Less budget, more luxury
The second generation K900 is completely redesigned for 2019 and the Korean manufacturer made significant changes to lift their luxury sedan to a higher level. It is now based on a platform closely related to that of the sporty Stinger and Genesis G70, but Kia widened and stretched it for more interior space. It only comes with all-wheel drive and the old naturally aspirated V8 is ditched for the twin-turbo V6 also found in the quickest Stinger GT.
Offering 365 horsepower (272 kW) from 6,000 rpm doesn’t necessarily mean the K900 needs to be wrung out whenever the driver requires a burst of power. The maximum torque of 376 lb.-ft. (510 Nm) is available between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm, so even at low speeds or in a high gear the heavy sedan accelerates smoothly with only a small push on the accelerator. That doesn’t make the K900 a sports sedan though. Selecting Sport from a total of five available modes – there are also Comfort, Eco, Custom, and Smart to choose from – sharpens the throttle response, steering, and suspension, but doesn’t mask the bulk of this car. The steering is light and accurate but doesn’t offer much feedback, emphasizing the comfort over sportiness character. The Comfort setting is the preferred mode, ironing out most of the imperfections in the road and cushioning the occupants in the best possible way, as expected from a luxury sedan.
The name K900 may sound like a firmware update or a medicine, but the competitors didn’t put much effort and creativity into finding nice sounding names either. S90, CT6 or G90 anyone? That is soon forgotten after you open the door and step inside. The overall impression is that of understated luxury with a tasteful blend of leather, real wood and metal and lots of space. The massaging front seats are excellent in both comfort and adjust-ability and even the rear passenger-side seat – where the owner is expected to spend most of the time – is more like a lounge area, with 14-way adjust-ability and 4-way lumbar support. The infotainment system is called UVO – short for “your voice” – and uses a 12.3-inch touchscreen showing up to three areas at once. The system also has a rotary switch in the centre console and works very intuitive, proving that Kia was not trying to outdo the competition by trying to be different while straying away from what actually works. As opposed to some other manufacturers…
When it comes to safety the K900 really shines, because Kia offers every active and passive safety feature you can think of and everything comes as standard equipment. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist hold the K900 safely on course and away from other road users, as do forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. There is also driver-attention warning and during slow speed maneuvering rear-cross-traffic alert and a top-down surround-view monitor help to check the area around the car.
WITH A BASE PRICE OF $59,600 THE K900 IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE VOLVO S90, LINCOLN CONTINENTAL AND CADILLAC CT6
With its size and looks the K900 could fool you into believing it goes head-to-head with the top of the German luxury brands, but models like the S-Class and 7 Series are out of its league. With a base price of $59,600 the K900 is more expensive than the Volvo S90, Lincoln Continental and Cadillac CT6, but the Kia comes almost fully loaded and there is only one upgrade in the form of the $4,000 VIP package. When you order the other models with all available options, their prices are going to be much closer, if not well over, $70,000 and that puts the K900 in a different perspective altogether.
Does that make the K900 the best choice in this segment? I wouldn’t answer that question with whole-hearted ‘Yes’ but I definitely understand buyers in this segment who put down their signature at a Kia dealership. With a design that looks fresh and stylish, an interior that is both spacious and luxurious and a price that undercuts every single competitor it is hard to deny the K900. The biggest downside to some potential buyers might be the absence of a premium badge, because it is difficult to explain to your friends why you spend 65 grand on a Kia. A short ride in the back seat will shut them up quite effectively though.
- Standard equipment
- K900 name
- Futile sport setting