Kia has announced a series of updates to its K900 flagship sedan. Some of the enhancements applied to the 2016 model are more significant than others. The biggest news here is the arrival of a new V6 base model.
Previously available Stateside only with the V8, the 2016 Kia K900 will now be offered with an all-new 3.8-liter V6 engine option, good for 311 horsepower. That base model still includes navigation, a leather interior, and a panoramic sunroof as standard equipment – just with a smaller engine to move it all. No changes were announced for the 5.0-liter V8, which is quoted at 420 hp.
Revised pricing and realigned trim levels place the base Premium V6 model at $49,950, the Luxury V6 at $54,950, and the top-of-the-line Luxury V8 model at $62,850. This compared to $56,350 base MSRP that Kia charged for last year's eight-cylinder model. A $950 destination charge is included in all of those prices.
Some stylistic changes have been made to the K900 as well, including new 18-inch wheels for the V6 model (19 for the V8), a new front grille, and updated rear-end styling that includes chrome trim, new exhaust pipes, taillights, and rear bumper. New equipment includes a hands-free trunk lid and optional autonomous braking system, along with a new 9.2-inch infotainment display and a system that can operate the ignition, door locks, and climate control from a remote smartphone app.
The arrival of the new K900 (known as the K9 back in Korea) coincides with the emergence of a more substantially updated Cadenza (known domestically as the K7). Along with the refreshed Kia premium sedans, Hyundai is separating its luxury lineup into the new Genesis sub-brand. Between them, the Korean automaker aims to take a larger slice of the pie from the usual upscale suspects from Japan, Europe, and these United States. Will this entry-level model move the needle much further? Probably not, but we'll see.