Sedans & Coupes

Kia Just Killed Its 2 Most Luxurious Models In the U.S.

SUVs are no longer just popular; they’re omnipresent. Unfortunately, that spells doom for well-respected sedans like the Kia K900 and Cadenza.

The South Korean manufacturer is following in the footsteps of its American counterparts. Ford killed its sedan lineup to focus on its better-selling SUVs, and Chevrolet is purging more cars by the day.

Kia isn’t taking such extreme measures, as it is heavily invested in models like the K5 and the Forte. However, the more luxurious K900 and Cadenza are going by the wayside.

Kia is streamlining its production toward higher sellers

A black 2020 Kia Cadenza parked in the drive way
The 2020 Kia Cadenza parked in a driveway | Photo via Kia

Kia is no longer the ugly stepchild of the automotive industry. Critics have assigned wide acclaim to many of the manufacturer’s models, including the Cadenza and K900.

However, positive reviews don’t always produce impactful results. For the most part, consumers  ignored these large sedans, opting for more popular models – primarily versatile SUVs.

Rather than re-branding these models – like Kia did with the Optima – the automaker went in a different direction.

Car and Driver reported Kia is discontinuing the K900 and Cadenza in the United States. The publication stated that Kia dealers only sold 305 K900 units and 1,265 Cadenza units in 2020.

Those diminutive numbers hardly make it worth the manufacturer’s effort to keep producing these models. For reference, Kia sold 12,556 Stingers – the brand’s other luxury car – last year. However, that’s not too much of a surprise, considering that the Stinger fastback features a captivating design and thrilling driving dynamics.

Meanwhile, Kia dominated headlines in 2020 with the success of the all-new Telluride. Critics have found this three-row SUV to be nearly flawless. Plus, its affordable price point makes it a more appealing option for families who may have otherwise considered buying a large sedan like the K900 or Cadenza in the past.

Biding a fond farewell to the Kia K900 and the Cadenza 

A close-up look at the interior of the 2020 Kia K900 with leather seats and wood trim
The plush interior of the 2020 Kia K900 | Photo via Kia

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These large sedans weren’t exactly fan favorites. However, the K900 and Cadenza were distinguished models that exuded luxury at every corner.

Unfortunately, these high-quality automobiles commanded a large sum. The 2020 Kia Cadenza has a starting MSRP of $37,850 – making it the most expensive entry-level model in its class.

However, it’s not fair to call the vehicle overpriced. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report ranked the Cadenza as the top model in the large sedan class.

Kia equipped the 2020 Cadenza with premium amenities. These include standard leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, heated seats, and a long list of safety features.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Kia K900 competed in the large luxury sedan segment, so its $59,900 starting MSRP wasn’t as egregious. However, it’s tough to persuade shoppers to spend a fortune on a Kia rather than a Mercedes-Benz.

That’s not to say that the K900 didn’t belong in its class. Its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 and standard all-wheel-drive system provide a lively driving experience. 

The 2020 Kia K900 comes standard with a host of high-end features. These include Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a 17-speaker sound system, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, and a head-up display. Meanwhile, it also features an incredible assortment of driver-assistance technologies, including the innovative highway driving assist system.

What’s next for Kia 

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Kia didn’t decide to give its sedans the heave-ho on a whim. The company is experiencing more success in North America than ever before, and it likely has big plans for the future.

Consumers are now holding the South Korean automaker in higher regard. And Kia recently responded with a minor rebrand that includes a new logo.

It’s unlikely that Kia will replace the K900 and Cadenza with new large sedans in the future, as the segment is quickly dying out. However, its other sedans should be fixtures in the lineup for quite some time.

Models like the Rio and Forte fit the mold for those looking for affordable and fuel-efficient commuter cars. Meanwhile, the K5 delivers a satisfying blend of sportiness and efficiency. Finally, the Stinger takes over as the most luxurious car left in Kia’s lineup. But this sports sedan seems to have more staying power than its discontinued siblings.