2019 Kia K900 Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Second generation of Kia’s flagship sedan
  • Powertrain lifted from the Kia Stinger, with a 365-horsepower V6
  • Built in South Korea
  • In showrooms in the fall of 2018
  • Pricing to be announced at a later date


Introduction:

If something is expensive and rare, does it make you want it more? Kia sold less than 500 examples of the previous K900, but it remains convinced that it can make a dent in the executive saloon class, now dominated by European makes.

To that end, Kia introduced the 2019 K900, stuffed with premium materials, comfort features and technology, most likely for less money than for a comparably equipped German sedan.

Still, will people shell out that kind of money for less perceived esteem? Or is the whole point of the K900 simply to raise the status of Kia overall?

Exterior Features:

A collection of gentle slopes and curves and angles, the Kia announces its presence by its size, rather than flash. The designers call their ethos “The Gravity of Prestige,” and it makes for a long, low-slung vehicle that evokes elements of high-end German cars. It’s a likeable look, without being particularly memorable, save for the distinctive headlights. The 19-inch wheels are gorgeous, though.

Interior Features:

Kia went with top-notch materials all the way, with the finest in leathers, metal trim and open-pore wood. Front seats are heated and ventilated, and more impressively, the driver’s seat feature 20-way power adjustments, including movable bolsters, while the passenger seat gets 12-way adjustments. We may want to see seat massagers as an option as well.

Rear seaters get coddled as well, with heated and cooled outboard seats, and their own climate zone. They can then zone out and enjoy the nighttime ambient lighting throughout the cabin; you can have 64 choices, or one of seven “designed” ones that evoke the feeling of being in various natural elements. We’re curious about the Aurora Borealis setting.

The dashboard glows warmly as you reach for it, and features a Lacroix analog clock to remind you of how special you are.

Optional Features:

A dashboard display of 12.3 inches, rather than the standard seven inches, await to provide you with information. And a Electronically Controlled Suspension can help smooth out the roughest of roads.

Under the Hood:

Motivating the K900 is a twin turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, which it shares with the Stinger. It’s good for making 365 horsepower, and shares other powertrain components with the Stinger as well, such as the 8-speed automatic transmission -- created by Kia, for Kia -- as well as a standard, dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive system. While the vehicle is biased toward rear-wheel drive, it also distributes power front-to-rear, as well as side-to-side, for enhanced traction.

Extensive use of high-strength steel in the chassis and a sophisticated suspension will help the K900 deliver a serene ride as well as make it athletic on twisties. Torsional rigidity is increased by 33 percent, and as previously mentioned, the K900 offers an adaptive suspension.

Safety:

The K900 offers a comprehensive set of active safety systems. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane follow assist, in which the car can steer itself between the lanes, help lessen the impact of distracted drivers.

Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic monitoring and braking are becoming de rigueur, but we’re not crazy about the system’s ability project a live image of the blind spot on the center stack screen. We didn’t like the feature on Honda’s LaneWatch; simply communicating to the driver that there’s a vehicle in the blind spot will suffice. We do like Safe Exist assist, which alerts the driver if there’s a car or bike coming on the left as the door is opened.

Technology:

Within its 12.3-inch touchscreen, the K900 offers you the latest in infotainment technology. You’ll get Apple CarPlay and Android Autos smartphone projection, a wireless phone charging pad. You’ll also get access to UVO luxe services, exclusive to the K900, which allows you to use your tablet, desktop, or phone to set the temperature of the car before you remote start, use the Find My Car feature or speak with a VIP service representative.

A 9.7-inch Head Up Display gives you relevant information on your windshield, while tunes can flow through a 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon system.