by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
Kia is hitting home-run after home-run with new innovative affordable sedans. Earlier this year, Kia released the 2015 K900, in its second year of successful sales, with all new standard luxury amenities to match its slick design. The 2015 K900 has an MSRP of just 59k, but offers more standard perks than Mercedes and BMW whips at that price. Its noteworthy competitor, the 60k Hyundai Equus features similar executive luxury. But the K900 offers better performance and contemporary sophisticated style. The K900 has a V6 and a V8 model available with optional VIP and Technology Packages. We tested the fully-loaded 2015 Kia K900 with a 5 liter V8 and VIP Package; and it really spoiled us. The K900 is modern luxury done right.
Stylish Effective Exterior Design
For 2015 the Kia K900 features a contemporary classy exterior that enhances its husky frame. The K900 is wide and long with a 119 inch wheelbase, 63 inch front track and a 64 inch rear track. The long wide stance offers a spacious interior and trunk space, and a fortified steel chassis. The cool chrome grille lays affront specially designed airways beneath the nose, engine bay, and cabin that reduce drag and enhance efficiency.
The 2015 K900 also has air breathers on the sides with chrome trim and dual exhausts with chrome tips. Chrome accents the door handles, scuff plates, windows, and bezel on the rear deck lid. The K900 also features a dope HID headlight design-a Rubik’s cube looking cluster with surrounding LED rows. Also cool are the trapezoid LED tail lights and LED fog lights, brake lights and turn signals.
The K900 also features 19 inch multi spoke chrome wheels, a panoramic sunroof, power folding side mirrors, soft close power door latches, and a power folding trunk – all standard. The perks don’t stop there. The K900 also has standard hydrophobic front side windows and standard rain sensing wipers.
The K900 turned many heads and gained quite a few new fans in awe of Kia’s new design. The outside of the K900 perfectly introduces the premium luxury interior with executive perks.
Stunning Executive-Enhanced Interior
The K900‘s interior features twice as many standard luxury features as its exterior. Legroom is abundant in this 5-seater with 45 inches in the front and 38 inches in the rear. The interior features standard Napa Leather with available contract stitching and genuine walnut accents on the dash, door, and steering wheel. The driver has a standard 12-way adjustable seat with an optional 16-way adjustable seat with a cool power leg cushion extender. The passenger has a standard 8-way adjustable seat. All passengers have seat adjustment controls on their door- typical high-end luxury flair. And the rear seats recline-Dopeness. The front seats are heated and ventilated with the option of heated and ventilated rear seats with the VIP Package.
Leather wraps the dash, 3-spoke steering wheel, and the shifter. Also cool is the standard power rear sunshades and the manual rear side sunshades. The rear seats are 60:40 folding capable and feature a ski pass through.
The K900’s interior also has 3-zone climate control with an air filtration system and optional heated steering wheel. The VIP package adds a 12.3 inch TFT LCD instrument cluster that displays helpful information like tire pressure, trip, fuel range, and average speed.
Drivers can also adjust seating, steering, door lights, and service intervals via the Driver Information System in the instrument cluster. Also included in the VIP Package is the Kia’s first Heads Up Display, an advanced version that projects on the windshield: speed, audio, the Blind Spot Detection, warnings like “low fuel,” and even the Lane Departure Warning.
The K900 rear passengers not only have their own climate control, but they also have their own controls at their armrest. Kia adds the right amount of executive style with the rear consol’s adjustments for climate, heated/ventilated seats, audio, and for reclining the front passenger seat. The rear passengers can also control the power rear sunshade. The rear is almost more comfortable than riding in the front seat. The reclining rear seats allow for executive comfort with a USB and auxiliary port for infotainment.
Very cool are the radar sensors that show a surround view of the K900, making parking much easier. While most backup cameras only show one rear view, and a few show an aerial view, the K900’s surround view camera system offers five angles, selectable as a split-screen view with the rear. Drivers can see in front of the Kia, the lower right and left sides, an aerial view, and the rear view-all accessible when parking, or by pressing the camera button. The optional Park Guide System uses front and rear park sensors to assist with parallel parking.
Drivers control infotainment, navigation, and Bluetooth via the steering wheel and the rotary dial in the center console. The rotary dial controls the 9.2 inch multi information display. But a touch screen would’ve improved functionality because the buttons next to the rotary dial are counterintuitive. The 9.2 inch multi information display is standard on the V8 model and features Sirius XM Satellite Radio and navigation with real-time traffic, weather, warnings, fuel prices, sports and stocks. The V8 model also has Kia’s exclusive Uvo services telematics and available apps like Jukebox and Pandora. Uvo features driving assistance like 911, Roadside Assistance, and Vehicle Diagnostics. Homelink is standard on the V8 K900. Bluetooth connections and a 12-volt outlet are also standard. The K900 V8 model has a 17-speaker Lexicon Logic 7 audio system.
The V8 has standard laminated front and side window glass with sound reducing materials making the ride is tranquil.
Sophisticated RWD Powertrain
The Kia K900 has a 3.8 liter V6 engine option with 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. The DOHC V6 engine has direct injection and is matched to an 8 speed automatic transmission. The more powerful Tau DOHC all aluminum V8 engine features Direct Injection for a total output of 420 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The V8 rides like premium power on the road thanks to continuously variable valve timing on both models.
The ride in the K900 can be adjusted with selectable Normal, Eco, Sport, and Snow modes. Sport mode provides more responsive turning via the electro hydraulic steering and increased damping with multilink front and rear suspension. The rear-wheel drive K900 has front independent MacPherson strut suspension and rear Torsen multi link suspension. Cornering in the K900 was less than precise.
While cruising is amazing and accelerating – exhilarating, the K900 is a gas guzzler with a combined EPA only 18 mpg (23 mph highway, 15 mpg city.) The 19 gallon fuel tank will be costly to keep full. Yet the ride in the K900 is worth it thanks to a wealth of dynamic driving technology and an ultra luxurious interior.
The K900 is nearly ¾ ultra high strength tensile steel for enhanced rigidity. And the K900 has a plethora of safety features that aid confidence, resilience, and performance. Standard safety features on the K900 V8 include the ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, and the Vehicle Stability Management System that includes the Blind Spot Detection System and the Rear Cross Traffic Alert System. Also standard on the V8 is the Lane Departure Warning System, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, and Brake Assist. The VIP Package adds the Advanced Vehicle Safety Management System that utilizes the ESC, Pre Safe Belt system, Advanced Smart Cruise Control System, and the Surround View Monitor.
The Kia K900 is an all around awesome sedan. For all buyers get for $59,000, there’s no doubt this whip is forging a new frontier for Kia and building a larger and more diverse fan base. Fully loaded, the K900 costs $66,400, much less than its top competitors, the Cadillac XTS, the Jaguar XJ, and the Lexus LS 460. Its only competitor that shares the same affordable executive luxury is the Hyundai Equus that just barely beats the interior style of the K900. The Equus’ exterior style isn’t as stylish as the K900, nor does is perform as well. So really, this $66k executive luxury sedan has few competitors that could go head-to-head.