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2015 Kia K900 First Drive Posts: 10,110
edited September 2014 in Kia

image2015 Kia K900 First Drive

Edmunds' first drive of the 2015 Kia K900. Includes on-road driving impressions, data, specs, photos and more.

Read the full story here



  • On a recent trip to Seoul, this and the Equus were about as common as Town Cars. Where the Equus looked like a bloated Hyundai by comparison, this car truly exuded class, and stood out even with the few S-classes and 7-series roaming around town. I hope this does well - and I hope that Lincoln and Cadillac get their stuff together and build proper Town Cars for the high-end and black car markets.
  • in the usa where you are likely to reach 100 mph maybe once a year i think this engine will be fine i remember not too long ago v8s would be lucky to have over 300hp i guess if you have a super long comute every day this car would be a great investment to your sanity
  • kyolmlkyolml Posts: 37
    doesn't feel ground breaking enough from Equus, The Equus has been in the US for 3 years and doesn't even break a sweat of the old establishments, so I don't know why he can say giving 3 more years it will be a much different propositions in Europe.

    Maybe next generation will be different if it's what he meant...
  • Kia may see the 7 series and S class as competitors but, I don't see those cars being cross shopped with a Kia.
  • They will sell at least 3 of these. And while I applaud their effort, methinks they don't get it. Premium buyers don't want the same brand that the cashier at wal-mart drives.
  • I got to test drive the K9 in Korea at Kia's test track, this thing hit 100mph with no problem.. Smooth, quiet, comfortable, and it was the v6 version, I believe there will be a V8 as well. My only hope is they offer awd down the road. I would purchase this over a BMW anyday. Good Job Kia.
  • The big 'KIA' emblem in the center of the steering wheel should be removed. I would not want to be reminded so boldly that the big dog I'm driving is a Kia if it looks so luxurious otherwise.
  • miedenmieden Posts: 75
    Great proportions, and Preh's interiors look good in a Kia, an Audi or even the F150. I will admit, you'll were remiss for implying this has any dream of being, even close to, as good as the new S class...which, by the way, offers head-up display on the forthcoming S65 and all models for 2016.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    @500rwhp: I agree, above a certain price point the badge is just as important as the performance, more important for some I suspect. The question then is if Kia won't win over BMW/Audi/MB buyers can it pull in the Buick/Cadillac/Acura/Volvo crowd?
  • The K900 is the Continental we all hoped Lincoln would build.

    Americans would be proud to have big sedan this fine from Cadillac, Lincoln or Chrysler. But we don't. Is this due to lack of talent or lack of management? Why are we being lapped by the Koreans?
  • BMW knock off or not, I definitely would prefer this over the new Genesis design.

    @dagmar3- Though a little more expensive, you are forgetting about the XTS TT V6 which puts out 410 HP and 420 lbs ft which would be comp for the K900. Yes Lincoln should have redesigned the Continental, so I will agree with you there. In addition the base XTS with the 321 HP V6 will now be paired with GM's new 8 spd.
  • I only have one issue with Kia/Hyundai and that is they use timing belts in their V6 requiring and replacement at 60k which is long before their warranty is up.
    I feel this type of required maintenance is to expensive for a car under warranty.
    They use a chain in their V8 engine and should in the rest of the product line.
  • This new Kia K900 definitely has the styling both inside and out as well as the specifications to be a contender in the large luxury sedan category even though there is nothing ground-breaking or inspiring here. I understand Kia and other companies using the German Three as benchmarks but I am NOT convinced that M-B, BMW and Audi set the standards anymore. Increasingly they seem like rigidly defined interpretations of luxury and sport that do not inspire passion or the imagination as they once did. There are other models, my favorite being the Jaguar XJ, that are more beautifully styled inside and out, and can easily rival the performance and handling dynamics of the Germans. In this regard, I see the Germans as more of a stepping stone than a benchmark.
  • Funny how the current sales of the Lexus LS, Hyundai Genesis and Equus prove you wrong...
  • goaterguy - None of the cars that you mentioned is a leader in styling or performance and handling dynamics. Far from it. The sales of these cars are driven more by "sheep" than automobile enthusiasts who appreciate truly beautiful styling or outstanding performance and handling dynamics. This can be said for more than a few market segments. The sheep purchase the cars you mentioned because they desire a relatively nice, reliable, premium car with little insight or understanding beyond the purchase of a major household appliance. History has proven that true enthusiasts will always be a smaller segment of the car buying public while the sheep and poseurs will be the larger segment. Also, I am certain that the cars you mentioned will be remembered years from now at Pebble Beach.....
  • 500, I agree with you to an extent. Those looking for a premium car also may seek a premium badge. However, with competition getting stronger, buyers are realizing that they can get much of the same goodness in a less expensive vehicle, so to some brand name matters little. But to those who have ALWAYS bought an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes it won't be quite what they are looking for. I will say that I think this car is a step in the right direction for competing with the luxury brands best flagships. But its only that, a good start, not a true competitor to any of them. I agree that this car definitely needs a V8 though, I am not sure of the curb weight, but even with 333 hp, a naturally aspirated V6 doesn't seem like quite enough to compete in this class of car. But thankfully, a V8 is in the works.
  • shatnershatner Posts: 176
    They will sell at least 3 of these. And while I applaud their effort, methinks they don't get it. Premium buyers don't want the same brand that the cashier at wal-mart drives.

