Photography by ©2015 Toni Avery
Kia has long been known as an affordable economy car company. It produced cars that weren’t necessarily considered “sporty” and even fewer “lookers.” Over the years the brand has developed and evolved into a versatile, young/hip one that with clever marketing campaigns has taken a large well-deserved corner of the affordable/hip car market.
When a brand like Kia takes a huge leap into the uber-luxury car segment it’s almost like Ferrari wanting to produce the next hot SUV….not so much. If executed correctly it’s as if the brand had always been in the segment. That’s the splash Kia aims to make with the K900.
With a 5.0 L V8 delivering 420 HP @ 6,400 RPM and 376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 RPM mated to an electronically controlled 8-speed auto shift-by-wire transmission, ears tend to perk up. Power delivery is adequate for a car of its 4,643 (base with options) curb weight with enough to get around slower traffic.
The car has three different drive modes including Sport, Normal, and Eco. Sport mode makes for a more engaging driving experience with louder exhaust noise and revs changing higher in the range.
Even while Sport gives you a minor illusion of a performance car, the ride quality will surely float you back into realty. It’s smooth as is expected with a luxury car, but the suspension is so soft bumps seem to go on forever and ever.
The Kia K900’s technology is where it shines. Starting off with what I found most useful when parking in tight L.A. parking spots, was the Around View Monitoring System (AVM). This system allows the driver to see in front, behind and either side of the car in addition to a very cool aerial view. Placing the car into reverse engages the AVM system and allows the driver to not only achieve the perfect parking job but also see all around the vehicle and to know how far the car has before impact with objects around it.
At speed, the car takes the task of driving to the next level. If equipped, the Advanced Smart Cruise Control System (ASCC) allows the driver to select the desired constant speed in addition to the distance from cars ahead. The ASCC worked perfectly even in heavy traffic until it disables itself around 20+ miles an hour (use in heavy traffic is not recommended, this was done solely for test purposes).
As is expected from a car in the luxury segment, the Head-Up Display feature leaves little need to even glance at the digital gauges in the cluster. Providing speed, turn-by-turn directions and the ASCC setting (when in use) it does the job of lessening distractions while driving.
While the navigation and other functions performed as expected, I felt there were just too many buttons, sub menus and ways to navigate the system. A much simpler, and user-friendly solution would be a touch screen, eliminating most all buttons and dials.
Right alongside the K900’s stellar technology is the interior fit, finish, materials and appearance. This particular car came equipped with a gorgeous two toned leather interior with genuine wood throughout providing a truly exceptional upscale experience. There wasn’t any plastic or cheap parts to be found.
If plenty of room is what you’re after, the K900 has that is spades. Leg room at the rear should never be an issue no matter your height and neither should storage space in the trunk.
The Nappa Leather seats feature heat and cooling providing the most comfort all year round. Even the rear seats receive their very own set of controls and the ability to recline allowing for the ultimate chauffeur experience.
Every bit of the interior screamed luxury with the exception of the driver’s seat. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and that could not ring more true than when referring to the lumbar support of the driver’s seat. No matter how many times I adjusted and how I adjusted it was just way too much.
On the exterior, the K900 falls a little flat from the exceptional interior. That’s not to say that for a car of its size, weight and purpose that it doesn’t hit some high points. For instance the wheel design is quite unique featuring a high-end, mixed with sporty flare appeal. The front fascia is another plus, boasting a large grill and modern headlight design.
Overall the K900’s skin takes you away from what you’d expect a Kia luxury car to look like and replaces that with “That’s not a Kia is it?”
My time with the 2015 Kia K900 was better than expected and I now have a newfound respect for the brand taking such a large, and successful, leap into the luxury car segment.
GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2015 Kia K900 an overall rating of (out of 5 total):
Photography by: ©2015 Toni Avery
Nice informative review. My POV is that this Kia (“Kick it Again”, “Killed in Action”?) has been brutally beaten by the ugly stick.
Reminds me of a Taurus, with less physical personality. Power wise, it falls between a Charger R/T and a Charger Scat Pack or SRT, yet I think it is heavier. Being KIA, it could be cheaper though.