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In recent years, Kia has adopted the go-big-or-go-home approach to its product lineup. The South Korean automaker is on a roll with first-rate vehicles that experts praise and consumers covet. They include the highly rated Telluride SUV, Optima/K5 sedan, and Stinger sports sedan. But one model that’s gotten lost in the shuffle is the Kia Cadenza. 

This large sedan is worthy of a Lexus badge but avoids the hefty price tag. Packing a powerful, refined V6 engine, it boasts features and technology that put it toe-to-toe with Cadillac, Lexus, and Volvo models. However, the 2020 Kia Cadenza has one notable advantage over those luxury cars.

Step into luxury in the 2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza advantage luxury cars
2020 Kia Cadenza interior | Kia

Luxuriate inside the 2020 Kia Cadenza, oozing upscale elegance. The quilted-leather seats are supportive and comfortable, ventilated with heating and cooling. A 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. And Kia’s UVO eServices, an onboard telematics system, monitors the car and diagnoses mechanical problems. It alerts the driver of required maintenance and calls for help after a crash.  

2020 Kia Cadenza luxury cars
2020 Kia Cadenza | Kia

The refined V6 produces 290 hp, good enough for a 6.7-second 0-to-60-mph time in Car and Driver testing. It’s not as fast as some rivals but quick enough for a premium sedan. The engine also complements the Cadenza’s comfortable yet controlled ride. This car can hustle, but it works best as a smooth cruiser. 

The 2020 Kia Cadenza’s advantage is a superior warranty

Where the Kia Cadenza stands out is its warranty. Like all Hyundai and Kia products, it includes five years or 60,000 miles of comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage with roadside assistance. And the powertrain is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. That’s one of the best warranties in the business. But there’s one thing it doesn’t cover: maintenance. 

Unlike typical luxury cars, the Cadenza doesn’t include free maintenance. However, most free maintenance plans cover only the first two or three years, so if you’re looking at a 2020 or older model, that coverage would have already expired anyway.

Genesis picked up the mantle

If you’re looking for a new Cadenza, you’re out of luck. Kia pulled the plug on it after the 2021 model year for two reasons.

First, although the Cadenza is impressive, shoppers didn’t expect a premium car in Kia showrooms. Its $38,000 base price was a bargain compared to luxury cars but almost 50% higher than the average Kia model. And because it was a Kia and not a Lexus or Cadillac, it never caught on with the public. Most people shopping for a luxury car didn’t cross-shop the Cadenza with similar products from Lexus or Cadillac.

Second, Hyundai, Kia’s parent company, was launching Genesis as its upscale luxury brand. As a result, the automaker introduced Genesis sedans such as the G70, G80, and G90. When the Hyundai Genesis retired, so did the Kia Cadenza. But in doing so, the Genesis brand picked up the Cadenza’s mantle and carried it forward. 

What does that mean for you? Consumers often overlook the Cadenza, making it a hidden gem and, thus, a bargain. So if you want a large, comfortable luxury sedan and like getting more for your money, don’t overlook the 2020 Kia Cadenza.


5 Reasons to Covet the Often Overlooked Kia Cadenza