The 2015 Kia K900 is a full-size luxury sedan sold at a bargain price. Its competitors include the Lexus LS and BMW 7-Series, models that are priced much higher than this Kia. The K900 brings this Korean brand to an entirely new segment with luxury features its mainstay.
Limousine-like sedans once belonged to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8. Kia now has its own entry, the highly affordable and competitive 2015 K900. If you’re looking for a top-end sedan at a bargain price, the Kia K900 should be considered.
You wouldn’t recognize the K900 as a Kia without its brand badging. This sedan and the smaller Cadenza represent a clean departure from what most people think of as a Kia. That’s intentional too, as the K900 is Kia’s bid to bring a premium feel to this Korean brand.
The Kia K900 has a general look that is more akin to a BMW 7-Series with its long, graceful body. Each model is outfitted with adaptive headlights containing 16 LED lights for improved luminosity. These lights are framed by additional LED lights; both flank Kia’s trademark tiger nose grille. LED daytime running lights and LED fog lamps are other distinctions present.
To the rear, this sedan is marked by trapezoidal tail lamps with LED lights used for both the brake lights and the taillights. Chrome touches across the rear deck and a diffuser with dual exhaust inlays make for an upscale statement. Kia dresses the profile with ornamental wheel vents, decorative rocker panel trim and multi-spoke chrome wheels.
Inside, Kia takes you into a whole different world. Or at least one that may not be familiar to owners of the automaker’s current hatchbacks, sedans and utility vehicles. You would be hard-pressed to find a larger sedan that is better designed to seat five people. Even so, the K900 is best enjoyed by four adults as we’ll soon see.
Slip behind the steering wheel and your body will sink into on the plushest seats you’ll find almost anywhere. The front seats are supportive and are adjusted by buttons placed on the doors next to the handles.
Typically, seat adjustment buttons are located on the outboard facing side of the seat. Here, you can actually see the switch you want to adjust without fumbling for the right one. Kia also placed the heating and cooling controls for the seats on the doors; the only switch attached to the seat is for lumbar support.
All K900 models are outfitted with an electronic tilt and telescopic steering wheel column. Cruise and secondary audio controls are on the face of the steering wheel and the windshield wipers are controlled by a stalk attached to the steering wheel column. Additional buttons for trunk release, traction control, park assist and lane departure warning are located on the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.
The K900’s instrument panel is dominated by a pair of analog-like speedometer and tachometer displays. Centered between the two is an oversized, brightly-lit digital driver’s information display.
The center console is marked by a 9.2-inch color display. A dial located between the front seats controls the display, enabling the driver to keep his eyes on the road at all times. It may take some getting used to, but once you do you’ll appreciate its relative simplicity.
Kia dispenses with the typical transmission shifter, and this is where you have to toss out conventional thinking. You must push the stick forward to go into reverse, and then pull it toward you to shift into drive. To place the K900 in park, you simply press the “P” button on top of the stick.
Kia places numerous switches and knobs below the center console to operate the audio and climate control systems. At the base of the console you will find a covered storage compartment, which is just the right size for holding your smartphone. A USB port, a 12-volt outlet and an auxiliary port are also present. To the right of the transmission stick is a pair of cup holders.
The rear seat makes room for three, but if it is just you and another passenger, then fold down the arm rest in the middle and you’ll enjoy a limousine-like cabin. Indeed, the armrest goes beyond offering the usual dual cup holder layout. Kia adds a storage compartment and also includes controls for the seat, which include lumbar support, seat adjustment, heating and cooling. And the person sitting behind the front passenger seat can control that seat by moving it forward with a switch, providing plenty of space to stretch out and take a nap.
The K900’s interior is covered in leather with beautiful wood inlays present. A power rear window sunshade is standard and both rear side windows also come with sunshades. This sedan has a full panoramic roof with a power retractable sunshade.
For 2015, Kia offers one powertrain combination with the K900 and it is a good one: a 5.0-liter V8 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This 32-valve engine is rated at 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. It makes use of gasoline direct injection to efficiently distribute fuel.
The Kia K900 is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It runs on regular grade gasoline and is outfitted with a 19.8-gallon fuel tank.
On the road, the K900’s engine provides very good power as it moves its 4,555-pound frame.
The engine drives the sedan forward with confidence, delivering ample power at all times. The sedan behaves more like the traditional luxury sedans once made by Cadillac and Lincoln, with a soft ride, limited feedback and average handling. The ride is as soft as you will find anywhere and the cabin is very quiet. The K900 doesn’t match the on-road characteristics of the top European brands, but it delivers an exceptionally comfortable ride that should please most buyers.
Between its standard infotainment system, the oversized LCD screen in the instrument panel and the available VIP package, the Kia K900 delivers sophisticated technologies that complement this vehicle.
Every model comes equipped with a 900-watt, 17-speaker audio system delivering exceptional sound. This vehicle also delivers shift mapping through three driver selectable modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Choose the driving mode you want and throttle response is adjusted accordingly.
The VIP package brings in the reclining rear outboard seats, a head-up display and a surround-view monitor.
That monitor is especially ideal for anyone uncomfortable with backing up such a large vehicle. It shows all potential obstacles right on the center display for ease of maneuverability.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has crash tested the Kia K900 yet.
Kia has equipped the K900 with numerous safety features. This model comes with the usual contingent of front, front-side and side-curtain air bags. It also has front active headrests, four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock brake system, stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, hill start assist control and available vehicle management system that tightens the seat belts in anticipation of a crash.
With a base price of $59,500, the Kia K900 is priced far below competing models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi. It is a well-equipped model sold in one trim level. A $6,000 VIP package brings in a surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, a full meter display and a head-up display.
Choose the Kia K900 and you’ll get a vehicle that matches well with the best sedans from Germany and Japan, but without the steep price. The VIP package clinches it, bringing in important safety improvements, including a head-up display, as well as comfort features.