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2019 Kia Cadenza Review

The 2019 Kia Cadenza has an elegant cabin, agreeable performance, and great marks for safety and predicted reliability. These positives help it to a high ranking among large cars.

Pros & Cons

  • High-class interior
  • Great predicted reliability rating
  • Excellent safety score
  • Long list of features
  • Limited rear headroom
  • Less athletic than rivals

New for 2019

  • Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors became standard




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
Safety: 9.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Kia Cadenza a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Kia Cadenza is a very good used large car. It has one of the nicest interiors in the segment, as well as an unparalleled combination of safety and reliability in the class. This sedan offers a long list of technology features, comfortable seating, and a pleasing ride. Still, no car is perfect, and you may not like this Kia if you're looking for potent acceleration or lively handling. Additionally, its trunk space and rear headroom are a little subpar for the class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 27 Kia Cadenza reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Cadenza is the right used car for you.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much is the 2019 Kia Cadenza?

Based on listings for the 2019 Kia Cadenza, the average list price is $24,822. Prices range from $24,822 to $30,230 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Kia Cadenza Cost to Own?

We currently do not have projections for the 2019 Kia Cadenza's five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance.

2018 vs. 2019 Kia Cadenza: What's the Difference?

For 2019, Kia made several advanced safety features standard in the Cadenza. These include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 Cadenza »

Here are the key changes for the Kia Cadenza over the past few model years:

  • 2017: fully redesigned with updated interior and exterior styling; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto introduced and made standard
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: more standard safety features added

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 Cadenza, 2017 Cadenza, and 2018 Cadenza full reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Kia Cadenza?

The 2019 Kia Cadenza has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Read more about Cadenza reliability »

2019 Kia Cadenza Recalls

There are no major recalls for the 2019 Kia Cadenza at this time.

See more information on Kia Cadenza safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Cadenza Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Kia Cadenza comes in three trims: Premium, Technology, and Limited. All models feature a V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

The base model has some attractive amenities, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, and blind spot monitoring. However, you're better off going with a Technology model, because it adds a larger touch screen, a navigation system, and several more driver assistance features.

  • Kia Cadenza Premium: Standard features in the 2019 Kia Cadenza Premium include leather-trimmed upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-folding and heated outside mirrors, proximity keyless entry, alloy wheels, and a hands-free trunk. The standard infotainment system comes with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.
  • Kia Cadenza Technology: The Kia Cadenza Technology comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, wireless device charging, a universal garage door opener, LED headlights and fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, an analog clock, a heated steering wheel, and an electronic parking brake. Additional active safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver attention monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
  • Kia Cadenza Limited: The Kia Cadenza Limited adds Nappa leather upholstery, a 10- or 14-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, paddle shifters, driver's seat and steering wheel memory settings, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The Limited also comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 7-inch driver information display, manual rear side-window sunshades, a power rear-window sunshade, a power trunk lid, lane departure warning, a surround-view parking camera system, and a head-up display.

See 2019 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 as well as a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts. 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 2019 Cadenza the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests. The halogen headlights in the Premium trim received the lowest rating of Poor for how well they illuminate the road ahead, but the LED headlights in the Technology and Limited trims were rated Acceptable, the second-highest mark.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Cadenza's available front crash prevention technology earned the highest rating of Superior in vehicle-to-vehicle impact testing and a lower rating of Advanced in vehicle-to-pedestrian testing.

Cadenzas equipped with LED headlights and the optional front crash prevention system earned a Top Safety Pick designation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the 2019 Cadenza.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors

Available advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Head-up display
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

See Cadenza safety scores »

2019 Kia Cadenza Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Kia Cadenza or 2019 Nissan Maxima?

The 2019 Nissan Maxima is another large car, and it’s not as good as the Cadenza. The Kia has a larger trunk, and its back seat is more accommodating for adults, compared to the Nissan's surprisingly small second row. The Maxima has a mixed interior quality, while the Cadenza impresses with luxury. These cars have similar, mediocre performance, marked by a good ride quality but so-so handling. The Maxima has stronger acceleration, but an unrefined transmission works against it. And while these rivals both rate well for safety and predicted reliability, the Kia has a slight edge in both. It's the better pick here.

Which Is Better: 2019 Kia Cadenza or 2019 Kia K900?

The 2019 Kia K900 fares pretty well in the luxury large car class against heavyweights from traditional upscale brands. The K900 is more engaging from behind the wheel than the Cadenza is, thanks to a much more powerful twin-turbocharged V6 engine and balanced handling. The K900 comes standard with all-wheel drive, which isn't available in the Cadenza. The K900's luxury position in Kia's lineup is further distinguished by available features that you can't find in the Cadenza. That list includes a 12.3-inch infotainment display and digital instrument cluster, as well as power-adjustable and ventilated rear seats.

All those features in the K900 are reflected in its higher prices: You might pay anywhere from around $10,000 to $18,000 more for a used K900 than for a used Cadenza. If you have a much larger budget, it's a solid pick. For a more value-oriented large sedan, go with the Cadenza.

Compare the Cadenza, Maxima, and K900 »

2019 Cadenza Performance

How Does the 2019 Kia Cadenza Drive?

The sole powertrain available in the 2019 Kia Cadenza is a V6 engine that comes in at a little under 300 horsepower. It proves adequate for a large sedan like this. It gets you moving with little drama and helps you easily pass other cars at high speeds. Still, some rivals have noticeably more authoritative acceleration.

The Cadenza’s handling is composed, if not a little blasé. It's clear that comfort is prioritized over sportiness, as you'll notice some body lean around turns. Three selectable drive modes – Normal, Sport, and Eco – change up the car's dynamics slightly.

  • Engine: 290-horsepower turbocharged 3.3-liter V6
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2019 Kia Cadenza Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2019 Cadenza returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is about average for a large car.

Read more about Cadenza performance »

2019 Cadenza Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 Cadenza Seat?

The 2019 Cadenza seats five people in two rows. The front seats have an open, airy feeling, and ample power adjustments make it easy to find a relaxing and comfortable position. The second row offers plenty of legroom for taller riders to stretch out, but headroom is somewhat limited because of a sloping roof.

The Cadenza has a refined, upscale interior that makes it feel more like a luxury vehicle. Nearly all surfaces are soft to the touch, and build quality is great.

Standard seating features:

  • Leather upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat
  • Heated front seats

Available seating features:

  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 10- or 14-way power-adjustable passenger seat
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Driver's seat and steering wheel memory settings
  • Manual rear side-window sunshades
  • Power rear-window sunshade
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Kia Cadenza?

The 2019 Cadenza has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. The lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and it's hard to maneuver your hands around the anchors.

2019 Kia Cadenza Features

Kia's UVO infotainment system is intuitive to use, and the menu structures are simple. Some critics knock this system because it can be slow to process commands. The rest of the Cadenza dashboard and center stack has a logical layout of buttons and knobs, and all are clearly labeled.

If you want a more familiar interface, look to standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and proximity keyless entry
  • Other available features: a 7-inch driver information display, a panoramic sunroof, an analog clock, and a universal garage door opener

See 2019 Kia Cadenza specs »

Read more about Cadenza interior »

2019 Kia Cadenza Dimensions

Kia Cadenza Cargo Space

The Cadenza's 16 cubic feet of trunk space is below average for a large car. A hands-free trunk lid is standard, and a power trunk lid is available.

2019 Kia Cadenza Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 4 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,633 to 3,799 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Kia Cadenza Built?

Kia built the 2019 Cadenza in South Korea.


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