$23,025 - $31,895

2017 Kia Cadenza Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Kia Cadenza was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.5

Reviewers praise the 2017 Kia Cadenza for its upscale yet simplistic cabin. While the interior is mostly outfitted with materials that look and feel similar to what you’ll find in luxury cars from Acura, Lexus, or Audi, Kia uses premium-looking faux wood and chrome accents in some places and hard plastics in others, which keep it from reaching Mercedes-level opulence.

Most occupants will find the Cadenza roomy in both the front and back seats. There are also plenty of standard and available features, including a head-up display, which gives the Cadenza a cockpitlike feel by displaying information on the windshield. The trunk size is below average for the class, but there is still plenty of room for bags or groceries.

  • "The door panels, arm rests, seat and dash are all covered in soft-touch materials and complemented by good-looking fake wood and chrome. It isn't quite up to par with Mercedes-Benz's open-grain veneers, but it looks as good as nearly anything from Lexus or Acura." – AutoWeek
  • "Kia is quick to celebrate the airy and open cockpit of the Cadenza, and we can't help but agree - it's a pleasant place to be, very similar to that of a modern Audi, maybe minus the plastics quality." -- Autoblog
  • "Inside the 2017 Cadenza continues the theme of evolution rather than revolution. The dash is a clean design with straight lines and clear influences from the latest Optima. It won't set any hearts on fire, but it's a good looking design that's well laid out." -- Left Lane News

Seating

The 2017 Kia Cadenza seats five and comes standard with leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, and an eight-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat.

Upper trims come with Nappa leather upholstery, a heated and power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated rear seats, and position memory for the driver’s seat, side mirrors, and steering wheel. All trims but the base come with a 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way lumbar support and a 10-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat with two-way lumbar support.

Up front, the seats are comfortable, and there are plenty of ways to adjust the seats to help you find the best position, especially in upper trim levels. The Cadenza keeps road noise at bay for the most part, but some test drivers report wind noise when the car is traveling at highway speeds.

Some critics say the Cadenza’s sloping roofline cuts into rear-seat headroom, making the back feel a little tight for taller passengers. Others note the back seats provide long-ride comfort, with the legroom of a limousine and enough headroom for those just over 6 feet. If you need to install car seats, the 2017 Kia Cadenza comes with a complete set of anchors on both outboard rear seats, but the middle seat only comes with a tether anchor.

  • Both front and rear seats are comfortable, with plenty of legroom for rear passengers; however, the sleek top profile cuts into rear-seat headspace. Not bad for most, but anyone 6 feet or taller may have to fight for a front seat." -- AutoWeek
  • "Seats are as comfortable as you'd expect from a vehicle in this class, with excellent adjustability for the driver. Front-seat passengers are also pampered with power adjustments. … Although the Cadenza's front seats provide plenty of space and comfort, the sedan's rear seats are where you really want to be for long trips. The Cadenza's rear bench provides limo-like leg room and plenty of head room for those a few inches north of the six-foot mark." -- Left Lane News 
  • "Inside, the Cadenza is very quiet until you reach highway speeds, when you barely hear the external world whistling by. And at certain speeds, it does whistle. Wind noise is noticeable around the side view mirrors at speeds of 65 mph and up." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

The Cadenza comes standard with a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, and Kia’s UVO infotainment system, which features an eight-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB and auxiliary ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Bluetooth for both phone calls and streaming audio.

Available features include a panoramic sunroof, navigation with an 8-inch touch screen, a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, a wireless charging system for compatible mobile devices, and a head-up display. Optional advanced safety features include rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera with parking sensors.

With plenty of standard and available features, critics say the Cadenza stacks up well against entry-level midsize luxury cars like the Acura TLX. However, the UVO infotainment system can be sluggish to pick up user inputs. Navigation controls are locked when the car is in motion, so the passenger can’t set the destination for you. However, Apply CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to bring your own navigation to the Cadenza’s touch screen.

The top-of-the-line Limited model comes with a head-up display, something you might not expect in a Kia. It shows information like driving speed and turn-by-turn directions directly in the driver’s line of sight, eliminating the need to take your eyes off the road.

See 2017 Kia Cadenza specs »

  • "Where the Cadenza stands out against the some of the luxe Japanese sedans -- the Acura TLX, and Infiniti Q50 -- is that it doesn't feel like an entry-level luxury car. With the soft touch materials and gobs of features, Kia hopes to sway older buyers away from those higher-priced pseudo-luxury badges." -- AutoWeek
  • "Although the Cadenza is quiet, the interior's center stack of controls is a little button-heavy, and in our tester with the upgraded eight-inch touchscreen, the updated UVO system was slow to respond to touch and clunky to use when we tried to find our hotel by inputting its name and the city it was in. Kia has also locked out navigation input once the car is moving, rendering the passenger useless if they need to change a destination. Because the Cadenza now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, most owners will have an alternative navigation option as long as the connected phone has reception." -- Motor Trend
  • "Gauges in the Cadenza are large and easy to read. A center LCD screen displays other pertinent vehicle information, like trip computer or average economy. Top-spec Cadenza Limited models also get a color head-up display, which is a first for the nameplate." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

At 16 cubic feet, the Kia Cadenza’s trunk is smaller than most in its class, and the trunk’s opening is also fairly small, making it tricky to load larger items. However, it does have a smart trunk release, which automatically opens the trunk when the proximity key is close to the back of the car for three seconds. For class-leading trunk space, check out the Ford Taurus or Chevrolet Impala. The Cadenza’s cabin has a good amount of small-item storage for tucking away your stuff.

  • The downside of the roofline, however, is that it makes the trunk opening smaller and less convenient, despite the power lid and its no-touch operation on the test car." -- Cars.com
  • "The Cadenza's interior, which Kia claims boasts the most passenger room of its segment at 107.8 cubic feet, receives a sophisticated redesign with higher quality materials, soft-touch surfaces and useable storage spaces throughout." -- New York Daily News

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