Another two sedans bite the dust as the market-wide move to SUVs continues to cut down the remaining four-door holdouts. Add the Kia K900 and Cadenza to the list: Both are dead for 2021, as originally reported by Car and Driver.
That said, the shift toward SUVs isn’t new, and the K900—an S-Class-sized bargain luxury sedan—was already essentially a footnote in annual sales figures. The K900 had a steep hill to climb in a segment where brand prestige is a large part of the selling proposition, although anyone able to ignore such considerations found an excellent luxury car for tens of thousands less than its German competition.
The most recent model’s twin-turbo V-6 proved a better powerplant than the previous version’s V-8, and Kia made the ride and handling more sophisticated. Slathered in quality leather and open-pore wood, it looked the part inside, too. Good deals will be available on remaining inventory, we’re sure, so if you’ve been on the fence regarding the K900, now might be the time to hop off.
While the K900 combined competence, luxury, and value, the Cadenza was very much a one-dimensional machine. Comfort was its sole mission, and one on which it definitely delivered. As regards fuel economy, dynamics, or finesse, the Cadenza was less appealing. As we stated in the 2017 Car of the Year competition, it felt like the bogey was the old-school Buick LaCrosse when it should have been the excellent modern Toyota Avalon. With better choices in this segment, fewer will miss the Cadenza, but it’s yet another four-door option now unavailable to buyers.
Kia tells us that shifting customer demand led to the change, which isn’t a surprise. There remains a healthy interest at Kia in sedans, at least in higher-volume market segments. The all-new K5 sedan, which replaced the Optima, gives the Honda Accord a real run for its money. And the Kia Stinger—a liftback sedan, but a sedan nonetheless—just dodged the reaper, which is great news for drivers. But for the K900 and the Cadenza, it’s the end of the road.
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