

Kia K900 Info

Kia K900

– 2019 Kia K900 First Drive Review –

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