While the original Kia K900 was designed as a chauffeur-driven vehicle for executives in South Korea, the all-new 2019 model has matured into much more of a driver’s car. At the same time, this big new Kia sedan proves that luxury doesn’t have to come at the expense of excellent driving dynamics.
You'll Like The 2019 Kia K900 If...
If you’re not particularly brand conscious and are looking for a large luxury sedan that’s attractively priced and remarkably fun to drive, the Kia K900 deserves your attention.
You May Not Like The 2019 Kia K900 If...
Some people will have a hard time paying $60,000 for a Kia, regardless of how refined or how well-built it is.
The 2019 Kia K900 is an all-new vehicle for 2019, now based on a lengthened and widened version of the outstanding chassis that underpins the Kia Stinger. This big new Korean luxury sedan is powered by a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 that sends power to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The suspension tuning is excellent, blending good everyday comfort with a composure that’s much appreciated on winding mountain roads. Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW M, helped tune the K900 suspension, and it shows.
Kia’s all-new K900 is elegant inside, with a dash that gently wraps into the door panels and attractive open-pore wood trim available in four matte colors. Although the quiet 5-seat cabin is packed with amenities, the number of controls and switches has been reduced from 91 in the previous K900 to 73. Heated and cooled front seats covered in rich Nappa leather offer good support and excellent all-day comfort, the driver’s offering 20-way adjustability (as opposed to the passenger’s 16).
While 64 available colors of mood lighting add some welcome ambience, a Maurice Lacroix clock set prominently in the dash adds some old-school sophistication. In back, space abounds in all directions. The VIP package’s heated and cooled rear seats are adjustable in numerous ways, and they’re complemented by a fold-down center armrest featuring a wireless charger for smartphones. The armrest also has individual controls for the automatic climate control and the 900-watt Harman Kardon stereo, which comprises 17 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer.
The 2019 Kia K900 is slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, but it looks a bit more compact in person. That likely relates to its new long-hood/short-deck proportions, along with character lines that flow more smoothly than before and contribute to a low drag coefficient of 0.27. The K900 grille draws lots of attention, too. Kia says its 176 jewel-like cells are suggestive of “released energy,” of ripples moving away from the impact of a splash. See that or not, there’s no denying that the satin chrome trim running along the base of the doors adds a luxury touch. The K900’s C-pillars are particularly handsome, blending elegantly into the rear of the car, where the taillights show a clear stylistic link to the K900’s LED headlights. Dual exhaust outlets trimmed in chrome add to the luxury.
This large all-wheel-drive (AWD) Kia sedan features an electronically controlled center coupling that can transmit as much as 50 percent of the power to the front wheels if needed. For the most part, this means the new K900 drives and behaves like a dignified rear-drive sedan until some wheel slip is detected, at which point varying amounts of power are sent automatically to the front wheels for added stability.
Quiet, serene and heavy (4,560 pounds), the 2019 K900 pampers its occupants with abundant space and a beautifully tailored leather interior, but it’s not the 4-wheeled Barcalounger you might expect. Rather, it’s reasonably quick (it hits 60 mph in a claimed 5.7 seconds), and there’s no lag from the turbocharged engine. More significant, this big Kia also boasts European handling manners, aided by 50/50 weight distribution, electronically adjustable suspension damping and big all-season Michelin tires, size 275/40R-19.
Standard technology includes smart cruise control (with stop-and-go), lane-keeping assist, forward-collision avoidance, high-beam assist, a head-up display, a driver-attention warning and a blind-spot monitor. Other standard tech includes lane-following assist, haptic steering feedback, rear cross-traffic alert and safe-exit assist, which won’t let a rear passenger open a door if it senses a car approaching from behind.
How much does the 2019 Kia K900 cost? The base model, the K900 Luxury, carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $59,900, plus a destination charge of $995. Our favored model, the K900 VIP, equipped with the rear-seat VIP package and the 12.3-inch TFT instrument panel, starts at $64,895. While this big Kia sedan is priced similarly to the Audi A6 and E-Class Mercedes, note that both of the German cars are smaller and have warranties that can’t match Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain protection. As always, before buying, please check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new K900. It's still too new to assess the new K900's resale value, but historically it has not fared well against its competition.
Besides the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6, the 8-speed automatic transmission, the AWD powertrain and electronically controlled suspension damping with Sachs dampers, the 2019 Kia K900 boasts LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, navigation and a leather interior with wood trim and a 17-speaker stereo as standard equipment. Other notable standard equipment includes a head-up display, smart cruise control, lane-keep assist, parking sensors, collision avoidance, a power open/close trunk and a nifty fold-down center rear armrest with integral air conditioning controls.
A 12.3-inch full-color TFT (thin-film transistor) gauge cluster is optional on the new K900, as is a premium headliner, a 14-way power-adjustable passenger seat, vented outboard rear seats, tri-zone rear climate control and a wireless rear charger, all part of the VIP package.
REAR-SEAT VIP PACKAGE
This package makes you want to ride in the back of the K900, thanks to its heated and cooled, power-adjustable rear seats, 3-zone automatic climate control and wireless charger.
DYNAMIC 12.3-INCH LCD INSTRUMENT CLUSTER
When you turn the right-side blinker on, the circular tachometer magically becomes a screen showing the K900’s right-rear blind spot. Works the same way with the left blinker, too. Fun tech that’s very effective.
Under the Hood
The 2019 Kia K900 is powered by one engine: a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, the latter arriving at a very low 1,300 rpm. This is the same direct-injected aluminum-block powerplant found in the Kia Stinger, and it even mates to that model’s 8-speed automatic transmission. In the K900, however, it’s a 2nd-generation gearbox that’s lighter, quicker-shifting and more efficient.
3.3-liter twin-turbo V6
365 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
Originally designed as a large sedan to chauffeur executives in South Korea, the Kia K900 has matured into much more of a driver’s car for 2019. Thanks to a new chassis related to that of the sporty Kia Stinger, the all-new 2019 Kia K900 has dramatically improved driving dynamics, which helps make it more of a legitimate competitor for the Audi A6, BMW 5 series, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.