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2020 Kia Cadenza Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

What do you get with each? Find out below..
2020 Kia Cadenza Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Technology vs Limited

What 2020 Kia Cadenza Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

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The Kia Cadenza does not get too much hype these days. In the full-size sedan segment, it just kind of middles about, not gaining much positive or negative attention. The 2020 Kia Cadenza is following that trend, although it does have some pretty big changes from the previous model year.

The 2020 Kia Cadenza is part of the line-up's second generation, which was introduced in 2017. This model year's refresh is an important one since it trims the trim levels down to just two - the Technology and the Limited. In other words, this does not give buyers too many options. But there have been some positive alterations to the 2020 Cadenza. Those changes start on the outside with front and rear fascias revamped and restyled to include all LED lighting features.

On the inside, you will find that the new dashboard design is more horizontal than vertical in its layout. The climate controls and air vents have been relocated along the dash in order to accommodate the now-standard 12.3-inch touchscreen display. The infotainment system gets upgrades that make Bluetooth connectivity standard, as well as a 10-watt wireless charging pad and three added USB ports.

A bunch of advanced driver aids get standardized on the 2020 Kia Cadenza, and you will find the cabin to be quieter than ever before thanks to the new 19-inch resonator wheels and restyled subframe. Also, the dampers have been retuned so as to boost the vehicle's ride quality.

Full-size sedans are becoming a thing of the past, and the Cadenza is going to continue to struggle against the tide. Eliminating the previous base trim is a sign of this downfall. Drivers do not want to fork over $40,000 for a vehicle that has similar features and less space than a more affordable crossover. As a luxury sedan, the Cadenza might not cut it for most drivers. But if you are settled on getting one, you ought to know the differences between the two remaining trim levels. So, read on, and make it through to the end where we will declare which trim level we think is the better option.


Compare the 2020 Kia Cadenza Technology vs Limited Trim Levels. What is the difference?


With only two trim levels left in its line-up, the 2020 Kia Cadenza does not offer potential buyers too many options. You can either go with the now-base Technology trim or spend more to get what is included on the line-topping Limited trim level. But is either one of them really worth the money you will have to spend? What will you get on the Limited that you cannot acquire on the Technology? It is time to find out.

Let us start with the color options. On the exterior, you can take your choice from the same four body paint color options. On the inside, these trims have two options, with the Technology having black or tan and the Limited having black or gray.

Now, we need to address the mechanical aspects of the 2020 Kia Cadenza. You will obviously want to know if anything under the hood is different between these two trim levels, and we will tell you right now - there isn't. You get the same 3.3-L V6 engine on both trim levels, which gets matched up with an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic and Smart & Drive. This powertrain nabs you 290 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. As far as fuel efficiency goes, don't expect too much. This vehicle gets 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and a combined 23 mpg. Not terrible, but not great; it is pretty much standard for a full-size luxury sedan.

On to the features. Starting with the exterior on the Technology trim level, you will get automatic lighting control, high beam assist, body-colored heated power-folding side mirrors with integrated LED turn indicators, and an integrated dual exhaust with a chrome surround. As we already mentioned at the beginning of this review, both trim levels received restyled front and rear fascias that house entirely LED lights. That means you get LED headlights, taillights, fog lights, and positioning lights. There are also perimeter lights that will come on when you approach the vehicle, puddle lights, the Smart Welcome system, solar control glass, and sound absorbing front side windows and a windshield. The Technology trim rides on top of 19-inch alloy wheels that come with standard all-season Hankook tires.

To enhance the Cadenza's outer appearance even more, Kia equips the Limited trim level with chrome outside mirror housings, rain-sensing variable intermittent front windshield wipers, a smart power trunk release, and a windshield wiper de-icer. This trim levels gets upgraded to 19-inch alloy wheels with a dark satin finish and all-season premium Michelin tires. To sum it all up, expect to see even more shiny things on the Cadenza's exterior. It definitely looks high-end from the outside.

On the inside, you will find even more standard creature comforts and shiny, beautiful designs. On the Technology, you get smartphone app integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity also comes standard, making it easy for you to use your phone without needing to constantly be pushing on buttons. Other standard interior features include automatic defrost, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with a built-in compass and the HomeLink universal transceiver, blind-spot collision-avoidance assistance, a center console with an armrest, and a driver attention warning feature that lets you know when it detects your eyes starting to close or drift away from the road.

