A New Name in Luxury | 2015 Kia K900

May 2015 View more


If you’re currently driving a Lexus, Infiniti, or Acura, could a Kia be in your future? The company that has made its name, and more than doubled its sales, by building solid, stylish, and well-priced cars and SUVs certainly thinks so. Witness the all-new 2015 Kia K900, a full-on luxury sedan with a 420-horsepower V8 and just about every feature you might find on a German or Japanese competitor.

With a starting price in the mid-$50,000 range, the K900 is a relative bargain compared to, say, a Mercedes E-Class or a BMW 5-series with the same power. But the K900 is not inexpensive by any measure, and that’s Kia’s point: This car might be a value, but it is also valuable. It’s worth noting, too, that Lexus was in the same place when Toyota decided that the world needed another luxury nameplate.

NMAG0515_FortheRoad_9495_2014_SEMA_High_Performance_K900_800pxSmooth and surprisingly fast, the K900 delivers on the promise of the classic rear-wheel-drive V8 luxury sedan formula. You won’t get to indulge your racing fantasies behind this steering wheel, which is definitely tuned for comfort, not competition. But you will find a virtually unparalleled level of isolation from the road. This is an exceptionally quiet car, and along with the aural seclusion, it makes the road’s imperfections virtually disappear.

The K900’s well executed cabin does its part, as well. The cockpit is the picture of modern luxury, the seats are comfortable—well, maybe not the middle seat in the back—and there is more than enough head and leg room all around. Like the K900’s sharply designed exterior, the interior design takes some of the best cues from other luxury cars. The result is a soothing cocoon.  

NMAG0515_FortheRoad_7639_2015_K900 (1)_800pxFor all its enticing qualities, the K900 suffers from some of the same afflictions as other large, powerful, rear-wheel-drive sedans. But don’t worry, solutions are readily at hand.

First, there is the seasonal issue of the K900’s rather lackluster performance in snowy weather. Winter may feel like a distant memory, but the snow will be falling again before the year is out. Swap the K900’s standard 19-inch all-season tires with a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks next fall and you’ll be ready to go.

Second, there is the K900’s thirst. At an EPA-estimated 15 miles per gallon in city traffic comparable to other V8 luxury cars, you’ll be filling up fairly frequently. The solution here will require a bit more space in the garage: Buy one of Kia’s truly outstanding Soul EV plug-in electric cars for days when you don’t need quite as much luxury. With a range of about 93 miles and driving characteristics so similar to a gas-powered Soul that you’ll rarely notice you’re driving an electric, the Soul EV will balance out your K900’s gas consumption quite nicely.

The 2015 Kia K900 starts at $54,500 for the Premium trim and bumps up to $59,500 for the Luxury trim. Both models share the smooth V8 and a lengthy list of standard features. The Luxury edition gets LED lights and a host of significant safety equipment, including a blind-spot detection system and rear cross-traffic detection, as well as the option to add the full luxury kit, from self-closing doors and heads-up display to quilted leather seats. As with all luxury vehicles, the options have a tendency to add up. Pick the VIP Plus package and you’ll add $8,000 to the sticker.

As of press time, Kia was teasing a “King James” edition honoring its spokesman, NBA superstar LeBron James. There was no word on price, but assume you’ll be paying a bit more for the custom job.

Photo courtesy of ©2015 Kia Motors America, Inc.