$12,490 - $13,069

2014 Kia Cadenza Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Kia Cadenza was new.


Performance: 7.8

Critics are pleased with the 2014 Kia Cadenza’s strong acceleration. Reviewers say the Cadenza has a comfortable ride and performs surprisingly well on curvy roads.

  • "Like its Hyundai cousin, the Cadenza is competent, quiet, and composed in ordinary operation, yet surprisingly willing to tackle hard cornering and quick transitions." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The Cadenza drives well for a large front-wheel drive sedan." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "With almost 300 horses at its disposal, the 2014 Cadenza does a great job of motivating its 3,792-pound curb weight, but more than its power, the best thing about driving the Cadenza is its refinement." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Kia Cadenza comes with a 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA reports that the 2014 Cadenza gets 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is below average for the class.

Most reviewers praise the Cadenza’s V6 engine, saying it is powerful. While one reviewer is disappointed with the car’s acceleration from a stop, most agree that the Cadenza has more than enough power for passing other cars and charging up highway ramps. Test drivers say the Cadenza’s six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and shifts quickly, contributing to the car’s strong acceleration.

  • "You'll also be happy with the power provided by Kia's latest and most powerful 3.3-liter V-6." -- Motor Trend
  • “Performance is similarly unstressed, as the Cadenza swiftly powers up on-ramps and passes other, slower cars with ease. Power delivery is very smooth and the transmission provides timely downshifts, though upshifts are noticeably lazy, even under full throttle." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.3-liter V6 engine's power isn't great off the line, but our guess is that most shoppers in this segment won't mind. Power is there when you need it, and the Cadenza gets up to speed with smooth shifts from the six-speed automatic." -- AutoWeek
  • “The six-speed automatic transmission operates seamlessly, and its paddle shifters are effective." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers think that the 2014 Cadenza’s handling strikes a good balance between a smooth ride and agile cornering. They agree that the brakes are powerful, but are divided on the steering, with some saying it has good road feel and others noting that it can be vague.

  • "Its ride is just a little firm, which foreshadows its competency in handling a corner. It's no sports car and it doesn't pretend to be, but it corners surprisingly flat and confidently, enough to encourage you to drive briskly on a good road rather than dart along the straights and creep through corners as too many drivers are prone to do. Meanwhile, you ride along in comfort, mostly unaware of the road's imperfections until they become severe." -- Motor Trend
  • “The Cadenza's electric power steering outperforms many of its rivals in terms of feedback and overall lack of numbness, while the brakes are strong and responsive." -- Autoblog
  • "Like so many of the new electric-power-steering systems, the Cadenza's substitutes effort for road feel." -- Popular Mechanics

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