Sedans & Coupes

The 2020 Kia Cadenza Looks Different but Drives the Same

It’s interesting how times have changed. For decades, full-size sedans like the Kia Cadenza were the mainstay of the auto industry. They were large enough to meet the average driver’s commuting needs, had a reputation for being safe, got decent gas mileage, and were pleasant to drive. Now it’s growing increasingly difficult to find good sedans like the Kia Cadenza because the market is saturated with crossover SUVs.

Are you in the market for a 2020 vehicle and are tired of unreliable crossovers? If so, you’ll be delighted to learn that although the 2020 Kia Cadenza looks different from previous model years, it still drives the same.

The 2020 Kia Cadenza’s style

Kia redesigned the Cadenza’s body for the 2020 model. The most significant change is at the front. The automaker replaced the old grille with a concave V-shaped design. Some reviewers like the bold new look, while others, including Autoblog, find it clunky and distracting.

The headlights also got an update. The new ones are narrower and a bit smaller than the ones on the 2019 model. They help give the 2020 Cadenza a streamlined appearance.

Walking around the car, you’ll notice the taillights have also been updated. The new ones wrap across the entire trunk and feature a dashed line that adds visual appeal. 

“We think it looks better than before but still somewhat anonymous in practice,” The Car Connection reports. “Let’s just say it’s hard for the average car buyer to pick the Cadenza out of a lineup of sedans.”

The 2020 Kia Cadenza’s ride quality

RELATED: Is the 2021 Kia Sorento Safe?

Though the 2020 Kia Cadenza’s exterior saw updates, little has changed under the hood. It still packs a 3.3-liter V6 engine producing 290 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. The powerful combination allows the Cadenza to go from 0 to 65 mph in 6.5 seconds. 

MotorTrend noted the 2020 Cadenza’s suspension efficiently handled rough roads, but its maneuvering didn’t impress the publication.

“It understeers dramatically, the whole car flops over quite a lot, and the seats don’t hold me very well,” MotorTrend editor Chris Walton reported after he put the Cadenza through the figure-eight road test. “I think the best part of the Cadenza are its brakes. They’re quite effective and predictable.”

Put to the 60-to-0 mph test, the Cadenza’s brakes responded instantly. The sedan came to a complete halt in only 113 feet.

What’s impressive is the vehicle’s fuel consumption, particularly when you consider the V6 engine. The 2020 Kia Cadenza that MotorTrend tested got 21 mpg in city traffic and an impressive 35.7 mpg on the highway, making it an excellent gas sipper on road trips.

This is your last chance to get a new Cadenza

If you like the Cadenza, you should know the 2020 model is the last one Kia intends to sell in the United States. According to Car and Driver, the automaker pulled the plug when it became apparent the Cadenza couldn’t compete with the Toyota Avalon or Nissan Maxima.

Consumer Reports doesn’t offer much information about the 2020 model, but the 2019’s version is nearly identical. For that year, CR gave the Cadenza an impressive 91 out of 100 on its road test. It scored 3 out of 5 in reliability and owner satisfaction. The 2020 Kia Cadenza starts at $37,850.