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The 2019 Kia Cadenza is pound-for-pound one of the best bargains in the full-size luxury sedan segment. A great warranty package and a fantastic number of standard features help make the Cadenza a great buy. Passenger comfort is another strong point for this Korean luxury sedan. Because of the Cadenza’s upscale exterior styling, onlookers can easily mistake it for a more expensive model.
With the arrival of an updated touch screen and a greater number of standard features, the 2019 Kia Cadenza has become a stronger value. Let’s take a look at how the available trims differ from each other.
Compare the 2019 Kia Cadenza Premium vs Technology - What is the difference?
With a starting price of $33,100, the base Kia Cadenza Premium is actually a bit less expensive than a fully loaded Honda Accord Touring. Like every new Cadenza, the base Premium trim is powered by a 290-horsepower V6 engine. An electronically controlled, eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode comes standard as well. All versions of the front-wheel-drive Cadenza feature the same suspension setup. Normal, Sport, and Eco driving modes come standard as well.
The base Cadenza Premium’s styling has impressed a lot of car shoppers. A vertical design front grille helps give the sedan a unique look. LED puddle lights add to the Premium trim’s upscale appearance. You’ll also appreciate the sedan’s self-leveling projector headlights, which help improve nighttime visibility. In the rear, integrated dual exhaust tips give the Cadenza premium a more powerful appearance. Some of the other standard exterior features include rain-sensing wipers, a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and heated power mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. You’ll have a total of three paint colors to pick from: Platinum Graphite, Snow White Pearl, and Aurora Black.
For 2019, Kia has enhanced the Premium trim by adding more standard driver-assist safety technologies. When traveling on a busy freeway, blind-spot collision warning with lane change assist gives drivers greater confidence. Meanwhile, rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors provide more security in parking areas. Other notable standard safety equipment includes a reversing camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tire pressure monitoring, and four-wheel disc brakes.
Several high-end creature comforts are found on the Cadenza Premium, including heated leather front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control with auto defrost. A 10-way driver’s seat with power lumbar support seeks to keep you relaxed on the road. Meanwhile, LED interior lighting enables you to set the mood. Wood grain accents further elevate the cabin’s luxuriousness. Kia also equips the Cadenza Premium with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob.
Fortunately, Kia’s most popular technologies come standard on the new Cadenza Premium. You’ll certainly enjoy the UVO 7.0-inch touch-screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support. The standard eight-speaker stereo system includes SiriusXM radio. Meanwhile, a hands-free smart trunk adds to the Cadenza Premium’s everyday practicality. Some of the other highlights include Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a trip computer, a USB port, a Smart Key for easy entry, and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
While the base Cadenza Premium proves to be a serious bang for the buck, some buyers will be lured by the Technology trim’s extra goodies. Although the Cadenza Technology comes equipped with the same V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, it boasts a few exterior upgrades. LED headlights replace the standard halogen headlamps. Kia also equips the Cadenza Technology with an even sportier set of 19-inch alloy wheels and LED front fog lights. The panoramic sunroof is another key upgrade. Gravity Blue is added to the list of available paint colors.
As its name suggests, the Cadenza Technology comes loaded with a greater number of high-tech features. Drivers can take full advantage of the additional advanced safety features. In the event you fail to anticipate a potential crash, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistance automatically applies pressure to the brakes. The Cadenza Technology’s upgraded blind-spot system actually provides steering assistance when necessary. On the other hand, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go uses radar technology to keep a safe distance between you and the next vehicle ahead. Lane-keep assist and driver attention monitoring are also found on the Cadenza Technology.
The Cadenza Technology provides an extra degree of luxury. An electric parking brake comes standard. If you’re a music fan, you will really appreciate the Cadenza Technology’s 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. When traveling to unfamiliar locations, you can take advantage of the larger 8.0-inch touch screen with voice-controlled navigation and SiriusXM Traffic. Wireless phone charging is also included on the Cadenza Technology.
