Last Year's Model: The 2020 Kia Cadenza Limited
Updated: Apr 1, 2022
The history of the car business is rife with very good cars that, for one reason or another, didn't sell very well. Kia announced a few months ago that its two largest sedans, the K900 and the Cadenza, would be discontinued after the 2020 model year.
So why does Kia have a Cadenza Limited still making the rounds of the Northern California press fleet? Because there are still some on dealers' lots. As of the day I'm writing this (April 19, 2021), Cars.com shows there are 42 of them in America. And, in a sign of just how underappreciated the Cadenza was, two of them are 2019 models that never sold. There's nothing wrong with a clearance sale on quality merchandise. While there's a die-hard dealer or two on that list asking full sticker, discounts of between four and nine grand are the rule, with the typical deal in the $8,000 off range. For a terrific car packed with feature content that was already reasonably priced, that works out to----carry the three---one hell of a deal.
By chance, I had the 2020 Kia Cadenza Limited the same week as the 2021 Genesis G80 2.5T Standard that I reviewed yesterday. It's obvious, seeing them parked side-by-side that these corporate cousins also share the same platform and that the changes made to the Genesis, which ironically, did not come first (theologians will get the joke) were subtle but significant.
Under the hood of the Cadenza is a 3.3-liter V6 engine. 290 horsepower, 253 pounds per foot of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic, it'll do 0-60 in the mid-six second range, and will do it smoothly and quietly. The EPA fuel economy estimate is 20 city/28 highway.
There's room for five people and their things and the passenger compartment is tasteful, elegant and comfortable, with buttery-smooth and supportive quilted Nappa leather seats. Those are standard for the $43,560 base price of the 2020 Kia Cadenza Limited. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the other standard equipment highlights are a full suite of active safety features, navigation with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.
In fact, Kia made all the good stuff standard on the Cadenza Limited. The only extra-cost options on our tester were a cargo mat ($99) and a premium floor mat ($200). So, with $1,035 inland freight and handling, the as-tested price of the 2020 Kia Cadenza Limited is $44,880.
Again, the Cars.com search linked above shows some dealers trying to get full sticker, but odds are, with some diligence, that $44K price tag could end up somewhere between $35 and $40K. The Cadenza always was a great car with a terrific value proposition at full price. At several thousand off, it's a steal.