The South Koreans are making a good run at getting a foothold in the luxury sedan market with the new 2015 Kia K900. This is Kia’s first rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan entry into the North American market, and it shares the same basic platform as the Hyundai Equus flagship. When compared with the competition, the K900 comes in a whole lot more affordable. It costs many thousands less than the Lexus LS460, Jaguar XJ V6, Audi A8 V6, BMW 740, and Mercedes-Benz S550. It may not have the same refinement as those vehicles, but it’s hard to argue with the level of luxury for the price. This week we’re test driving the 2015 Kia K900 V8 with the VIP Package.
This 2015 Kia K900 V8 model ($59,500) came equipped with the VIP Package ($6,000) that included luxury features like 12.3-inch full LCD instrument cluster, Head up Display, Surround View Monitor, driver’s seat cushion extensions, and front seat power headrests. In the rear passengers get power reclining rear seats, ventilated rear outboard seats, lateral rear adjusting headrests and rear seat lumbar support.
Interior features and luxury
Stepping inside the 2015 Kia K900, we were greeted with lots of leather, wood, chrome and black lacquer finishes. Even the carpet feels extra luxurious and the cabin up front is abundantly roomy. Inside, the K900 comes loaded with lots of standard features like heated rear seats, big heated and ventilated front seats, cushy Nappa leather upholstery, soft-touch finishes, suede headliner, wood and gloss-black with chrome accents. It also comes with LED headlights, panoramic moonroof, heated leather/wood steering wheel, blind spot/rear cross traffic alerts and credit-card size smart key.
Rear seat passengers are bathed in luxury, especially with the VIP packages ventilated, power recline and winged headrests. Rear climate control is standard as are the manual side and power rear shades. The rear was spacious enough for our 6 foot 4-inch co-worker who sat in the back to give us some feedback. He especially liked the reclining seats as we drove to lunch.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
The 2015 Kia K900 is available with a 420-hp V8 engine or a standard V6 with 311 hp. The K900 comes with a fully independent suspension, rear-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the big 19-inch rear wheels. Extra costs include the purchase premium and 3-4 mpg lower EPA ratings than the V6. The V8 is rated at 15/23 city/highway mpg fuel mileage.
The 5-liter V8 is ultra-quiet until we pushed hard on the gas pedal going up I-70. The 420 horsepower is there when you need it and propelled the luxury cruiser fast and smooth on the highway. The K900’s 8-speed automatic is smooth but needed a good push in the gas to get the big luxury sedan moving forward. We did use the dynamic driving mode that worked well for the more spirited driving during the week. We had the K900 during a dry period with no snow, so the rear drive configuration was not an issue. AWD is not available.
As we would expect in a luxury cruiser, the K900‘s suspension is tuned more for comfort than agility and the hydraulic-assist steering is direct with a bit more feel than many electric-assist steering systems. The entire package is a good balance of a smooth quiet ride on the highway, but it will handle the tight corners without too much body roll. The big sedan offers good balance and felt lighter than its 4500 plus lb. curb weight.
The 2015 Kia K900 comes loaded with safety equipment like Blind Spot Detection, Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Camera display and Front and Rear Parking Sensors with Park Guide System. All the safety features were detected during the week and helped when we were in heavy traffic and parking during the weeks test drive.
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The 2015 Kia K900 is a good first entry in the rear-drive V8 luxury sedan market. The cabin is luxurious, spacious, nicely finished, and an inviting place to spend time. It comes loaded with standard features and is an attractive offering for the price. We would recommend the V8 in this large vehicle unless you don’t need the extra power and live at sea-level where it’s flat. When compared with Lexus, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, the K900 is a whole lot more affordable. It may not have the same refinement as those vehicles, but it’s hard to argue with the level of luxury for the price. The 2015 Kia K900 is a worthwhile addition to your holiday shopping list.