For an award winning car, drivers know to look towards Kia. For several years in a row, many Kia models have received Top Safety Picks from the IIHS, and this year Kia ranked highest out of 33 car brands during the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. The Kia Optima is one of the more well-known cars by Kia, but we’re going to review two lesser-known sedans to put them in the spotlight.
Like all of Kia’s luxury sedans, the Kia Optima is actually a non-luxury car with luxury car value. It’s base model is powered by a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve I4 engine, one of the more powerful engines in its lineup. “DOHC” stands for “Double Overhead Cam”, meaning the engine has two camshafts, or simply put, it has optimal performance for horsepower and fuel economy. This engine generates 185-horsepower and has an EPA rating of 25/35 MPG city/highway. For $1000 more, buyers can get an Optima Hybrid that has an improved fuel economy of 36 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway.
The Optima’s base model comes with a 6-speaker audio system and is the most affordable in the lineup. As the trims become more high-end, price slowly rises, but more options quickly become available or even standard. This includes UVO eServices, a voice-command navigation system, and a better 10-speaker audio system powered by Harman/Kardon. Bluetooth wireless technology does come standard across all trims, as does Kia’s signature Active Eco System that helps drivers achieve optimal fuel economy while out and about. MSRP starts at $22,140.
The 2016 Kia Cadenza comes with a larger engine and many high-tech features as a standard, even for the base trim. A starting MSRP of $32,990 is still affordable however, and with a 3.3L V6 engine that generates 293-horsepower, it is definitely earned. This engine also has DOHC and CVVT, or continuous variable valve timing, a process that improves performance and fuel economy. A smart move, considering higher horsepower usually takes a toll on fuel efficiency. The base model gets 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.
As mentioned, many great features come standard in the base trim, whereas the Limited trim is fully-loaded. The basics include a 12-speaker surround sound audio system, UVO eServices with Infotainment System, voice-command navigation on an 8” display, and Bluetooth hands-free wireless connectivity. The seats are leather trimmed and heated for that extra spice of luxury.
It sounds like a cop car K9 unit, and the 2016 Kia K900 may as well be the car for catching evil doers with a 3.8L V6 engine, generating up to 311-horsepower. Like the Cadenza, the engine also has DOHC and CVVT. These help take some of the stress off of the fuel economy even with a stronger engine. The K900 has an EPA of 17/26 MPG city/highway.
Luxury is in the name with the 2016 K900, as UVO Luxury Services are standard across all three trims. The base model, V6 Premium, comes with a 14-speaker sound system; sounds fantastic, so just imagine how music sounds on the Lexicon surround sound 17-speaker system with amplifier and subwoofer on the higher-end trims. Sirius XM Satellite Radio is also a feature that comes standard across all trims, as does voice-command navigation. Integrated with Smart Shift Drive, the K900 actually learns the drivers driving habits to automatically select the drive mode best suited for their driving style (ECO, Normal, or Sport). MSRP for the K900 starts at $49,000.