Hyundai, Kia look to move upmarket

Kia is moving upmarket with its first luxury sedan, the 2014 Cadenza that goes in sale in the spring.

Story and photos by Lorne Drury
Metroland Media/WheelsTalk.com –

DETROIT, Mi.: Not to be upstaged by the Japanese manufacturers, Kia and Hyundai made news of their own at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in the Motor City.

Kia debuted a new luxury sedan called the Cadenza, while Hyundai took the wraps off the HCD-14 Genesis Concept that shows the design direction likely to be taken with future premium sedans in the Hyundai fleet.

Kia Cadenza:

Kia is entering the premium sedan market with the 2014 Cadenza that is the most technologically advanced vehicle Kia has offered in the Canadian market.

Expected to go on sale this spring, the Cadenza moves the brand upmarket with standard and optional equipment like advanced smart cruise control, a lane departure warning system and blind spot detection.

The five-passenger Cadenza will have a 3.3-litre V6 engine under the hood, producing 293 hp and mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Offered in one trim level only, the Cadenza has standard features like an advanced navigation system with Sirius XM traffic, all displayed on an eight-inch touchscreen and a 550-watt, 12-speaker Infinity audio system with rear surround speakers.

Also standard fare is Smart Key keyless entry with push button start, leather seating, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and Bluetooth wireless technology.

Two option groups will be available — the Premium and Technology packages.

Highlighting the Premium Package is a full-length panoramic roof with power retractable sunshade, HID headlamps with adaptive front lighting, premium Nappa leather seats, heated front and rear outboard seats, a 12-way ventilated driver’s seat, heated steering wheel with power tilt/telescoping and power rear sunshade.

The Technology Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, electric parking brake, advanced smart cruise control, blind spot detection system and lane departure warning.

Designed under the watch of Kia’s styling guru Peter Schreyer, the company’s chief of design, the Cadenza has a distinctive “Tiger Nose” front fascia and an athletic stance.

The Cadenza has a sport-tuned suspension and to reduce noise/vibration/harshness, 60 per cent of the body structure uses high tensile steel to improve rigidity.

The HCD-14 Genesis Concept is a four-door sedan that points to a next generation premium car from Hyundai.

HYUNDAI HCD-14 GENESIS CONCEPT:

Last year was the best ever for the Genesis sedan in Canada with sales of 1,206 units and the styling elements and features on this concept could one day be found in a future premium model like the Genesis.

Created in the Hyundai Design North America Studio in California, the HCD-14 Genesis concept uses the “fluidic precision” design language carried on from the Sonata and Accent.

“We instilled HCD-14 Genesis with a premium sport four-door coupe presence,” said Christopher Chapman, chief designer Hyundai Design North America.

“Its sleek and lightweight silhouette does not punish the wind, but uses fluidic precision with dramatic surfacing that conveys natural restraint.”

The rear-hinged back door opens wide to an inviting, spacious cabin.

The wave theme makes its way inside the cabin with a double cresting wave centre console design. The traditional centre stack is gone and engineers have created an intuitive driver interface, which allows drivers to concentrate on the road through the use of eye-tracking and 3-D hand gesture recognition to eliminate manual controls.

Power comes from a direct-injected Tau 5.0-litre V8 engine, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

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