The Kia K900 and Cadenza are Kia’s own premium/luxury sedan models that have attempted to dive into the luxury market in similar fashion to Hyundai with the Genesis and Equus models. However, for the U.S. the K900’s has been far less successful than the Equus. The K900 has struggled with sales since it’s initial release in 2012 (as a 2013 model), only 200 units sold per month over the first 4 months of release, and later dropping to a frightening amount of only 50-60 per month during August-September of 2014. Despite the aggressive marketing, the K900 is rarely spotted on the road.
Now, Kia’s corporate cousin, Hyundai who owns about 40% of Kia has released their all-new Luxury Brand, named “Genesis”. Genesis drops the Hyundai name and badges its models as Genesis G80 and Genesis G90 that replace the Hyundai Genesis and Hyundai Equus, giving these luxury cars much more premium identity that they deserve. With the New Genesis Brand available and low sales of the K900, it’s questionable as to what is going to happen with the K900 in terms of production and as a used car.
The K900 is a nice car with sleek styling, plentiful features, advanced technology, and powertrains that can certainly compete with other luxury sedans from BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz with a base-price of just $49,000 (originally $60,000 when it first debuted) for a Brand New V6 Model and $61,000 for top-line V8 model. Coming with advanced features such as Full-LED Headlights (V8 Only), 12″ display with Navigation, 8-Speed auto w/ electronic gear selector, Panoramic roof, and so on. On paper, the car seems to be a significant bargain when you compare features, engine options, styling and the fact it is the most expensive car you buy from a particular make (flagship status).
Regardless of what it is on paper, like we covered in our review with the First Gen Hyundai Genesis, there is lack of luxury identity but much worse than Hyundai. With Hyundai, it’s models have greatly improved over the years to have a more premium look and feel in it’s models like Sonata, Santa Fe, and even the Elantra. Making the Genesis & Equus models have “somewhat” of a premium identity and quite successful. With Kia however, most models start anywhere between $14,000-22,000 New and is targeted towards a younger crowd. Kia has never had any sort of premium or luxury identity, except the Optima but it is marketed as more of a valuable mid-size sedan with advanced features. With that being said, those who have the money to spend on a K900 will likely opt for a Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Lexus ES, or even Hyundai Genesis of the same price despite the smaller sizes and engines. Also, you cannot expect luxury amenities or treatment from a Kia Dealership like a BMW dealership is expected to be.
Today, With the low sales numbers and conflict with Genesis it likely the Kia K900 will end production or be discontinued in the U.S. The K900 does share the BH-L platform from Hyundai based on the Equus, but rebadging is not likely. With lack a luxury identity, resale values are hurting. A Used Kia K900 can be purchase for around the low $30,000’s after about 15,000 miles of driving, a significant depreciation hit to take when purchasing new. From this point, we expect the K900 to further depreciate. However, Kia has ranked #1 in quality from J.D. Power during the initial quality study, so No significant problems have been reported and the car has shown to hold up well when we did managed to come across one. Overall, if you want a luxury car that no one has that is stylish, cheap, and likely reliable this is the car for you, just take off the Kia badging.