2014 Kia Cadenza: Family Checklist

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As a responsible adult, wife and mother, I appreciate that a dollar seems to go further in Kia's cars. Many of its smaller cars are loaded with features that aren't normally found in their competitors. Kia's strategy worked well for me until the all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza arrived in my driveway.

The 2014 Kia Cadenza is a sleek, full-size sedan that offers families plenty of room. While it has a lot of features — both standard and optional — it falls short with its offerings.

Case in point: A ventilated driver's seat in the 2014 Kia Forte was surprising, but in the Cadenza, it's expected. I also expected to find a ventilated front passenger seat in the Cadenza, too, but it wasn't offered.

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The full-size sedan's 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 has plenty of power, but driving the Cadenza is slightly boring. Thrill seekers on the road don't necessarily look to full-size sedans, but others in the segment certainly provide a little more excitement than the Cadenza behind the wheel. The Cadenza's fuel-economy estimates of 19/28 mpg city/highway are what you'd expect for a larger car, but with my week of city and highway driving, my 17 mpg average fell short of the EPA's 22 mpg combined estimate.

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However, it can't be said that an average family of four won't find the Cadenza appealing. This full-sized sedan has a large backseat, an even larger trunk and the largest seatback pockets I've ever seen in a sedan (yep, even that's huge when it comes to book-toting, storage-hogging backseat occupants like my toddler).

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It's easy to get in and out of this sedan, and there's lots of room in the backseat — even with child-safety seats installed. There are two sets of lower Latch anchors, but they're difficult to use because seat belt buckles block the access. The Cadenza provides enough clearance to keep parents from bumping their heads when strapping kids into child-safety seats. If there is one thing the Cadenza is, it's definitely comfortable — for everyone.

2014 Kia Cadenza: Car Seat Check

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The Cadenza has a 15.9-cubic-foot trunk, which is smaller than its competitors. The Hyundai Azera and Chrysler 300 both have 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, and the Toyota Avalon has 16.0. Compare them here. Although the Cadenza's trunk is slightly smaller, my single stroller fit into it easily, thanks to a niche in the rear cargo area. I had loads of room in front of the stroller for a grocery run or more baby gear. I also liked the optional cargo net that kept all my stuff tidy and in place.

Any ride in the Cadenza is pleasant enough, but its lackluster driving experience and missing features left me wanting more from Kia.

Related
2014 Kia Cadenza Expert Review
2014 Kia Cadenza Video
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By Carrie Kim | October 25, 2013 | Comments (6)

Comments 

BPH

The Cadenza is getting dinged all over the Internet for its boring driving personality. But really, what can you expect from a FWD powertrain? Hopefully next year's redesigned Genesis will offer the right combination of luxury and performance.

John Walters

Good Lord, we have so many experts out there that apparently know what's good for us. I guess Carrie thought she was driving a sports car instead of a luxury sedan. Don't disagree about her mentioning issues with features but I'd hardly describe the car as boring simply because it does what it's supposed to - provide a comfortable quiet ride with respectable handling. I drive an Azera which is a sister to this newer version, couldn't be happier with its performance.

Carrie

Hi John,

I certainly wasn't expecting a sports car inside of the Cadenza. Truth be told, in most of the mid to large sized sedans I've reviewed this year, I've admitted that I'm getting real spoiled by the cushy comfortable rides!

I actually reviewed the Azera and loved it. Sadly, I didn't find driving Cadenza anywhere close to the experience I had when I drove Azera (or Avalon, or even the Buick LaCrosse for that matter). I thank you for your feedback though, and keep enjoying your Azera!

Gene Stoesser

Hi Carrie
I to have a 2014 cadenza setting in the drive. It's a nice car but Kia didn't hit a home run this time
If I had it to do over again I wouldn't buy it. While it has many nice features, there are things you expect from this class of car and it came up short. They paid attention to the drivers seat but not the passengers seat.This is a family size car and a family man extects his spouse to be taken care of also. Passengers seat lacks cooling and there is no height adjustment. Not only is my wife short but the Cadenza is short in this department.
Looks like they threw a model out to us to find out what should have been included in this class of vehicle.
Cooling in passenger seat
height adjustment in passenger seat.
cooling in glove compartment.
Either reclining or folding rear seats.
Led fog lights like the pictures, they sure miss represent that.
Either 8 speed tranny or choice of engines. maybe a turbo 4.
maybe mood lighting or rear side window shades
Just looks to me like us first year buyers got screwed.
This is my 5th Kia, but that may change. I buy a new car every 2 years and I expect the best of class and have gotten that with Kia's up to now

Slee

FYI - passenger seat cooling comes in the Limited version.

Slee

...LED fogs also come on Limited.

Biggest gripes for me personally is no 7/8 spd tranny and lack of folding seats.

Interestingly, I've noticed most luxury brands charge you extra for folding seats. But at least they are options.

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