2015 Kia K900 – Review and Test Drive

Korea Unleashes a Stately Luxury Sedan on the U.S. Market

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Finally, fuel economy is not the 5.0-liter V8’s strength. The EPA rates the car at 15 mpg (15.68 l/100 km) in city driving and we were lucky if we got that, although we saw higher figures, 18-20 mpg (13-12 l/100 km) but never the 23 mpg (10.23 l/100 km) the EPA says the car will achieve on the open road.

BOTTOM LINE

Pity the poor Kia salesman charged with getting people, who are going to spend $60,000+, into a Kia showroom, although the automaker is doing a lot to raise the level of service at the dealership. Three years of maintenance are included at no charge and a service loaner (either a K900 or a Cadenza) is guaranteed. The car itself is covered by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

For the same $66,000, the buyer could have a fully equipped Mercedes-Benz E350 or BMW 528i and still get change back. Granted, neither will do 0-60 in 5.5 (the BMW gets you there in 6.1, and the Benz follows 0.4 seconds later), but fuel economy would also be approaching the 30 mpg (7.84 l/100 km) mark on the highway, not 20.

One car that we can presume the designer did not have in the studio was a Volkswagen Phaeton, perhaps the most recent instance in which a non-luxury brand introduced a luxury car. The Phaeton didn’t inspire luxury car customers to storm VW showrooms and the gang from Wolfsburg eventually stopped offering the car in the United States.

Only time will tell if the K900 is more BMW and Mercedes or more Volkswagen Phaeton. For a vehicle manufacturer’s first foray into this market, it certainly can compete when it comes to comparing features and specs on a list. However, Kia has its work cut out for it if it wants the K900 to be a serious contender in this space.

THE DETAILS

2015 Kia K900
Base price/price-as-tested $60,000 / $66,400
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 5.0-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque 420 / 376
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 4,555
Wheelbase (inches) 119.9
Length x width x height (inches) 200.6 x 74.8 x 58.7
0-60 mph (seconds) 5.5
Fuel economy (mpg) 15/23

 

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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