The 2015 Kia K900 made a splash during the Super Bowl by appearing in a commercial inspired by the movie The Matrix. Designed to compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the K900 is the brand’s first attempt at a premium luxury car in the United States.
Kia hopes that newer luxury car buyers won’t care as much about the badge on the car as they do the luxury features that the car has. They told us that this car will appeal to a younger generation of people. We recently took one for a spin to see if they are on target.
In a bold move from the Korean automaker, the K900 only comes in rear-wheel drive. Both the S-Class and 7 Series are available in an all-wheel drive package. A 420 hp V8 powers the K900. The $66,400 VIP version we drove had every available option.
Options are plentiful in this car. This car has all the safety features that Kia currently makes. Radar cruise control with automatic braking stops the car if you’re not paying attention and are about to hit something. Lane keeping helps you stay between the lines on the road if you start to stray. A surround-view camera shows you all four sides of the car when parking.
The K900 also caters to rear seat passengers. The heated and ventilated outboard seats have a reclining function. The passengers can also control the radio and climate control for their part of the car. Whether you drive yourself or have a hired driver, you’ll be riding around in comfort.
There are some big cars currently on sale that feel smaller when you’re driving them around. The K900 isn’t one of them. You’re constantly aware of the size of the car, especially on curvy roads or in a town. We are thankful for the additional cameras to keep us from hitting anything.
The V8 engine moves the K900 along smoothly without much drama. Even with our foot pressed to the floor, the cabin remains mostly quiet. On the highway the smooth V8 gets 23 mpg.
There isn’t much we can complain about the K900 as a car. It’s quick for its size. It has as many features of cars costing in excess of $100,000. It also has a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty; the best in the luxury car business.
At the end of the day the car is still a $66,400 Kia. It is unlike any Kia we’ve ever seen or driven, but we’re not so sure that luxury car buyers aren’t interested in the badge that’s on the hood. Traditional luxury car buyers are going to stick with the brands they already know.
New luxury car buyers may cross-shop this car with the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class, but we still see them going for one of those cars. The K900 doesn’t feel special enough to us, or have enough differentiation from the other marques to draw in the crowd.
Not offering the car in all-wheel drive also limits the amount of markets they can sell the car in. Many people buy all-wheel drive luxury cars in areas where it snows to make it easier to drive in the winter. Buyers won’t go through the hassle of switching to winter tires every year.
So what we end up with is a really nice car that we don’t see many people buying. Those who do take the time to check out the K900 will walk away impressed with everything it can do for the price.
|Motor Review Fast Facts:|
|Fuel Economy:||15mpg city / 23mpg highway / 18mpg combined|
|Horsepower and Torque:||420hp and 376lbs/ft|
|Price as Tested:||$66,400|
|Pros:||Lots of technology.|
|Cons:||No standout feature.|
|Final Thoughts:||Good luxury car at a good price.|
|Vehicle provided by manufacturer for review.|