Kia has us given a taste of its all-new Cadenza luxury sedan today ahead of the car’s world premiere at the Riyadh Motor Show in Saudi Arabia next month.

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The five-metre saloon will replace the 10-year-old Opirus/Amanti model in overseas markets and Kia Motors President, Hyoung-Keun Lee, said he expected it to totally transform his company’s sales performance in the D2 segment.

“With the Cadenza, we have created an all-new, large sedan that will revitalize Kia’s fortunes thanks to its exciting appearance, strong performance and luxurious cabin which will guarantee a much broader consumer appeal, attracting thousands of new customers to our brand,” he said.

The new ‘Schreyer’ design language follows that of the recently updated Cerato and Sorento, and the man behind the new look said it gives the Cadenza a more masculine, luxurious look.

“Today, people recognize a Kia at first sight: well balanced proportions, flowing greenhouse and dynamic window graphic plus the big wheels, give this car its confident stance, dignity and elegant personality.“The distinctive ‘tiger nose’ front with its signature grille and headlights are evidence of Kia’s new self-confidence,” he said.

The Cadenza is powered by a 213kW 3.5-litre V6  with dual CVVT and is capable of producing 338Nm of torque.

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The six-speed automatic gearbox combines for an average fuel economy of 9.36 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 223g/km.

LED lights and dual-zone climate control head the standard features, while keyless entry, starter button, reversing camera and sensors and a three-segment panoramic glass roof lead the long options list.

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Production begins in January for Kia’s domestic sales, with export markets to take delivery from March, China in June.

But Kia Australia spokesman Jonathan Fletcher said plans to bring the Cadenza down under were not well advanced.

“Clearly it’s a segment in which we don’t have a competitor at the moment so we would have to make a call about whether we want to enter that segment.

“At this stage it’s only left-hand drive anyway so it’s not a question that we have to answer this week.

“Certainly we won’t say no for the sake of saying no, we will clearly look at it and if it was going to be in right-hand drive we’d have to do some deep analysis about whether there’s a market for it here.”

He said much of that decision could rest on whether the UK – one of Kia’s largest right-hand drive markets – wanted the Cadenza in its line-up.

“I don’t know whether the UK is going to take it ... but if the UK doesn’t take it the chances of them building it in right-hand drive are pretty slim,” said Fletcher.

by Tim Beissmann