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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Kia K900 Premium 3.8L include 3.8L V-6 311hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $49,000
Motoring passion might be in short supply, but the K900 delivers wholly adequate performance. Over-the-road behavior cannot match that of German luxury brands, however.
The V8 engine, in particular, provides sufficient power to propel this relatively heavy sedan without faltering, though response lagged a bit when the gas pedal was floored, exacerbated by imperfect transmission shifts. Also when accelerating strongly, the exhaust gets substantially louder, emitting a rather ordinary, mechanical sound. The transmission can be shifted into manual mode without paddles (which are standard on Luxury models).
Although the K900 suspension is nicely damped, it’s tuned more for comfort than for roadholding. That’s no surprise. Regardless, the car’s stability and traction-control systems keep it well-behaved, even if pavements become lumpy or you’re heading through cracked rural roads.
On most surfaces, the K900 is quiet and comfortable. Noise-reduction techniques include laminated glass and installation of underbody trays to curtail air noise.
Three drive-mode settings â€“ Normal, Eco, and Sport â€“ alter the transmission’s shift points and modify steering feel to suit specific conditions. Performance is reduced in Eco mode, but not in the suppressive manner that’s common on smaller cars. Sport mode provides a bit more responsiveness than Normal.
Though the K900 has been criticized for bland, unadventurous styling, it’s a long sedan, displaying the classic proportions of a luxury model. In addition to a long hood and shorter but tall trunk, it features a steeply angled windshield and back window. Overhangs are short, too.
A rectangular, chrome-surrounded grille, low and upright, serves as its most distinctive element, sitting between swept-back headlights that blend into a conventional sedan profile. On V6 models, high-intensity-discharge headlights feature dynamic bending; the V8 gets LED lights.
Wraparound LED taillights bring up the rear. Front fenders hold chrome-ringed vents, but they’re non-functional. Even if the overall design breaks no fresh ground, build quality is a K900 strong point.
Refreshingly straightforward, including logically organized dashboard controls, the K900 cockpit is stylish and comfortable. Crisp digital graphics are among the easiest to interpret and use. Soft-touch materials, accompanied by aluminum trim (wood on Luxury models), help impart a classy look. Yet, the dashboard has some hard piano-black plastic.
Upscale touches include three-zone automatic climate control and heated outboard rear seats. Luxury models get a heated wood/leather-trimmed steering wheel. A console-mounted knob lets the driver navigate menu options on the central 9.2-inch touchscreen display. Large, conventional knobs also control such functions as audio volume. Nappa leather, which looks and feels good, covers the seats and other surfaces of Luxury models, matched by glossy wood trim.
Airy and bright, the roomy cabin is easy to enter, and also to exit. Front seats are adequate, but not particularly expansive. Knees of a tall passenger might hit the glovebox lid if it’s opened. In the rear, on the other hand, space is bountiful, while upholstery is pleasurably comfortable.
The Kia K900 is at the upscale end of a comprehensive line of smartly styled, feature-loaded models. Customers who associate the Kia brand with smaller, economy-focused cars might have trouble accepting the top-end K900, despite its economic value. The K900 delivers quiet comfort.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.
The 2016 Kia K900 comes in three trim levels:
K900 V6 Premium ($49,000) comes with the V6 engine, leather seat trim, heated front and outboard rear seats, power front seats, HID headlights, dual exhaust, power-folding mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, 14-speaker audio, navigation, power trunklid and rear sunshade, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Front/rear cameras and parking sensors also are included. The panoramic sunroof includes a power-retractable sunshade.
K900 V6 Luxury ($54,900) adds paddle shifters, Lexicon Logic7 900-watt 17-speaker audio, Nappa leather upholstery, wood trim, a heated wood/leather steering wheel, and shift-by-wire transmission control.
K900 V8 Luxury ($61,900) tops the lineup, including a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, LED headlights, and 19-inch chrome/alloy wheels. Safety features include a surround-view monitor, blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Eight airbags are standard. VIP and VIP Plus option packages add long lists of features, including active-safety items.
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