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2017 Kia Cadenza Review

The redesigned 2017 Kia Cadenza is among the top-ranked large cars. Perfect safety and predicted reliability scores reflect the car’s improved build quality, and its cabin is laden with technology. Its few flaws include a steering wheel that feels a bit heavy and a smallish trunk.  

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of standard features
  • High-quality interior
  • Infotainment system can be frustrating
  • Smaller-than-average trunk

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Kia Cadenza's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Affordable Large Cars category. It was the winner of our 2017 Best Large Car for Families award and the winner of our 2020 Best Used Cars for Teens award. Currently the Kia Cadenza has a score of 8.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 17 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Kia Cadenza Overview

Is the 2017 Kia Cadenza a Good Used Car?

The Kia Cadenza was redesigned for 2017 and is an excellent large car. In fact, we named it a 2020 Best Used Large Car for Teens because of its combination of overall quality, predicted reliability, high safety ratings, and accident-avoidance technologies. The interior has been completely redone and offers consumers a large number of standard features, including Apple CarPlay and dual-zone climate control. Standard leather-trimmed seats further raise the bar. Seats front and back are exceptionally comfortable, even over long drives, and have plenty of leg room. Front seat passengers in particular will enjoy the adjustable driver and passenger seats.

Things have also gotten better under the hood, with a retuned V6 engine and a new 8-speed transmission. However, the change isn’t enough to bump acceleration above that of its competitors. The suspension, while a bit tight, does a good job of smoothing rough roads.

For commuters and those who enjoy taking long drives to far-off destinations, the Cadenza will deliver as comfortable, quiet, and upscale a ride as you’ll find in this class.

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 17 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 2017 Kia Cadenza?

There are roughly 100 listings on our site for the 2017 Kia Cadenza. The average asking price is $27,800, but prices start as low as $22,900 and climb as high as $31,400. Prices are affected by a number of factors, including trim level, number of features, mileage, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Kia Cadenza Cost to Own?

Over five years, expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are projected to cost $24,122. That’s among the lowest in the large car class. Only the Toyota Avalon Hybrid costs less

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Model?

The 2018 Kia Cadenza has a starting price of $32,290 for the base Premium trim, while the top-end Limited trim starts at $44,690. Those figures mark a stark jump in price over the 2017 model – a minimum of $9,300. There’s really nothing to justify the higher prices, as there are just small differences between the two model years. The most notable change involves the Luxury package, which for 2018 adds a panoramic sunroof and interior LED lighting. Stick with the 2017 and save yourself a lot of money.

Read about the new Kia Cadenza »

The much–higher cost of a 2018 Cadenza over the 2017 model may push the new model out of your price range, but there are other new-car options. The 2018 Chevy Impala starts at just $27,895 and has a cushy ride and spacious interior and trunk. However, its base engine is a four-cylinder that can’t match the Cadenza’s standard V6. Also, the 2018 Chrysler 300 starts at $28,995. It has a standard V6, and a more-potent V8 is available. It’s just not as comfortable a car to ride in as the Cadenza.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Kia Cadenza Is Best?

The 2017 Kia Cadenza is the first year in the car’s new generation. The Cadenza was introduced to America in 2014, and that generation ended with the 2016 model. The 2017 is the better vehicle. This redesigned model has a stronger body, lighter overall weight thanks to using more aluminum, and more soft-touch surfaces in the cabin. While the 2017’s powertrain can’t match its top competitors, it’s better than the one you’ll find in 2014-16 models.

However, if you want to save money you’ll find an earlier Cadenza to be a perfectly fine vehicle. Skip the 2014 model and get the 2015. Among the upgrades it received were an available 360-degree camera and rear cross traffic alert. Kia also improved the front passenger seat, making it an 8-way power-adjustable seat. The 2016 model offers no significant changes.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Cadenza »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Kia Cadenza?

The 2017 Cadenza earns a perfect predicted reliability score – 5 out of 5 - from J.D. Power.

Read more about 2017 Cadenza reliability »

2017 Kia Cadenza Recalls

At the time of writing, the Cadenza has one safety recall. On a small number of Cadenza’s, the vacuum hose for the brake can twist and reduce how well the brakes operate. If the car you are looking at is affected, be sure that it’s corrected before purchasing.

See more information on Kia Cadenza safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Cadenza Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Kia Cadenza comes in three trim levels: Premium, Technology, and Limited. The base Premium trim will satisfy most consumers because it comes standard with a hefty list of features. The cabin has leather trimmed seats, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Premium trim also comes standard with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. It includes Bluetooth, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB port, HD Radio, and satellite radio.

A rearview camera is the sole active-safety feature that comes standard. Shoppers looking for active safety features should look to the Technology trim. It comes with: blind spot detection, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, lane change assist, and lane departure warning. Other standard features include a panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system, wireless smartphone charger, a 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a larger 8-inch touch screen with voice-command navigation.

