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2019 Kia K900 emerges as a strong luxury-level flagship Featured

Posted On Sunday, 25 August 2019 03:12 Written by
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Inside and out, the redesigned 2019 Kia K900 features luxury-level design and materials, putting it on a level with some lofty competition. Inside and out, the redesigned 2019 Kia K900 features luxury-level design and materials, putting it on a level with some lofty competition. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

 

Flagship sedans need to be showstoppers — high-end, luxurious models that will make their owners feel immediately at home and offer power, looks and technology that can create buyer loyalty. 

Only a few vehicles really meet this criteria: S class (Benz), 7 series (BMW), A8 (Audi), LS (Lexus) … and now, the K900 from Kia.

No, that’s not a typo.

In addition to the usual suspects,  there is a strong contender emerging in the class of full-size luxury sedans. And oddly enough, it comes from Kia, a brand not often associated with luxury design.

I recently spent some time driving a 2019 Kia K900, and I’m back with a full report on this surprisingly well-executed contender for the luxury sedan crown.

LOOKS

The 2019 Kia K900 I tested featured a classy exterior, with a long and smooth design, and sported a sharp “Panthera metal” paint job.


To put it right out there, the 2019 Kia K900 (redesigned for this model year, and radically better than its predecessor) is one of the absolute best looking luxury cars in the world. Kia has stepped up its design game to a level I never expected.

Inside, there are touches of attractive wood trim placed throughout the front, rear and doors, as well as the steering wheel and center console.

The extremely comfy and high-end luxury seating features Nappa Leather, and you get heated and ventilated front seats.

The analog old-school clock is a staple of many luxury models, and you get that in the K900 — which sports a classy-looking Maurice Lacroix clock in the center console. 

Well-designed controls are placed on the steering wheel and center console that drivers will quickly adjust to. The K900 offers a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, as well as LED headlights, a power sunroof, automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

One great feature on the K900 is the rear control panel, which allows back seat passengers to control music, climate and more. This is a feature that many sedans that cost much more do not have. You also get some cool LED mood lighting inside the vehicle. The K900 features a power rear window shade (and manual side sunshades).

For a $4,000 fee, you can opt for the VIP package, which features comforts such as: Trizone climate control with rear pillar vents, power adjustable rear seats, lateral adjusting rear seat headrests, rear ventilated seats and a wireless charger in rear. In short, the K900 has options that can make the back seat as luxurious as being up front. It’s also worth noting that the rear passengers will have more than ample leg and head room.

The only thing I see missing in the K900 that pricier vehicles offer is massaging seats. Other than that, it’s a home run for comfort.

ENGINE, HORSEPOWER

The K900 features a 3.3-liter, turbo-charged V6 engine that is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are also included if you’d like to take control.

Numbers on the K900 are impressive: 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. It is an AWD vehicle. Drive modes offered include: Comfort, Sport, Eco and Custom. It also features an electronically controlled suspension.

There is everything to like about the ride you’ll experience in the K900. 

It’s extra smooth, responsive to driver input on both the gas and brake pedals, and overall very powerful. I truly enjoyed driving it, and if you need to get moving, going from 0-to-60 takes just over 5 seconds.

While some of the more pricey luxury alternatives have a slight advantage in overall power, the driving experience in the K900 is such a pleasure that you really won’t be worried about that.

 
TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY
The 2019 K900 has one of the best overall tech and safety packages I have seen on any luxury vehicle — even better than some of the usual suspects in this class that are more pricey.

I loved the unique side cameras that pop up on the control panel when you use turn signals, showing the driver a view from the side mirrors before you make the turn. Think of it as side mirrors on steroids that the driver can look at in their forward sight line.

The navigation system is displayed on a high-end 12.3-inch screen, which can be divided into three parts. For example, you can have your navigation, the radio and climate info all up on the screen at once. The infotainment system is intuitive and extremely responsive to controls by both voice and touch. With your phone connected, the system can read your texts to you, and also send back responses to text via voice command. It’s also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. 

Point blank: It’s one of the best infotainment systems I have seen in any car, luxury or otherwise.

Satellite radio comes free for three months, then you must subscribe to keep it. A wireless phone charger is placed in a convenient position up front. The K900 also features a Lexicon Logic 7 Surround Sound audio system.

A Surround View monitor makes parking a breeze. Head-up display allows you to keep your eyes on the road and not looking down at the dash. Smart cruise control with stop-and-go makes the ride safe in case someone decides to cut into your lane.

Other safety features include: Blind spot collision warning, driver attention warning, forward collision warning and avoidance assist, parking distance warning (forward and reverse), and rear cross traffic collision warning.

MPG
Official numbers are 18 city/25 highway/21 combined, but I averaged 20 mpg during my time in the K900. These numbers are slightly below the competition in this segment, but the difference is not large enough to be a deal-breaker.


PRICE


My K900 test vehicle was priced just under $65K; with a base price around $60K.

In the grand scheme of things, that’s a lot of dough. But put in perspective, it’s quite a bargain.

How can that be? Well, many of the K900’s competition literally start at $20K or $30K higher for the base model. This number is even more stunning when you realize that what the K900 offers is very similar to what the $90K competition has. Goes to show you how much a brand name can mean, and how much you can save if you don’t care about brand names.

You’ll also get one of the best warranties in the business with the K900: 10-year, 100k limited powertrain warranty, 5-year 60k limited basic warranty, 5-year 60k roadside assistance.

BOTTOM LINE

Kia is not known for luxury offerings, but the K900 — its best vehicle — can stand strongly on the luxury stage.

The K900 delivers vs. the very best of the competition in this class — even those with decades more experience in the luxury realm. Add to that the more affordable price, and you’ve found yourself a surprise contender in the luxury battlefield that offers everything you might want for a whole lot less money.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Kia K900  
  • Price as tested: $64,895 (starts at $59,900)
  • Best feature: True luxury on all levels, from an unexpected source
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Open-minded luxury car buyers who are willing to explore nontraditional brands and are looking for a deal 
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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