Compare the 2019 Cadenza Technology vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
Kia designed the range-topping Cadenza Limited for the drivers who want the best of the best. It has an MSRP of $41,100, which is nearly $6,000 more than the Cadenza Technology. While the Limited trim costs more money, there’s no denying its plush character.
Although the Cadenza Limited doesn’t receive an engine upgrade, it does come equipped with upgraded Michelin performance tires. An exclusive set of 19-inch Dark Satin wheels also help separate the top-of-the-line Cadenza Limited from the other trims. Chrome mirror housing is another one of the Limited trim’s exclusive styling cues.
On the inside is where the Cadenza Limited truly separates itself. As expected, all of the Technology trim’s upgrades come equipped on the Limited trim. Quilted Nappa leather upholstery enables the sedan to better compete with its pricier European rivals.
Unlike the lower trims, the Cadenza Limited boasts ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. A 14-way power driver’s seat with extendable seat cushion gives you another reason to choose the Cadenza Limited. Side rear sunshades and a power rear sunshade seek to keep your backseat passengers more comfy. Memory seat functions and a heated power-adjustable tilt/telescoping steering wheel are included as well.
Stepping up to the Cadenza Limited rewards you with a few extra safety features. The color head-up display projects an 8.0-inch LED screen onto the windshield. You’ll be able to easily see your speed and driving directions. Kia also equips the Cadenza Limited with a 360-degree camera, which gives you a “bird’s eye” view in parking areas.
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Which One Should You Choose?
With a starting price of slightly more than $33,000, the base Cadenza Premium gives you a lot of quality for the money. A 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty enable you to ride worry-free. It’s extremely comfortable, accelerates quickly enough for most drivers, and comes loaded with valuable safety technologies like blind-spot warning. You’ll also enjoy the Cadenza Premium’s leather-trimmed interior. Highly desired features, like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity and satellite radio, are included in the sedan’s list of standard equipment.
Although the mid-level Technology trim may have a higher MSRP of $38,200, it rewards you with more equipment. The 630-watt Harman Kardon audio system sounds awesome. You’ll also like the Cadenza Technology’s upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights. Unfortunately, some of the Technology trim’s features are not truly worth the money. As previously mentioned, the adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist systems could use some tweaking. Furthermore, don't expect the Cadenza Technology to provide a more comfortable driving experience.
The range-topping Cadenza Limited competes against models like the Lexus ES and the Chrysler 300. If you can’t handle the expense of a new BMW 5-Series, this will prove to be a solid substitute. Its quilted Nappa leather upholstery feels great. You’ll also be thankful for the Cadenza Limited’s upgraded driver’s seat, which provides ventilation and extendable seat cushion. No other trim provides a surround-view parking camera and a head-up driving display.
When shopping for a new 2019 Kia Cadenza, strongly consider your budget. Drivers seeking lower monthly payments shouldn’t hesitate to get the base Premium trim. It feels more upscale than a typical family sedan. On the other hand, the Cadenza Limited gives you a few more upgrades. If you desire a fine luxury sedan that doesn’t cost a fortune, spend the money on the range-topping Cadenza Limited.
2019 Kia Cadenza Key Features
Kia gives you two different sound systems to choose from. The standard eight-speaker unit will satisfy the average music listener. However, you will truly enjoy the available 12-speaker Harman Kardon system. Critics give this premium audio system top marks for its surround-sound effect. It includes a 630-watt amplifier and Clari-Fi restoration technology.
Most buyers will not feel the need to upgrade to the larger 8.0-inch touch screen. Aside from providing navigation, it doesn’t necessarily perform better than the standard 7.0-inch touch screen. Remember, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity come standard throughout the Cadenza lineup.
Kia’s best safety technologies come standard on the base Cadenza Premium. The blind-spot monitor with lane change assist does a great job of detecting oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, some of the other available driving aids don’t perform as well. Quite a few testers have complained about the lane departure warning system’s sensitivity. Meanwhile, the adaptive cruise control system can have trouble re-accelerating from a stop.