The top-of-line Limited adds a smart power trunk, a 360-degree camera, a head-up display, and heated rear seats.

See 2017 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 2017 Cadenza a rating of Good – the highest offered – in the five areas tested: moderate overlap front test, side impact test, rear crash protection test, roof strength test, and small overlap front driver test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not test the 2017 Cadenza.

The Cadenza comes standard with just one active-safety feature: a rearview camera. Available safety features include smart blind spot detection – this warns you of vehicles in your blind spot and, if you cross into a lane when a vehicle is in your blind spot, applies the brakes and brings you back into your lane – rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, lane change assist, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system.

See Cadenza safety scores »

2017 Kia Cadenza Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota Avalon or 2017 Kia Cadenza?

Both the 2017 Avalon and Cadenza are excellent large cars. For driving fun, the Avalon is the better choice. Its V6 engine delivers quick acceleration, and the car feels planted through turns. And unlike the Cadenza, the Avalon’s steering is tighter and delivers better road feedback. The Avalon also has more standard active-safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. If you’re after a more placid ride, the Cadenza may be a better choice. It has standard leather-trimmed seats, and for long stretches of highway the Cadenza provides a smooth, quiet ride. It also has standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which the Avalon lacks.

Which Is Better: 2017 Buick LaCrosse or 2017 Kia Cadenza?

Like the Avalon above, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse is a car that offers plenty of power from its base engine and engaging driving dynamics. If aggressive driving is something you enjoy, go with the LaCrosse. However, to get an interior that begins to match what you’ll get in the base model Cadenza, you’ll have to go up a couple trims in the LaCrosse. Leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats are standard on the Cadenza – not so the LaCrosse. Commuters will probably find more to like in the Cadenza; those who like to tackle twisty roads will find more to like in the LaCrosse. 

Compare the Cadenza, Avalon, and LaCrosse »

2017 Model Performance

How Does the 2017 Kia Cadenza Drive?

All 2017 Kia Cadenzas come with a 3.3-liter V6 engine and a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine puts out 290 horsepower, but this car doesn’t accelerate as rapidly as some competitors.

If there’s a notable flaw with the Cadenza, it’s the steering. While not sloppy, some automotive reviewers found it to have a little too much play, and it requires a bit more effort to turn than you might expect.

The overall ride is good, though the suspension is a bit on the first side. Still, the Cadenza absorbs road imperfections well and displays little body roll through turns.

Does the 2017 Kia Cadenza Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 Kia Cadenza gets 20 mph in the city and 28 on the highway, according to the EPA. Those numbers are just a bit on the low side for the class. Many competitors get 30 mpg or better on the highway, though few do much better in city driving.

Read more about Cadenza performance »

2017 Cadenza Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Cadenza Seat?

The 2017 Kia Cadenza comes standard with leather-trimmed upholstery and seat five. The driver’s seat has a 10-way power-adjustable seat, while the front passenger gets an 8-way power-adjustable seat. Step up in trim and the driver’s seat is 14-way; the front passenger’s is 10-way. Upper trims also receive heated rear seats and Nappa leather upholstery.

All five seats are comfortable, and those in the back offer lots of leg room. Passengers up to 6-feet tall will comfortably in the back, but the rear slope does slope so taller folks may feel a bit pinched.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Cadenza?

The 2017 Cadenza comes with a complete set of LATCH connectors on both outboard rear seats, but only an upper tether anchor on the middle seat. The lower anchors are set too low in the seats and are difficult to maneuver around, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, so the Cadenza earns a Marginal rating – the next to lowest score offered.

2017 Kia Cadenza Features

The 2017 Cadenza comes with a good range of standard features. The UVO infotainment system gets a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB port, HD Radio, and satellite radio. Sound comes from an eight-speaker system. Step up above the basic trim, however, and you’ll get an 8-inch touch screen, and a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system.

This system can be a bit slow to respond to inputs. In addition, when the car is in motion the navigation tools are locked, and the passenger cannot input them.

Other standard features include push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and a proximity key. Higher trims come with wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display, and a smart trunk that opens when you stand near it with the key in your pocket.

See 2017 Kia Cadenza specs »

Read more about Cadenza interior »

2017 Kia Cadenza Dimensions

Kia Cadenza Cargo Space

The 2017 Cadenza has a trunk with 16 cubic feet of storage space. The rear seats do not fold, but there is a pass-through for long pieces. Also, there’s a substantial lip to clear when loading.

2017 Cadenza Length and Weight

The 2017 Cadenza is 16 feet, 3 inches long and has a curb weight of 3,633 pound for the base model. The two higher trims weigh in at 3,770 pounds.

The gross weight is 4,178 pounds for the base model and 4,784 for the upper trims.

Where Was the 2017 Kia Cadenza Built?

The 2017 Kia Cadenza is built in Korea.

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