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2019 Kia Cadenza Review

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One of the most luxurious and expensive cars Kia offers, Kia Cadenza buyers join a rarefied group. In a single month, Kia sold 75 Cadenzas to the Kia Forte’s 9,000. The Cadenza is meant to be more selective, yet its price point stays well under $50,000 even if you select the most expensive trim level. This review can help you decide if it meets your standards.

2019 Kia Cadenza pricing and trims

The 2019 Kia Cadenza has only three trims. This means that rather than a gradient of amenities spread over half a dozen trims, the Premium, Technology and Limited trims here have significant jumps in features and pricing. The Cadenza’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starts at $33,100 and tops out at $44,100.

2019 Kia Cadenza Pricing and Trims
Trim Premium Technology Limited
Base MSRP $33,100 $38,200 $44,100
Standard Features V6 Engine, 8-Speed Automatic, 7″ Touch Screen, Leather Seat Trim, Heated Front Seats LED Headlights and Fog Lights, 19″ Alloy Wheels, Premium Audio, Panoramic Sunroof Quilted Nappa Leather Seat Trim, Ventilated Front Seats, Heated Rear Seats, Smart Power Trunk

 MSRPs are accurate as of the date of publishing

What about sales pricing? You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on when and where you shop, you may be able to find a 2019 Kia Cadenza for less than MSRP due to dealership sales or manufacturer rebates. Shop around and use industry guides such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book to see the fair market price is in your area.

What about all-wheel drive (AWD)? AWD is not available on the Cadenza. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, here are 12 of the best AWD cars in 2019.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is next. Potential lenders include Kia financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Kia Cadenza safety

The Cadenza is not rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded it as a Top Safety Pick. Depending on the trim you choose, Kia also offers some advanced driver safety features. Here are safety features that are included on the various trim levels.

Premium trim:

  • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning. The vehicle can alert the driver visually and audibly when it senses another car in one of its blind spots. Included on the Technology trim and above.
  • Lane Change Assist. The vehicle alerts the driver if vehicles are fast approaching from behind.
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning. The vehicle alerts the driver that there’s a vehicle in their blind spot.

Technology and Limited trims:

  • Forward Collision Warning System and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist. Warns the driver of a potential collision with another car or a pedestrian and applies the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Lane Keeping Assist. The car can alert the driver if it senses it is drifting out of the lane and make minor steering adjustments to help it stay in the lane.
  • Blind Spot Collision Avoidance. The vehicle alerts the driver that there’s a vehicle in their blind spot and can actively avoid a collision.
  • High Beam Assist. The car can dim its high beams if it senses on-coming traffic and then switch them back on after it senses the traffic has passed.
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. With cruise control on, the car can adjust its speed to match and follow a car in front of it. The car can also automatically come to a complete stop and start again, up to the preset speed, if the stop time is less than three seconds.

Be aware that no matter how many safety features the vehicle has, you should still practice safe driving methods. If one of your concerns is potential bad weather, look at our best cars for snow.

2019 Kia Cadenza competitor comparison

Priced and rated well compared with other foreign competitors, the Kia Cadenza could be a strong contender in your new car search. The 2020 Acura TLX is slightly less expensive with a slightly higher expert rating, while the 2020 Toyota Avalon has more advanced driver safety features that come standard with its Toyota Safety Sense P suite. The Cadenza — reportedly due for a refresh for 2020 — stands out among all of these for its warranty, which you can read about below the table.

2019 Kia Cadenza vs Competitors
Vehicle 2019 Kia Cadenza 2020 Acura TLX 2019 Nissan Maxima 2020 Toyota Avalon
Base MSRP $33,100 $33,000 $34,250 $35,800
Expert Scores 3.9 4.1 3.9 NA
Standard Technology V6 Engine, 8-Speed Automatic, 7″ Touch Screen, Leather Seat Trim, Heated Front Seats, Advanced Driver Safety Features V6 Engine, Heated Front Seats, Leather-Trimmed Seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay V6 Engine, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, LED Headlights, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay V6 Engine, Toyota Safety Sense P, 9″ Touch Screen, Blind Spot Monitor, Apple CarPlay, 60/40 Split Folding Rear Seats
Fuel Economy Combined/City/Hwy 23/20/27 MPG 24/20/31 MPG 24/20/30 MPG 25/22/31 MPG

*Chart data is for 2019 and 2020 base models, when available. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is as defined by the EPA for the least-expensive base model trims.

What about warranty? All new Kias come with a 5-year, 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Most competitors have a 3-year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

What about sports performance? The Kia Cadenza is more of a luxury cruiser rather than a sports car or muscle car. If sporty performance does get your heart racing though, here are the best four-door sports cars that might fit your family and satisfy your need for speed.

The bottom line on the 2019 Kia Cadenza

If you’d like a more luxurious sedan without paying the price of a luxury brand, the 2019 Kia Cadenza might be a great option. It stacks up well against the competition with standard features that are a bit premium, such as the V6 engine and leather seating. If, however, you’d like to look at options from luxury brands, here are the best luxury cars under $50,000.


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