$14,851 - $16,797

2015 Kia Cadenza Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Kia Cadenza was new.


Performance: 7.8

Automotive writers say the 2015 Kia Cadenza has quick acceleration on the highway, but a few wish it were faster off the line. Although some test drivers say the Cadenza’s handling isn’t particularly sporty, they agree that it feels stable when cornering. Reviewers also write that the Cadenza offers an especially comfortable ride.

  • "On the road, the Cadenza is dynamically neck and neck with established players such as the Avalon and the Chrysler 300. The Cadenza's sophisticated suspension lends it remarkable poise for a large car, and it smooths out rough pavement with minimal road noise as a premium sedan should." -- AutoTrader
  • Rough pavement can belie the sense of sophistication the rest of the car works hard to convey, but overall, the Cadenza drives about the same as any of today's good large sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Kia Cadenza has a 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA reports that the 2015 Cadenza gets 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is typical for a V6-powered large car.

Reviewers say that although the Cadenza isn’t the fastest car in the segment, it still has plenty of power and gets up to highway speeds with ease. Still, a few wish it were faster from a stop. Test drivers say the six-speed automatic transmission downshifts quickly and smoothly, but a few complain that upshifts can be a bit slow.

  • "We were also impressed by the seamless powertrain and cabin that remained notably quiet on the highway.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We wouldn't mind more punch off the line from the V6 -- the Avalon reigns supreme in this category -- but otherwise, the Cadenza's driving demeanor is hard to fault." -- AutoTrader
  • “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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers say the 2015 Cadenza has secure handling in corners, though some note that it still isn’t particularly sporty. They also say that the Cadenza’s suspension is soft enough to keep the ride comfortable, and that the steering provides good feedback.

  • "The Cadenza is related to its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Azera, and shares that car's engine and basic underpinnings, which made us all the more surprised by its better driving characteristics, including steering feel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The suspension is comprised of MacPherson struts at the front and a rear multi-link setup. It provides a cushy ride and secure - but not highly engaging - handling." -- Left Lane News
  • "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 (2014)
  • “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 (2014)

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