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The Kia that's got soul


A top-of-the-line vehicle from South Korea left our reviewer wanting more.

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | September 29th, 2014

Last week, I wrote about the Kia Soul, a car I didn’t like much, but one I’m sure that will sell in big numbers. This week, I am reviewing another Kia, which is the polar opposite of the of the Soul – it’s called the K900, a car I think is brilliant but fear that hardly anyone will buy.

The 2015 K900 is the flagship model in Kia’s lineup, and it is jampacked with all the latest technology available to this South Korean auto manufacturer. It is also the first Kia since the Borrego SUV was sold in the Canadian market to be available with a V8 engine. I would also take this opportunity to point out that its 5.0-litre, gasoline direct-injected, V8 is quite possibly the finest engine on the planet. It produces 420 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. All the power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is smoother than silk.

When you’re driving the K900 normally, it is confortable and quiet, and it is also quite efficient for what it is. However, when you put your foot down, it roars and surges you forward with the kind of immediacy that you’d show if you were suddenly being chased by a lion – yeah, it is that quick. Looking for numbers? How does a 0 to 100 km/h run in just 5.6 seconds sound to you? Sounds impressive to me, because that means this luxury limo can out drag many respectable sports cars on sale today.

I would like to point out, however, that the V8 is the upgrade motor – the base K900 is offered with a 3.8-litre V6 that produces 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque. While I have tried that motor in other Kia offerings, I personally think that if you are going to buy a car like the K900, you should spend the extra coin and get the top-of-the-line model.

My tester was the top-of-theline model, which meant it had all the options. Want heated or cooled seats? It had that for the front and the rear passengers. Even the rear seats could recline, and there was a power rear sunshade. The side window shades were manual, however, while in some German competitors, this feature is powered.

My tester also had a heads-up display feature, which worked well and an infotainment system with a BMW iDrive style controller. This feature works quite well, but I found its positioning to be a bit off, so I had to often bend my hand in ways it didn’t enjoy, to work this system. So, KIA has some more work to do.

No complaints about the trizone climate control system – that worked like a charm.

All in all, from a comfort and convenience point of view, the K900 is wonderful. Sure, no car is perfect, but I myself would be happy living with its features on a daily basis.

In my week with this car, whether I was just driving around town or out on the highway, I enjoyed the K900. In fact, the longer the trek, the better, as I would just set the active cruise on, turn control up its premium stereo system, and waft the kilometers away. If you have to be on the road a lot, you want this car. It won’t even break your bank at the pumps either, as it averaged just 11.5 litres/100km in city and highway driving.

It will require some good deal of funds to acquire one though. Base price is $49,995. My loaded tester was just north of $71,000, which is a lot of cash and, as some would say, too much money for a Kia. Most people I spoke to about this car mentioned that as much as they liked the K900, they’d rather spend this sort of money on an Audi or BMW. I would just point out that for this sort of money, the competitors would sell you a smaller car that won’t have as many features as the K900.

I personally liked the K900 so much, that if Kia would offer me one to drive for a year – just as long as I don’t review any other car during this period – I’d ask, “Where do I sign?”
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