2015 Kia K900, a grand bargain: Motoramic Drives
There are two things everyone should take away from this review: The 2015 Kia K900 is a true luxury car, and yes, it is a Kia.
And no, those two things are not mutually exclusive.
The big K900 sedan is the most opulent car Kia has ever built. It’s essentially an Americanized version of the Kia Quoris sold elsewhere in the world and a platform-mate to the similarly ambitious Hyundai Equus built by the parent company. The K900 is the only Kia not to have a proper name, allegedly because wealthy Americans respond better to alphanumerics than actual names. And it is significant both in terms of what it is — a big step up in comfort and gravitas from the near-luxury Cadenza sedan, which itself was considered ambitious when it was introduced last year — and what it represents: a stake in the ground in the true luxury car world.
Why is lowly Kia selling a luxury car in the first place? According to Kia, the price gap between full-size luxury sedans (such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8) and their mid-size siblings (E-Class, 5-Series, A6) has grown since the recession. That has made room for Kia to sneak in a larger luxury sedan priced like the mid-sizers. That said, Kia will not pitch the K900 directly against the S-Class, 7-Series and others; rather, Kia reinforces the K900’s position as a ‘tweener that occupies the space between the mid-size and full-size segments without boasting superiority within either.
So is the K900 the real deal? Yes…mostly. Like nearly every other big boy luxury car, the K900 has a choice of V-6 or V-8 engines. It has rear-wheel drive. It has a huge rear seat. And most importantly, it has heaps of luxury items. Even the base K900 V-6 comes standard with adaptive headlights, a power trunk, leather seats and dash, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 17-speaker 900-watt Lexicon sound system, and front/rear parking cameras. Options for the V-6 model include a heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control and real wood trim.
Step up to the V-8 model and all of the above comes standard, along with LED headlamps and 19-inch wheels. Our test cars were all top-of-the-line V-8 models equipped with the VIP package, which adds a color heads-up display, a 12.3-inch TFT instrument screen in place of the standard gauges, and ventilated, reclining rear seats. While these cars are certainly stacked, some features you found on its competitors, like massaging seats, rear seat entertainment systems, and lane keeping assist, for example, are not available at all. (The Equus even offers a right rear executive seat package and a fridge.)