2016 New York Auto Show: 2017 Kia Cadenza

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Staying competitive in the mid-sized sedan market takes constant effort, and the Optima’s updates for 2017 keep this Kia in the thick of it.

What is it?

The Optima is a mid-sizer that gets a round of updates for 2017. Styling is revised, and there will be two different grilles – one that matches the three-panel “Diamond Butterfly” style of other Kias, and this one, called “Intaglio”, will be reserved for the the most expensive Optima. The vertical tines and concave shaping fleshes out Kia’s “tiger nose” styling in a way not yet seen.


Kia is playing up the new Optima’s enhanced structure, which Kia says is now more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) . Two more gears for the tranny bring it up to eight speeds, and Kia says the 3.3-liter V6 will crank out 290 horsepower. Front brake disc rotors have been bumped from 11 inches to 12.

Inside, there’s a new head-up screen, and the instrument panel has a new design that visually wraps into the door panels. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, and seat heaters are now “smart”, in that they automatically reduce their heat levels when they sense a certain threshold is reached.


What Kia says:

Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America:

“Everything you see and touch in the Cadenza’s cabin has been improved, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”


What’s new:

  • Restyled inside and out
  • New eight-speed transmission
  • Stronger body structure
  • New head-up display
  • Smart Blind Spot Detection System
  • Driver’s Knee Air Bag

When does it go on sale? 

Late 2016.