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2016 Kia Cadenza Review

The 2016 Kia Cadenza’s strong engine, pleasant cabin, and above-average safety and reliability scores make it a top-ranking vehicle is the highly competitive large car class. However, its trunk is on the small side.  

Pros & Cons

  • Composed handling
  • Upscale interior
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Subpar trunk space




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Kia Cadenza Overview

Is the 2016 Kia Cadenza a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Kia Cadenza is a great used large sedan that will appeal to shoppers seeking a combination of luxury and value. It has a well-equipped cabin outfitted with top-quality materials (including leather seats), loads of legroom, and a straightforward infotainment system. A powerful engine means it’s no slouch on the highway, and the sedan earns great safety and reliability marks.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 20 Kia Cadenza reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Kia Cadenza?

Based on the 80-plus 2016 Kia Cadenza listings on our site, you can expect to pay between $18,900 and $26,000 for this sedan. The average list price is $22,300. Exact prices vary depending on each car’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2016 Kia Cadenza Cost to Own?

Purchase price isn’t the only expense to account for when choosing a used car. The 2016 Cadenza’s ongoing costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs will cost you an estimated $23,900 over five years. You would spend more on the Buick LaCrosse and Nissan Maxima, which have estimated expenses greater than $26,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cadenza?

The new 2018 Kia Cadenza has a base price of $32,290. You could save nearly $10,000 by purchasing a 2016 model instead. However, the 2018 model is significantly different. It sports a new design from the inside out, as well as a lighter frame, a retuned engine, and an eight-speed automatic transmission for improved handling. The 2018 model is also available with features that the 2016 Cadenza doesn’t have, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a hand’s-free trunk lid, a wireless smartphone charger, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a head-up display. However, keep in mind that these features will cost extra, which will create a wider gap between new and used pricing. While the 2018 Cadenza was named our Best Large Car for Families, the 2016 model is still an excellent option and a great value for shoppers on a tighter budget.

Read about the new Kia Cadenza »

If you’re committed to buying a new car, but you don’t want to spend any more than you would for the 2016 Cadenza, there are options. Just note that you’ll need to drop down to the midsize car class. For about the average price of a used Cadenza, you can buy a 2018 Toyota Camry (starting at $23,495) or a 2018 Honda Accord (starting at $23,570). Both score high in our midsize car rankings. The Camry comes standard with a wide array of active safety features, while the Accord is an excellent family car.

Check out the Toyota deals page and Honda deals page for possible cash back deals and incentives that could lower the price of a new Camry or Accord.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Kia Cadenza?

The 2016 Cadenza has a reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. This is an above-average mark across the automotive industry.

Read more about Cadenza reliability »

2016 Kia Cadenza Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Cadenza has no reported safety recalls.

See more information on Kia Cadenza safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Kia Cadenza Is Best?

The 2016 Cadenza is the final model year of a generation that launched in 2014. All three model years rank well (scores of 8.7 to 9), but the 2014 model will likely be the least desirable. The 2015 Cadenza introduced a standard 360-degree monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. The 2016 model introduced a new base model, but it was otherwise unchanged from 2015. Among these two options, the 2015 will deliver the most features at the lowest cost.

Kia completely redesigned the Cadenza for 2017. This model includes significant changes to the powertrain, features list, and design, which makes it more desirable than the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Cadenzas. The 2017 Cadenza is your best bet for top performance and the most up-to-date features, but only if you’re willing to spend almost $6,500 more than the cost of a 2016 model.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Cadenza »

Which Used Kia Cadenza Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Kia Cadenza comes in three trims: base, Premium, and Limited. The base model comes very well-equipped for the class, with standard features that include leather seats, heated and power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Infinity audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, push-button start, and the UVO infotainment system with navigation, voice recognition, and an 8-inch touch screen. Few rivals come with as much technology. This base model should satisfy most shoppers.

The Kia Cadenza Premium trim adds a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, and interior wood accents. The Kia Cadenza Limited trim adds luxurious comfort touches like a power rear window sunshade, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, additional interior wood trim with chrome accents, and a few active safety features, including adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree surround-view camera system.

See 2016 Kia Cadenza trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts after the five-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Cadenza?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Kia Cadenza the top rating – Good – in all of its crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not crash test the 2016 Cadenza.

Beyond a rearview camera, the base model has no standard active safety features. Available features include a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control (Advanced Smart Cruise Control), lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Cadenza safety scores »

2016 Kia Cadenza Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Cadenza or 2016 Buick LaCrosse?

Both of these sedans have smaller-than-average trunks, comfortable rides, spacious interiors, and user-friendly infotainment systems. However, there are some trade-offs when choosing between these models. The Buick LaCrosse is the only car in the class to earn a perfect reliability rating, and it is available with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a head-up display. The Cadenza didn’t offer these features until the 2017 model year. On the other hand, the Cadenza has a stronger engine that delivers plenty of highway passing power, yet it earns comparable fuel economy estimates to the LaCrosse. In the end, this is a toss-up; go with the vehicle that best suits your needs.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Cadenza or 2016 Toyota Avalon?

When it comes to performance, the Toyota Avalon is the car to choose. It has agile handling for its size, along with a powerful engine that returns better fuel economy estimates than the Cadenza’s. In addition, it offers many of the Kia Cadenza’s positives, including an upscale interior and an intuitive infotainment system. Unfortunately, it also has a small trunk.

Compare the Cadenza, LaCrosse, and Avalon »

2016 Cadenza Performance

How Does the 2016 Kia Cadenza Drive?

Powered by a 293-horsepower V6 engine, the front-wheel-drive Kia Cadenza feels somewhat sluggish when pulling away from a stop. However, the sedan manages to climb to highway speeds with ease. Some competitors offer sharper handling, but the Cadenza is fairly composed and has one of the smoothest rides in the class. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Does the 2016 Kia Cadenza Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy is comparable to other V6-powered large cars, returning an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Cadenza performance »

2016 Cadenza Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Cadenza Seat?

The 2016 Cadenza seats five and has standard leather upholstery and power-adjustable, heated front seats. Upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. Both the front and back seats are supportive, spacious, and comfortable for long trips. The cabin is quiet and made with premium materials.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Kia Cadenza?

The Cadenza has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the outboard rear seats and a middle-seat tether anchor.

2016 Kia Cadenza Features

The base model comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Infinity audio system, Bluetooth, and push-button start. Also standard is Kia’s user-friendly, voice-activated UVO infotainment system with navigation and an 8-inch touch screen. Available features include a panoramic sunroof.

See 2016 Kia Cadenza specs »

Read more about Cadenza interior »

2016 Kia Cadenza Dimensions

Kia Cadenza Cargo Space

The Cadenza’s trunk measures just 15.9 cubic feet, which is on the small side for a large sedan. The rear seats don’t fold to expand the cargo area.

2016 Cadenza Length and Weight

The Kia Cadenza is 16.3 feet long. It has a curb weight of 3,670 pounds when equipped with 18-inch wheels, and 3,785 pounds with 19-inch wheels.

Where Was the 2016 Kia Cadenza Built?

Kia manufactured the 2016 Cadenza in South Korea.

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