Tag Archives: Chevy Impala

2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

Kia’s Cadenza delivers luxury economically … 2017 Kia Cadenza

Back when I was kid in the 1960s and ‘70s a large luxury sedan meant a Buick, Lincoln, or certainly a Cadillac.

Today, nearly every car maker has a large luxury model, some on the sporty side, but more favoring the luxury end, emphasizing smoothness and quietness. As us Boomers age, both sound pretty good. But we’ve been smitten with SUVs and crossovers, so the big sedan market has languished, shrunk like cotton elephant bell jeans that went through the wash too many times.

Into this market Kia re-introduces its Cadenza, a large luxury sedan that falls between its even larger K900 and its popular mid-size Optima. Competitors include the likes of Chevy’s Impala, Toyota’s Avalon, Ford’s Taurus and Dodge’s Charger, one that definitely falls more in the sport sedan category.

I praised the first gen Cadenza for nearly everything but its ride. Consumers met it with a yawn. The revamped 2017 model should receive cheers from Boomers who like soft leather seats, a supple ride, excellent power and all the electronics we’ve grown to expect in a car, especially one starting north of $40 grand.2017 Kia Cadenza

Before that figure scares you off, consider the base Premium model (see what they did there with naming?) starts at a reasonable $32,890 and the Technology model at $39,890. Both include delivery and both have all the same mechanicals as the tested top-level Limited, which lists at $45,290 with only a pittance of options even available beyond that. Continue reading 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

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2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Stylish Nissan Maxima breaks cookie-cutter sedan moldmaxima

Back in the automotive heydays, car stylists were intent on giving their cars distinctive grilles, fins, headlights, taillights, profiles, you name it. Today we must satisfy ourselves with whatever styling cues designers can muster in a cookie-cutter marketplace.

Happily, Nissan designers have fashioned a swanky looking 2016 Maxima that’s svelte in profile and features sculpted taillights similar to those on its sexy sports car, the 370Z. This is as close to pizazz in a sedan as I’ve seen in a sedan of late.

Nissan also blends sports sedan with luxury sedan, a strong mix that comes in an attractive price range of $32,125 to $40,685. My test car was a dark metallic red Platinum version, the model atop that price list. It was a dandy.

maxima4At its base, the mid-size Maxima is a stylish sedan that will haul five adults in comfort and not blend in with the car-pool lane crowd. Even the base S model features Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 that creates 300 horsepower and a torque rating of 261. Throughout the five trim levels that engine is well paired with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission that shifts smoothly and yet gives the sedan well above average oomph. Nissan uses D-step shift logic to simulate gear changes and it feels convincingly like a standard automatic, but smoother. Nissan and Subaru seem to have best mastered CVTs to this point. Continue reading 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum

2014 KIA Cadenza Premium

Cadenza delivers solid luxury, stellar looks

After a week of hearing jokes from colleagues about me driving a piece of office furniture, a more musically minded friend clued me in to the KIA Cadenza sedan’s true meaning.cad

For non-music majors, cadenza is usually an improvised ornamental passage, played or sung by a soloist, often at the end of a piece. Think of all the fru fru add-ons today’s singers often give us at the conclusion of the national anthem, for instance. You know: … “the home of the … braaaaaave, aaaaave, aaaaave!”

One assumes KIA was aiming more for the creativity and ornamental implications of the name. Surely the new large luxury-leaning sedan is a sparkling new addition to KIA’s lineup, and its styling, while not earth-shattering, borders on sporty luxury. It is certainly better looking and more original than say a Lexus, more along the lines of an Infiniti.

But to me it compared well with the previous week’s tested Chevy Impala. Both are nearly identical in dimension, riding on roughly 112-inch wheelbases. The Impala is 6 inches longer, contributing to its giant 18.8 cubic foot trunk, while Cadenza’s is a generous 15.9.

Both have roomy comfortable interiors, with plenty of leg, knee and headroom for four or five adults. I ran up to Road America in the Cadenza with a couple buddies and the back seat was deemed extraordinarily roomy and comfy. Continue reading 2014 KIA Cadenza Premium