More interior features that come standard include two cupholders up front, dual illuminated vanity mirrors on the front sun visors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an electronic parking brake with an auto-hold function, forward collision warning and avoidance assistance, and a 12-speaker 630-watt Harman Kardon premium sound system with ClariFi. There is also an interior lighting system with a delay function, and the lights are LED. Lane change assistance, lane departure warning, and parking distance warning - reverse also come as standard driver aids.

To take things even further, the Technology gets fitted with motor driven power steering, power windows for the front seats with one-touch automatic up/down and anti-pinch, rear cross traffic collision warning, and a center armrest for the rear seat. The vehicle also gets smart cruise control with a stop and go function, smart key with an engine immobilizer and push button start, Smart Shift & Drive, a manual tilt-and telescoping steering column, two front 12-volt power outlets, a USB/auxiliary input jack, and the UVO eServices system with voice-command navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and HD Radio. To top that off, you get a standard wireless phone charger, a 10-way adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat, heating on the front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, and gorgeous woodgrain interior accents. Sounds pretty upscale, right?

Well, the Limited, being the line-topping trim that it is, adds even more to the cabin. The Limited really emphasizes creature comforts and feeling like you are sitting in the lap of luxury. Kia actually does equip quite a lot of desirable standard features on the Limited trim, leaving you wanting very little in the way of add-on options.

Here is a run-down of what kinds of upgrades to expect to see inside of the Limited trim level. First of all, you get a head-up display, which can be really helpful when you need to keep your eyes level with the road in front of you. You also get a power rear window sunshade and rear side window shades for extra protection from the sun's glaring rays. The steering column becomes a power tilt and telescoping one, and you get the 7-inch display with the Supervision meter cluster. A surround-view camera system is standard equipment, allowing you to see what is going on all around the vehicle, not just out of the rear-view.

The Limited gets upgrade to a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat with power lumbar support, and the driver gets a 14-way power-adjustable seat with power lumbar support and an extendable seat cushion. There are also exclusive Limited floor and trunk mats in addition to the standard carpeting. The rear seats are heated, and the front seats gain ventilation. The vehicle also has an integrated memory system (IMS). Also, the steering wheel gains a heating function, in addition to all of the controls (for the cruise control, audio, and climate control) that are mounted onto it. Oh, and the upholstery? You get to enjoy sinking into quilted Nappa leather-trimmed seats.

Overall, the Limited trim level has some very obvious upgrades and actually gives you quite a bit for the price. While this vehicle tends to get lost in the muck that is the full-size sedan segment, it does have a lot of good things going for it, especially now that Kia gave it a nice little refresh for the 2020 model year.

But is either trim level worth buying?


Which Trim to Choose?


You might not yet be fully decided on whether to get a 2020 Kia Cadenza or pass it by. At the very least, take one out for a test drive. While this vehicle does not have the most powerful engine in its segment, its driving experience is much better than it was in previous iterations, especially thanks to the tweaks made to the dampers. The ride quality feels more in line with what you should expect from a luxury vehicle.

As this segment shrinks, the Cadenza might just start to stand out even more. The V6 has that luxury refinement drivers are looking for, but it is not just the engine that drivers will enjoy about the new Cadenza. The inside is just as lovely as the exterior and will make you not even care that this vehicle is not a Mercedes-Benz or a Lexus. Who needs that when you can spend a moderate amount on something beautiful and jam-packed with all the standard features you could possibly want and need?

So, which trim level should you buy? That is going to be entirely up to you since you really cannot go wrong either way. If you are looking to stay around the $40,000 starting MSRP of the Technology trim, go with that one. It has plenty of standard equipment. But, if you want to go all out, you will only have to shell out an extra $5,000 to get the Limited trim level which, as you have already read, has basically everything you could ask for. Sure, you are not getting the best fuel economy in this class, and the acceleration is not the snappiest, but if you care more about creature comforts, then the 2020 Kia Cadenza's line-topping Limited trim level is definitely the right one for you.

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