Kia K900: Social Climber

The budget brand wants to go Beverly Hills


Grasping its leather-and-wood steering wheel, listening to Win Butler yelp through seventeen speakers, one thought pops to mind: This is a Kia?

The K900 Optima is a nice midsize car and the Cadenza represents a good value in the near-luxury category, nobody expected the Koreans to come up with this roundhouse right of a luxury automobile. It’s big and looks important, with a touch of Jaguar finesse. And it drives all hushed and silky, like a Lexus. The interiors’ LED lamps extend their courtesy upon entry and red accents throwing little pools of light wherever you reach. Inlaid with wood and covered with leather, the dashboard is exquisite: the precious little clock by itself deserves a couple of pages in Robb Report.

Question is: Who is it made for? Kia is a middle class brand, aimed at the cost-conscious who value reliability over flash. But the marketing people say the company now intends to lure in the well-heeled at lifestyle events in posh neighborhoods and minds will be swayed. But the first time we see a K900 get valeted in front of Tiffany & Co. on Rodeo Drive, the photo goes straight to Twitter. 

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  • Marvin McConoughey

    The stunning new Kia K900 is a superb entry into the luxury car marketplace. With the V8 and 8 speed automatic it has the power one expects. Unlike so many new cars, the Kia promises to be truly quiet on all roads. Quiet is the one luxury characteristic that many lower quality cars lack. I am impressed by the car’s appearance: Fresh, new, and modern in a way that is distinctive without being gaudy or excessive. Kia has a potential winner on its showroom floors. Cost matters to most buyers of any income group. The Kia is attractively priced and has few viable competitors at the same buyer cost.