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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the all-new 2015 Kia K900 is a love letter by the Korean manufacturer to its luxury competition. Available in Premium ($54,500 plus $900 destination fee) and Luxury trim levels, the full-size sedan exudes its favorite competitive features aplenty:

  • The Nappa leather seats are similar to the thrones in a Lexus LS460
  • The shift-by-wire gear lever looks like it was taken from a BMW 7-Series
  • The power seat controls located on the door appear to be inspired by Mercedes-Benz
  • The rear sunshade that automatically lowers when reversing, likens the indulgence in an Audi A8
  • The 17-speaker, 900-watt Lexicon audio system rivals anything heard from the competition

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Has it been mentioned that all of the above (and a laundry list of other features) come standard for the $59,500 MSRP (plus $900 destination fee) of this tested Luxury trim model? For an additional $6,000, the VIP Package adds a ton of tech and competition-flattering niceties, including:

  • Radar-based cruise control
  • Power-closing doors
  • A 12.3-inch LCD TFT instrument cluster with driver’s head-up display
  • Surround view monitors
  • Power-extendable driver’s seat thigh cushion
  • Front power seat headrests
  • Power reclining/ventilated outboard rear seats with lateral adjusting rear headrests and lumbar support

 

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but even though the driver’s area is highly configurable, the K900 is not something you must drive to enjoy. Pleasure can be found in the rear passenger-side seat of the Luxury VIP model, as tested. By pressing a switch, the front passenger seat slides forward, providing even more legroom than the standard 38.2-inches. On a cold day, the heated rear seats will keep you warm, and on a sweltering day, cool, with their ventilation capability. The rear seat’s center armrest allows you to control the rear climate zone, as well as recline your seat.

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For most US owners, however, hiring a chauffeur isn’t an option. Thankfully, the 420 horsepower V8 makes this rear-wheel drive vehicle a blast to rocket down the highway while achieving an Environmental Protection Agency estimated 23 mpg (15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg combined). With 376 lb-ft of torque, the 32-valve DOHC (dual overhead cam) engine convincingly passes towering tractor trailers. Take an exit ramp at speed and you may not find the ride as assuring, however. The steering feels numb, and it becomes hard to have a sense of the road blisteringly passing beneath. Also, the K900 tends to have more body roll and lacks the sense of stability found in its Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series competition when driven spiritedly, even when the Sport driving mode is activated.


With 16-cubic feet of power-opening and closing trunk space, the cargo area will easily fit 4 sets of golf clubs on the way to the nearest country club, with plenty of room for weekend bags if staying overnight. Equally, the trunk will fit 4 parcels of hardwood flooring―and 36 linear feet of quarter round through its ski pass-through―as the reviewer found out one DIY weekend.

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After spending time with almost every major manufacturer’s current infotainment system, the Kia’s UVO eServices system is at the top of the favorite list due to its ease-of-use and consistent performance. Navigable via either touchscreen or jog wheel on the center console, the 9.2-inch display makes it easy for the driver to use its navigation, satellite radio and smartphone-friendly features. The user manual was never needed to figure out how to pair smartphones, use voice command, or check on traffic during its week of review.

While buyers of the Premium trim K900 are treated to more than adequate HID (high intensity discharge) headlights, Luxury and VIP trim levels sedans come equipped with adaptive LED lighting technology. The headlights literally auto-level and rotate as you drive, continuously illuminating the path in front of the vehicle better than anything driven to date.

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With a total window sticker of $66,400 after destination, the 2015 Kia K900 is quite the bargain, considering new, comparably-equipped luxury offerings go for $12K‒$25K more. According to Larry Dixon, our senior automotive analyst, “If parent company Hyundai’s 2014 Equus Signature sedan is any indication, the all-new K900 should be a solid retention performer. The Equus’ value (63.9 percent) has been solid relative to the rest of the Luxury Large car segment, and beats the 55 percent retention value held by both the Cadillac XTS and Lincoln MKS.”