When we drove the all-new 2017 Kia Cadenza a few years back, our main takeaway was that “it’s fine.” There was nothing particularly remarkable about it, but it’s a solid sedan. With the facelifted and refreshed 2020 Cadenza just revealed today, Kia looks like it’s reaching a bit more, in an attempt to move beyond general goodness.
The 2020 Kia Cadenza, teased last week, takes a stab at bold design. A concave V-shaped grille is the main styling element up front, as our eyes constantly drift to that funky chrome every time we examine the car. It looks like Kia was just riffing off the old grille, and decided to make it bigger while adding in a crease. Those headlights are new, too. They’re much narrower and smaller than the old units, and we think they help the face of the new car tremendously.
Kia attacked the rear of the Cadenza in a similar fashion. The taillights now stretch across the entire rear of the sedan, connected by an interesting dashed line coming in from both sides and meeting in the middle. It’s just another example of Hyundai/Kia designing taillights with a sense of style. We’re reminded of the new Hyundai Sonata that went in a bold new path itself at the NY Auto Show.
Changes to the interior are relatively significant for just a mid-cycle refresh. There’s a new, widescreen 12.3-inch touchscreen that forced a new air vent layout. Along with the rethought center stack, the center console gets changed up with a new gear shift lever and button/storage layout below that. It all comes off as a much more premium design than before. Adding further to that motif is a digital gauge cluster seen on this model. The Cadenza is supposed to be a luxurious sedan, and Kia is certainly answering the call with added tech on the interior.
Unfortunately, we’re still in the dark from a powertrain perspective. The Cadenza is currently offered in the U.S. exclusively paired to a 3.3-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. This reveal today was for the Korean-spec K7, (same as our Cadenza), so U.S. powertrain options remain unspoken. We’ll expect details on the U.S. spec car to drop before the end of the year, and for this model to go on sale later in 2019 or sometime in 2020.