A rear-wheel drive, V-6 powered full-size sedan is the best thing we’ve ever heard from Kia. Hyundai introduced the Genesis years ago, and we’ve been waiting ever since for a Kia variant based on the rear-wheel drive platform.
They’ve delivered, and it was worth the wait. The result is the 2013 Kia K9, and thankfully we’ll be spared from that name. What’s in a name? A whole lot actually – Kia pointed out the export version will be called something else. The K9 is a full-size sedan in the truest sense. It really looks the part, with an imposing presence that rides on the 120-inch extended platform that underpins the Equus.
The result is a car 200 inches in length, nearly four inches longer than the Genesis. Kia points out all the key elements that are afforded by it being a RWD full-size sedan, such as the “prestige distance” marked by a short front overhang and increased space between the center of the front-wheel and A-pillar. The result truly is a sedan that does look the part. It oozes a modern, premium feel. Peter Schreyer, Kia design head says: “While embodying a new generation of Kia design, K9 is a clear signal of our intention and determination to compete head-to-head with the European luxury brands. And for Kia, our customers, and for me – this car is like a dream come true.”
Ever thought you’d hear those words from Kia, and not actually laugh them off completely? The K9 shows strong influences from the BMW 7-Series, which makes sense as it is one of the best full-sizers out there.
Inside the K9 continues with Kia’s modern luxury theme. Red accent lighting, two-tone black/grey, carbon fiber and aluminum trim elements work really well together. It has a different aesthetic than Hyundai, and it works really well. It also is very luxurious in the back seat, with the availability of dual reclining bucket seats.
Under the hood (for Korea anyway) are two versions of Kia’s 3.8-liter V-6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. One makes 268 horsepower, the other is direct-injected and makes 329 horsepower. We’ll get the latter, along with a V-8 engine option.W e see the Chrysler 300 as a prime competitor. The Kia will likely be priced around the Genesis. We doubt it will go much higher than that, and at a similar price point it would be a very compelling offering.