Kia K900 offers true luxury at standout value

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There’s been plenty of talk about the Kia K900—and all of it has been very good. After all, this handsomely appointed sedan is without doubt one of the best values in the luxury large car class.

While luxury-philes may have you believe they are not distracted by such tawdry things as “value,”’ they are often the first ones to point out the upsides of their particular brand, the things that make them look or feel smarter than the next guy purchasing a similarly branded luxury badge. Well, let me put all disagreements aside: the Kia K900 will never lose a value discussion.

With great standard features, an elegant cabin and a low starting price, the 2017 Kia K900 is a standout at $49,900 for the base Premium trim level. Despite its bargain price, standard features are shockingly plentiful. All models are equipped with heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, navigation and a huge infotainment screen. Step up to the Luxury V-6 model ($54,900) for a surround sound system. The Luxury V-8 trim ($61,900) adds a 360-degree camera and lane departure warning, new for 2017.

Styling

If you’re shopping for a status symbol, the K900’s conservative style may take you back a step. This big sedan’s exterior design doesn’t try to impose false sports-car inclinations like some of its class rivals. Instead, it delivers a long, lean, refined exterior that evokes a calm, quiet attitude, something many traditional luxury sedan owners shy away from. There’s nothing especially distinctive other than the grille treatment and the stretched-angle C-pillar that evokes a bit of athleticism. Trust me: this is a big sedan, and everyone notices it pulling up.

Inside is where the real pleasantries begin. The K900’s cabin is genuinely luxurious, delivering supple leathers, elegant aluminum-and-wood trim and that 9.2-inch infotainment screen. The cabin is extraordinarily quiet — but then again, so is everything in its class. The five-passenger sedan offers front-row occupants multiple power adjustments, ensuring a perfect driving position. The K900’s second-row seats are without compromise in comfort with ample head- and legroom in both rows.

Spend a little time in the K900 and you’ll learn to appreciate the subtle extras like puddle lights that illuminate upon approach, a panoramic sunroof, plus a rear-seat control pad.

Maybe the biggest downside to the K900 is the fact it is not available in all-wheel drive; rear-wheel drive is standard. A 311-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 engine offers plenty of power. Getting up to highway speeds is a breeze, and passing was never an issue. A 420-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 option is available.

Paired with an eight-speed automatic with manual shift-ability, the K900 is a smooth operator at every move. Look for unimpressive mileage with the V-6 at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Safety

The K900’s value continues with its safety features. Even base models are well-equipped with front and rear-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive headlights that pivot as the car turns. Upgrade safety features take it to the next level with a 360-degree-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with braking assist.

The K900 is, without a doubt, impressive, refined and worthy of being called a luxury flagship for Kia. Every time I found some con to the K900 model, I thought about that 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, and second-guessing seemed to fade away. Given the levels of standard equipment, reliability and performance, this is a sedan worthy of review.



Previously from Autos