Kia is planning to test the European market ahead of a possible full-scale launch of its Cadenza luxury saloon
Matt Burt
24 October 2013

Kia is planning to introduce a limited run of the Kia Cadenza luxury saloon to European markets as a toe-in-the-water exercise ahead of a possible full launch of the model.

The Korean manufacturer currently does not offer the Cadenza, also known as the K7, or the larger Quoris/K9, to its European dealers, and in most territories its biggest saloon is the Optima/K5.

Although the five-metre-long Quoris flagship will remain off-limits for Europe, Kia wants to bring 1000 left-hand-drive examples to the continent.

Soon-Nam Lee, vice president of overseas marketing group for KMC, said: “My opinion is that the K9 is very difficult. However, with the K7 we would like to introduce 1000 units for the western European market so we can get feedback from our customers.”

Lee added that the second-generation Cadenza, which is due in 2016, could also be offered in right-hand drive, which is not the case with the current version.

“We are studying it for the UK, Singapore, Australia and South Africa markets and discussing it with our distributors,” he said.

The current Cadenza is a rival for cars such as the US market Acura RL and Toyota Avalon, and at 4965mm long it’s bigger than a BMW 5-series. Kia reckons there is a demand for well equipped saloons that offer some elements of premium offerings.

One aspect of the car that would likely have to change for European markets would be its engine. In the US, the Cadenza is offered only with a 3.3-litre V6 producing 289bhp and 255lb ft. 

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Comments
6

24 October 2013

One thing Kia does need to address if it is to diversify its model range in the UK, is its dealer network. All the Kia dealers near where I live are part of Renault dealerships, and their comically poor customer service has infected the Kia operations too.

24 October 2013

Were I in the market for something this big (and I'm not - even Optima looks too big to me), I'd look at this. Bit of a looker, I think.
Are premium/exec car buyers ready to take a punt on KIA, though? A few are, I would reckon. Certainly anyone who reads car mags and satisfaction surveys, and isn't over-bothered about image, would take this seriously. I think KIA's cautious approach looks about right.

24 October 2013

All I want in the optima is a petrol engine. Lovely looking car but with only 6k miles a year diesel is not worth the hassle for me.
Why can't they put in the 2.0 turbo they have in the us of a!

With 276 hp - potentially it could even power this car over here.

24 October 2013

I do hope so, I have had my Optima 3 since January last year and have loved every minute of my time with it. KIA needs to push its large cars in Europe more and I think the next Cadenza could do well here and would be on my list when I replace my Optima. I also wish that KIA would also build estate/sports wagons of their larger cars, I think an Optima Sports wagon and Coupe would have sold in large volumes.

Optima2

25 October 2013

Such an attempt would be ambitious so the sooner Kia learns the better that to break into the top segments of the European market, their cars would need competing with the likes of the S-Class.
Cars at this end not only offer a long list of equipment but unparalleled levels of personalisation and innovative petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains that combine sports car speed with supermini efficiency.

27 October 2013
fadyady wrote:

Such an attempt would be ambitious so the sooner Kia learns the better that to break into the top segments of the European market, their cars would need competing with the likes of the S-Class.
Cars at this end not only offer a long list of equipment but unparalleled levels of personalisation and innovative petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains that combine sports car speed with supermini efficiency.

I agree, personalisation is something Kia do not do, a handful of exterior paints, virtually no options to tick and one engine and 1 interior to 'choose' would put a lot of buyers off for the `Optima. Even if they had overcome the badge. They also need to improve the looks, they still reference too many other cars in their styling. A bit of Peugeot here, a bit of Audi there, a little bit of old SAAB thrown in for good measure. They are handsome cars but not entirely original. Then there is the ride and handling with is above average at best. Drivers of premium brands expect an engaging drive and a relaxed ride.

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