2017 Kia K900 Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 3.9Comfort 4.0Styling 4.0Value 4.0

Editor's Overview

To most Americans, Kia is the builder of fine cars for the common man, but not a badge to rival Mercedes-Benz, Lexus or Cadillac. However, for those who care more about content than cache, the 2017 K900 full-size luxury sedan may just have all the right bits to make it worth a look.

You'll Like The 2017 Kia K900 If...

If you’re seeking a large luxury sedan powered by its rear wheels and loaded with luxury items at a bargain price, Kia’s 2017 K900 was built for you. The ride favors comfort over aggressive handling, an attribute many may find quite appealing.

You May Not Like The 2017 Kia K900 If...

If you’ve been waiting to park something in your garage that will definitively broadcast your success to the neighbors, odds are a car with the Kia badge on the trunk isn’t going to work. Enthusiasts won’t like the K900’s soft ride and vague steering feel.

What's New

The 2017 Kia K900 gains some new standard equipment including Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.

Interior Features

The 2017 Kia K900 sedan lives up to its luxury status with a cavernous 5-passenger cabin filled with amenities. In Korea, this car is often used as livery for executives, and it's easy to see why. The rear seats boast loads of legroom, and they even have a reclining function. Sunshades afford privacy, and rear passengers can control the climate functions via a panel in the armrest. The front seats are equally comfortable, and the steering wheel has attractive wood trim. Although Nappa leather is available, it's not as soft as what the competitors offer.

Exterior Features

The K900 takes the curvy good looks of the Optima and Cadenza, and stretches them. As such, the K900 makes an elegant statement with its 200-plus-inch length, numerous LED lights and 19-inch wheels (18-inch for V6 models). Overall, the big Kia appears sleek and hunkered-down, but the portholes on the front fenders are a bit too reminiscent of a Buick. When the K900 is parked and locked, its side mirrors automatically fold inward, helping to prevent them from getting knocked off by other cars or bicyclists.

Driving Impressions

Kia’s 2017 K900 luxury sedan is a big car that favors a comfortable ride over a rigid attitude. To that end, the K900 won’t perform like a BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 or Cadillac CT6, and maybe that’s a good thing. While many luxury cars have morphed into 4-door sports sedans, the K900 pampers its occupants with a soft ride and acceptable levels of cornering and braking. The electric-assist power steering is rather vague, requiring constant minute adjustments. Shifting to the Sport setting somewhat improves the feel, but not the response. Acceleration is good with the V6 and robust with the 420-horsepower V8 under the hood, but fuel economy takes a considerable hit with the larger engine. Kia’s 16-way-power adjustable front seats are marvelously comfortable, and most of the controls and switchgear are easy to see and operate, another benefit over some of the more complex systems in the K900’s German rivals.

Pricing Notes

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just shy of $51,000 in V6 Premium form, the 2017 K900 is still the highest priced Kia today. That stated, Kia's flagship sedan is priced far below the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS, which begin in the mid-$70,000 range and climb from there. In contrast, a fully loaded 2017 Kia K900 peaks at about $70,000. Acura's flagship, the RLX, starts around $56,000, while the Cadillac CT6 begins in the mid-$50,000 range. Lincoln’s new Continental starts nearly five grand less at around $46,000. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the 2017 Kia K900. This Kia is a lot of car for the money; however, resale values are nowhere near the levels of Lexus, Audi and even Cadillac sedans.

Notable Equipment

Kia has a habit of packing even its smallest cars with amenities, so it's no surprise that its flagship K900 is full of them. Even a base K900 has the superb Lexicon audio system, a 9.2-inch command screen, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, leather and a power-operated trunk. The standard navigation/infotainment system is brought to you by Kia's UVO voice-activated system. For added safety, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning are standard, while the V8 models add front and rear cameras to ease parking.

Notable Options

The range-topping V8 Luxury model can be ordered with a $6,000 VIP package that includes radar-based cruise control, a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, a head-up display, power reclining rear seats, power-assisted door closing, and a snazzy surround-view camera system. Other extras include ventilated rear seats and a heated steering wheel (standard on V8 models, optional on the V6 trim).

Favorite Features

Kia’s association with Lexicon has paid off significantly in the 2017 K900 sedan. If you’re into music, really loud, crisp, clear, bass-filled music, then the 900-watt, 17-speaker Lexicon sound system is a must-have. Acoustically tuned to the K900’s cabin, it’s a match made in audio heaven.

Lexus may have pioneered the idea of a cabin isolated from the outside world, but in the 2017 Kia K900, the idea has been taken to new levels. Even at highway speeds, wind and road noise are nearly imperceptible.

Under the Hood

The 2017 Kia K900 is available with a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 or a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. Each mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The K900 is a rear-wheel-drive sedan; an all-wheel-drive model is not available. The responsiveness of either engine can be set by the driver into Normal, Sport, Eco and Snow modes. As mentioned, the V8 fuel economy is not great, rated at only 18 mpg combined city/highway on premium-grade gasoline. The V6 fares much better, running on regular grade and returning a respectable combined EPA rating of 20 mpg.

3.8-liter V6
311 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
293 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg

5.0-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

Editors' Notes

Kia is certain its 2017 K900 luxury sedan can take on the best from Germany, Japan and the U.S.A. without the benefit of a premium brand name. Of course, as Volkswagen learned with its Phaeton, brand names are everything. For most Americans, Kia is the builder of fine cars for the common man, but not a badge to rival Mercedes-Benz, Lexus or Cadillac. However, for those who care more about content than cache, the 2017 Kia K900 sedan may have all the right bits to make it worth a look. Armed with abundant amenities and even more standard safety features this year, the K900 offers the same luxury, sophistication and power as many luxury makes without the premium price.

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