Ah, luxury; it has its perks.
For instance in Kia’s new K900 luxury sedan the rear seats partially recline, the steering wheel is heated, there’s a power rear sun shade, manual side window shades, a front passenger’s seat with full power and two memory settings.
Some of that comes with a $5,000 VIP package, but what’s standard here is impressive at the $54,900 list price. Ouch, you say, that much for a Kia?
Yes, but cars that are this quiet inside, this luxurious, with this much power and so many features often start at $60 grand or beyond. With the right logo on the hood or trunk, some can run $70 grand or more.
So consider this, the K900 delivers excellent power from a 3.8-liter V6 that is strong, quiet and melds beautifully with an 8-speed automatic. Shifts are silky and there’s 311 horsepower to gently move the rear-drive sedan to speed.
Like many cars today, the K900 also has a button to engage a Sport mode that firms the steering a bit and gives the Kia more oomph, more punch off the line.
Handling is typical standard car handling, a bit of play in the wheel, but not much. Steering effort is easy, until Sport mode is engaged, then there’s more resistance to the wheel. It’s all easy to deal with though.
Ride is luxury car smooth and cushioned. Is this like the giant Lincolns and Cadillacs of old? No, but it’s as comfortable as any sedan on the road. The lengthy 119.9-inch wheelbase is a big help in softening the ride quality too.
I can’t begin to describe the quietness of the K900’s interior. I call it hush quiet because it is so muted you could whisper to anyone else riding along and have them hear you. The sound deadening is near perfect.
I’m sure the thick Nappa leather interior also absorbs a lot of road noise and muffles the engine and wind noises that naturally ooze into any interior. The pewter test car featured a brown over tan interior with leather-feel dash, tan console trim with wood top and gloss black dash and armrest trim. There were small wood accents in the doors too.
Dash layout is good with a large, but touchy, touchscreen at the middle. There’s also a power tilt/telescope steering wheel and dandy head-up display that projects on the windshield in front of the driver. It also shows where cars are hidden in your blind spots. Many cars have blind-spot warning systems now, but the fact this displays right in front of the driver is the best location yet.
The VIP package adds that head-up display and the blind-spot detection, plus a lane departure warning system, rear cross traffic alert, advanced smart cruise control and a surround view monitor. That’s a system of cameras that displays all around the car’s perimeter and can be useful in tight parking situations.
The package also adds a driver’s seat power cushion extension that can be moved forward to help make long-legged drivers comfortable. Also included are front seat power headrests and front passenger seat power lumbar support. There even are power rear seat lumbar supports. Few cars offer such support.
Kia’s power reclining rear seats, ventilated rear outboard seats and lateral adjusting rear headrests come in the package, as do power door latches.
Standard though is a giant sunroof that covers most of the roof, plus heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats and heated steering wheel. The trunk is large and the trunk lid is powered too.
Sadly, the only thing that isn’t powered are the gas and brake pedals. For shorter drivers making these adjustable could aid in finding a better driving position. I found that when my legs were comfortable for the pedals, I was just a touch too close to the steering wheel even after it was powered all the way in.
K900’s interior is roomy enough for five adults though, and all the seats are well shaped and comfortable. This would be a super cross-country cruiser.
However, fuel economy is modest. I got 21.3 miles per gallon in about a 50-50 mix of city and highway driving. The EPA rates the Kia at 17 mpg city and 26 highway.
If power is more vital to you than gas mileage, the K900 also offers a 5.0-liter V8 that delivers 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. I drove one a few years back and got slightly lower gas mileage that go-round. The V8 creates 420 horsepower and delivers 376 lb.-ft. of torque. That model also rides on 19-inch tires whereas the test model had 18-inchers.
The entry-level Kia K900 Premium model starts at $49,950 with delivery fees, while the tested Luxury model ended up at $60,850, including the VIP package and $950 delivery charge.
Remember too that Kia offers a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on all its models.
FAST STATS: 2016 KIA K900 Luxury
Hits: Excellent power (sport mode) and smooth luxury ride with hush quiet interior. Giant sunroof, big touchscreen, heated/cooled front rear seats, heated wheel, rear sunshade, reclining rear seats, head-up display, power trunk lid, all the electronic goodies most folks want, plus a few.
Misses: Power pedals would aid short drivers. Fuel economy is low.
Made in: Ulsan, South Korea
Engine: 3.8-liter, GDI, V6, 311 hp
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Weight: 4,376 lbs.
Length: 200.6 in.
Wheelbase: 119.9 in.
MPG: 17/26 (EPA)
MPG: 21/.3 (tested)
Base Price: $54,900
Invoice: $51,903 (includes delivery)
VIP package (Head-up display, blind spot detection, lane departure warning system, rear cross traffic alert, advanced smart cruise control, surround view monitor, driver’s seat power cushion extension, front seat power headrests, front passenger seat power lumbar support, power reclining rear seats, ventilated rear outboard seats, lateral adjusting rear headrests, rear seat power lumbar support, premium headliner, power door latches), $5,000
Test vehicle: $60,850
Sources: KIA, www.kbb.com
Photos: Mark Savage