2016 Kia K900

Starting MSRP: $49,000 - $61,900

Estimated MPG: 17 city / 26 hwy

2016 Kia K900 Review

Beautiful inside and out, the 2016 Kia K900 might be the biggest surprise to arrive in showrooms in decades. Proving that Kia is ready for the big leagues, the K900 is a full-size luxury sedan that offers premium interior quality and features at a reasonable price.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 06/13/2016

The Kia K900 is a four-door, five-passenger large luxury sedan. This Kia is available in three trims: Premium V6, Luxury V6 and Luxury V8. Kia's rear-wheel drive sedan gives buyers the choice of a 3.8-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8, and both engines are governed by an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Kia’s luxurious, well-equipped sedan proves the automaker once known for building entry-level compacts is ready to move into the premium marketplace. The brand's industry-leading warranties add a measure of certainty for cautious buyers wondering if Kia’s $50,000-plus sedan is worth taking a chance on.

Exterior

Exterior
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With a high beltline and smooth character lines that provide a sense of motion, the 2016 Kia K900 exudes premium quality while maintaining a visual aesthetic that is familiar and distinct to the brand. The generous wheelbase creates space in the cabin and gives the sedan a confident stance. Chrome accents, standard 18-inch alloy wheels, a shark-fin antenna and high-intensity dynamic bending lights combine to create an authentic air of luxury.

The luxury-car segment is known for being heavily populated, with models filled to the brim with standard amenities. Even when judged against this high benchmark, the Kia K900's standard features list is generous. A panoramic tilt/sliding sunroof with power sunshade is fitted to every vehicle, and dual exhaust ports are wrapped with sleek chrome tips.

The exterior packaging of our review vehicle, the K900 Luxury V6, is identical to that of the base model. Only the top-trim V8 exhibits exterior upgrades that include 19-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights.

Interior

Interior
9

The K900's cabin delivers everything you expect in a premium luxury sedan and more. Kia’s attention to detail is apparent, and the K900 provides exemplary fit and finish. All models arrive with leather trim and power-adjustable front seats. The front seats and rear outboard seats are heated, and the front seats keep things cool in warm weather with ventilation.

Kia has included plenty of premium touches, including illuminated stainless-steel door scuff plates that set a glamorous tone for the luxurious interior. The base K900 includes aluminum trim and Luxury models are trimmed with real wood. The presentation is above average, even in this famously opulent segment. If you are still holding on to certain Kia stereotypes, you'll quickly forget them after spending a few minutes in any of the sedan’s five seats.

Cargo capacity is 15.9 cubic feet, which is about average for the class.

Performance

Performance
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K900 buyers have a choice of two engines. A standard 3.8-liter V6 produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, while a larger 5.0-liter V8 generates 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is about average for the segment, and V6 models earn an EPA-estimated 17/26 mpg city/highway. The V8 Luxury trim achieves 15/23 mpg city/highway. The large 19.8 gallon fuel tank adds convenience, extending the interval between visits to the gas station.

The K900 is more a comfortable highway cruiser than a performance sedan. Both the V6 and V8 engines provide plenty of power for easy passing and merging, but this vehicle's softer nature favors relaxed driving over high-speed cornering. Nevertheless, handling is fairly precise and the suspension is certainly up to the task for most daily adventures. Driving the K900 is easy, and even longer trips are painless. We logged a 400-mile family trip in one day without a single complaint or negative comment.

Technology

Technology
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The 2016 Kia K900 excels when it comes to technology. The base 14-speaker audio system sounds great, and the 17-speaker Lexicon system found in the Luxury trims is one of the best available in any car at any price. Standard infotainment features include satellite radio, navigation, parking assist, front and rear parking cameras, Bluetooth and Kia’s proprietary UVO Luxury Services.

All models feature keyless entry with a smart power trunk, push-button start, a rear USB charging port, cruise control and an electronic parking brake. Kia’s upscale intentions are obvious and nicely executed.

Optional equipment includes a head-up display, a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster and a full suite of active safety features.

Safety

Safety
9

Although untested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is clear that Kia has endeavored to build a safe vehicle with the K900. A full battery of air bags, antilock brakes, stability control and front and rear parking cameras are included on all models.

Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning are standard in the Luxury V8 model and available as options on the Luxury V6 trim. Adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking are also available on the top two trims.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2016 Kia K900 V6 Premium starts at $49,950, including a $950 destination charge. The base K900 arrives with plenty of standard features and may be all the luxury sedan that most people will need. Though the base K900 is priced slightly higher than many of its direct competitors, it’s loaded with standard features that are only available as options on the majority of its rivals.

Our review vehicle, the K900 Luxury V6, starts at $55,850 including destination. Our K900 was optioned with the $5,000 VIP package that includes a head-up display, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and a surround view monitor. This package also features a variety of seating upgrades, including ventilated rear outboard seats, as well as premium headliner trim and power door latches. As you can see from the extensive list of extras, our review vehicle should meet the needs of the majority of luxury sedan shoppers, and it clocks in at a reasonable $60,850.

The top-trim Luxury V8 includes a majority of the active safety features and starts at $62,850, including destination. Adding the V8 Luxury VIP package provides all the goodies included on our review vehicle and more for an additional $6,000.

While the V8's power may win over a few enthusiasts, our feeling is that the V6 power plant is more than sufficient for the chassis and suspension. Given the softer nature of the K900, the smaller engine’s strong fuel economy and adequate power make for a great combination.

Overall

Overall
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The 2016 K900 has obliterated every negative stereotype you may have had about this Korean manufacturer. The steps required to create a true premium vehicle are treacherous, but Kia has created a superlative product with an ample array of amenities. Enthusiasts will find the soft suspension and ride quality a little disappointing, but those searching for an alternative to the status quo might discover that the K900 is nice enough to serve as a satisfying outside-the-box pick.