L.A Auto Show: Kia K900

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I have to say I was very impressed by the big Kia in person.
It does look and feel like an expensive car. (even though I am not sure that the black and white interior of the car at the show was the best choice to showcase the car)

I don’t see it as a direct competition to the S Class or 7 series, like some people mentioned.
It is a big car, but its wheelbase as about 5 inches less than the new S Class.
But, it is much larger than the E Class. And more luxurious.

At a starting price of about $50 000 for the 311HP V6. (A loaded V8 model should be around $65 000), it is actually only about $4000 more than the base E Class. And about $45 000 less than the S Class!
At half the price it starts looking like a bargain.

And, unlike its cousin the Hyundai Equus, it doesn’t look like it is trying too hard to be a luxury car.
(Thanks to the great Peter Schreyer’s design).
It actually look more like a European car.

Of course, I have been comparing a Mercedes to a Kia. Which is blasphemy for most.
But I don’t think Mercedes cars are what they used to be. And people who buy them keep buying them. Without ever considering anything else anyway.
This, it seems, is for someone who just wants a good looking, big, super luxurious sedan. Doesn’t care to impress the neighbors with a name. (The car itself, will do that)

By the way, this is what Lincoln should be doing!!!!
What the hell? How come they can’t make a car like this???

Conversation 9 comments

  1. That is exactly what I said yesterday! If Kia can pull this off, why is the best Ford can do a bunch of warmed-over front-drivers for Lincoln?!

  2. Hard to believe they are competing in the near -lux market. They would do much better if they would come up with their own luxury brand. Hyundai should use "Genesis" for theirs. What would be a good name for KIA's luxury cars? Hmm?

  3. They don't change the name of the brand because in other parts of the world people don't care as much if a car is a Toyota or a Lexus.

    People just want to read and listen to the press giving awards to the cars. Then they will buy them.

    What Kia is doing is changing his image so they can charge more in the next generation of cars.
    An Korean example is Samsung.
    Years ago cheap.
    Now, if you have the money they will sell you expensive also.

  4. Vince,

    I think you've nailed it. The people who buy these cars (or the Equus at least) are the same people who used to buy big "fully loaded" American sedans. The Chrysler 300 and Cadillac XTS are the real competition, but the 300 isn't exclusive enough (needs an Imperial version), and the XTS looks generic.

  5. Kia's are great. Would never have imagined buying a Korean car(!), but I got an Optima SX a few months ago and it's really nice – much more of a bargain Audi than the Passat is these days, and without Audi and VW reliability issues…

  6. I disagree. I think both Hyundai and KIA would be wise to have their own luxury brands. They could start off slowly and have them attached to current Hyundai and KIA dealerships. Then, after the new brands start to take off in 5 years (or sooner) begin building stand-alone dealerships. There's nothing worse than buying a premium priced car behind another customer who's buying a car that costs a third of what you spent. Snobby? Yeah, but Americans are brand conscious.

  7. This Kia kills Acura RLX in terms of design and hardware specs. Why isn't Acura improving with all the money they got? Japan has been printing (almost) free money to lend to their car companies.

  8. Just not a big Kia/Hyundai fan, especially when they are shooting for the (stars) luxury market. The nameplate is just not right, give them a brand of its own and go from there.

  9. Lincoln does make a car like that. It's called the MKS. Ask Kia if you haven't heard of it – they borrowed shamelessly from its interior design so they've probably seen one before. Not saying the MKS is a great car, just saying that it would be nice if Hyundai/ Kis had an original idea at some point down the line.

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