    Eh, you are one of those guys...
    The security guard at work drives a newer Corvette and lives in a tailer home, the cashier at the sandwich shop drives a BMW, so what?
  • shatnershatner Posts: 176
    In fact, beyond 120, this luxury car seems oddly slow. Reaching the promised top speed of 150 mph requires patience.

    Drive over 120 in my area and you will be looking at the barrel of an angry cops's gun within 5 minutes.
  • It's good they decided to not call it the Kia Canine in the US.
    But the rumour that they tried to get the rights to the name Phaeton are completely unfounded.
  • Nice car, where's the prestige.

    I agree buyers of S and 7 series cars will not be cross shopping with this car. Heck even in the 40K range I have trouble with buying a Kia. If Hyundia and Kia really want to compete with cars at this price they need a highend brand.

    The only place I have even seen an Equus is at a Hyundia dealer.
  • it will be real bargain in two years when its discontinued due to lack of sales and is worth about $10,000 :)
  • I'm not trying to be overly critical with this post. I realize that ll things are relative... but I have to point out that while the styling is generally inoffensive and non-polarizing, this design is an amalgamation of many different designs "borrowed" from other manufactures. Also... a quick glance of the interior pictures makes it blatantly obvious that the interior detailing, switchgear, and materials don't hold a candle to the European rivals. Now, I know this will cost less... but it is not apple-to-apple.
  • Especially given that this is Kia's first real flagship, I don't think he K9 will be cross-shopped with the 7-Series, A8, LS, XJ or S-Class. However, I think that it may secure its place in a rather important market full of people who want flagship luxury, but were never going to pay $85-100K for it in the first place, or for people who don't like ostentatious badges. Once you get into the pricing territory of loaded FWD luxury sedans (XTS, MKS, RLX), this car really starts to shine, as does its Equus sister.
  • My thoughts are the along the same lines as @rcwdtq. I rather like the styling a lot, although you can certainly see some Quattroporte and 7-series in it with a Kia nose and tail. Not really a bad thing in my book though.

    Additionally, the interior has a nice design, but is clearly lacking in the detailing that makes the European and Japanese alternatives what they are (and most likely why they cost what they do). Most of the cars in this class have stitched leather dashes and doorcaps, more lustorous looking wood trim in interesting arrays and shapes, and higher end interior color combinations. I'm also curious to know as to what kind of audio system is available in this car. In this class, the norm is know very high end audio, with the likes of Burmeister, Band & Olufsen, Mark Levinson, and Meridian. Heck, even Acura, in a price point below, has turned to Krell for the system in the RLX. IMO, Bose or Infinity are not going to cut it here. Perhaps their higher-end systems are good, but in my experience, at least with Bose, their systems offered in the lower end are kinda crappy.
  • @coolb944 This K900 has stitched leather along the top of the dash, as well as on the door caps. It looks like Edmunds only had seat time in one car, but in Korea the K9 is offered in a white leather interior with black accents, and a beige leather interi
  • @ shatner et al,
    You have to understand the demographic. If all a premium buyer wanted was a nice vehicle, they could buy something less expensive. They want prestige and Kia won't deliver. I used to drive an S-Type R because of the performance, and a
  • @500rwhp I agree that right now premium buyers won't want to drive a Kia, but this car is trying to change precisely that. Just 10 years ago most car buyers in general would not consider driving a Kia but now Kia is a serious contender. Also your comment
  • The reason we have Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti in the US is because, years ago, the Big 3 Japanese makers determined that to sell luxury cars in this market they would need a luxury brand. In other markets the cars are simply sold as Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Mazda and Mitsubishi tried to save money by selling luxo models under their own names. How many people remember the 929? The Diamante? The Misspelled Millennium? Those cars sold poorly because, among other reasons, many people who buy luxury cars value exclusivity. If the badge on the steering wheel and trunk lid matches that of the econobox parked in the next space over, it's a fail.
  • shatnershatner Posts: 176
    @ shatner et al, You have to understand the demographic. If all a premium buyer wanted was a nice vehicle, they could buy something less expensive. They want prestige and Kia won't deliver. I used to drive an S-Type R because of the performance, and am on
  • This thing won't even rival an Acura RLX or Lexus GS, much less a 700 Series or Sonderklasse.

    The Germans have pedigree and designs, and the Japanese have the build quality and reliability... The Koreans have none of the 4 aforementioned qualities and I have YET to run across a KIA or Hyundai with the the level of refinement offered by a comparable Honda or Toyota product. Why are they trying to reach into the stratosphere?

    This is where that urban idiom "stay in yo lane" comes into effect... For KIA (and Hyundai for that matter) that lane is the one to the far left, Economy.
  • stineystiney Posts: 28
    The Koreans have made amazing strides in quality, design, reliability in the last couple of decades while the Germans have mostly managed to raise prices. KIA/Hyundai are in it for the long term. Building a quality car is the key to success. MB is coming down to the $30,000.00 market because selling "prestige" without value is a recipe for irrelevance.
  • The interior of this car is so much better looking than the equus but my concern is a harsh suspension and tire and or wind noise at highway speeds. I hate a harsh riding car with road noise
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