The New Kia K8 is Luxurious, Forbidden Fruit

Kia giveth and Kia taketh away. I’m not sure anyone is actually upset by the loss of the K7 or, here in the states, the Kia Cadenza. However, as more consumers start to drop their BMWs and Lexus sedans for increasingly luxurious Kia and Hyundai SUVs, maybe we should be mourning the fact that we Americans won’t be getting the new Kia Cadenza replacement, the Kia K8. 

Say hello and goodbye to the Kia K8

This is a fancy-looking ride, but we won’t be getting it. As Car and Driver notes, Kia recently knocked off the Kia Cadenza for its U.S. lineup. Obviously, this means we will also not be getting its replacement, the bigger and badder Kia K8. This new Kia would be a clear and worthy competitor for something like the Lexus ES or larger BMW. 

What is the Kia K8 all about? 

First of all, it is bigger than the previous model. Everything seems to be getting bigger, even sedans. Dimensions are mostly what we have to go on here because Kia has yet to release many mechanical details about the K8. 

Brand New silver Kia K8 parked next to a building
Kia K8 | Kia

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Although we don’t know much about it yet, Car and Driver mentions that the K8 is most likely going to continue to be front-wheel drive and traverse engine layout. 

The K8 also sports a few exterior details that Kia says might make it to other models in the lineup. One of the more noteworthy design elements is the large, patterned grille. Kia says this intricate grille could be shared in the future with other models. Another new design feature is the super future-y, angular taillights. 

Kia’s new logo

Kia recently launched a big (if not a little underwhelming) rebranding campaign to change its name and logo. The name change was a bit lackluster. It went from “Kia Motors” to “Kia.” But, as if you’ll look closely at the images of the new K8, it is the first model that sports the new Kia logo. 

Brand New silver Kia K8 parked next to a building
Kia K8 | Kia

As Kia has just announced the coming of the new Kia Carnival, it will likely be the first Kia vehicle to wear the new badge here in the United States. 

Will it be that much more different than the old Cadenza?

Honestly, we have no clue. Since the K8 is slightly bigger than the K7, it adds a little doubt that the K8 is just a refreshed or fancier version of the same car. But did Kia put a whole new engine in the K8? 

It’s hard to say what will power the Cadenza replacement. The previous version had a 290-hp naturally-aspirated V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It wasn’t a very fast car, but that wasn’t really the point. The 2020 Cadenza is a smooth-riding lux-mobile that served its purpose well. It features a variety of soft-touch surfaces making for a beautiful and upscale cabin. At $48,000 starting price, the Cadenza was a strong competitor too. With Lexus and BMW equivalents starting at higher prices, it really was a strong option. 

As logical an alternative as the Cadenza was, it clearly wasn’t enough to keep American’s attention over the pricier sedans. We may regret not showing the Cadenza enough love when we see the full spec on the K8.