Chicago Auto Show 2020

Refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza gets refined features, luxe accommodations

Kia has refreshed the Cadenza for the 2020 model year. It will arrive at dealerships soon.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia continues to surprise with products that highlight the sleek exterior and high-quality interiors the company is capable of producing and selling for budget-friendly rates. The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza is no exception, delivering new design elements, advanced technology, and available convenience features.

The refresh of the Cadenza falls into familiar territory. There's a redesigned hood and grille with deeper vertical fascia. It has standard multi-lens LED headlights and redesigned LED daytime running lights. The Cadena's new lower front fascia has integrated turn signals while the rear and trunk lid are also redesigned and features new LED combination taillights.

2020 Kia Cadenza The 2020 Cadenza features a new front end design.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the Cadeza redesigned standard 18-inch wheels and available 19-inchers.

Despite all the exterior changes, the most impactful enhancements for the 2020 model year come on the inside. The car's dashboard and instrument cluster are new. Audio controls have been relocated to sit above the climate controls. It has a new standard 4.2-inch screen in the instrument panel, 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen, three additional charging ports, enhanced wireless charging, Smart Key with remote start, and Bluetooth connectivity. Ambient LED mood lighting is available in the Limited trim level.

Kia will offer the Cadenza with two Nappa leather trimmed seat colors: Saddle Brown and Gray. Limited models have quilted bolsters.

The Cadenza comes standard with Sensor Fusion, a suite of safety and driver assistance technology that includes forward collision warning, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and high beam assist. Blind spot monitoring and assist, lane change assist, and Safe Exit Assist are also standard.

Kia has installed Highway Driving Assist, which uses federal highway speed limit information to automatically adjust vehicle speed to be within the posted speed limit, and Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, uses navigation data to lower the vehicle's speed proactively before upcoming curves in every Cadeza.

2020 Kia Cadeza The 2020 Cadenza is more luxe than in previous model years.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Under the hood of the Cadenza is a 3.3-liter V6 that achieves a satisfying 290 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Kia has made enhancements to the 2020 model to help reduce noise, vibration, and harshness including redesigned shock valves and larger rear dampers.

2020 Kia Cadenzaza Kia has kept the engine in the Cadenza the same for the 2020 model year.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The large car will be offered in Technology and Limited trim levels when it goes on sale later this year. Last year, the car was also offered in a Premium grade but that has been eliminated for the new model year.

Kia has elongated the look of the Sorento with the redesign.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

With the design of the 2020 Kia Telluride and 2021 Kia Seltos firmly in focus, Kia has debuted the 2021 Kia Sorento. Representing the next generation in the three-row SUV's history, the new Sorento is more spacious and efficient than its predecessors.

More than 3 million Sorentos have been sold worldwide since the SUV launched in 2002. The Sorento sits in the automaker's U.S. lineup between the smaller Seltos and Sportage, and below the Telluride.

2021 Kia Sorento Kia has given the model its new interpretation of its signature tiger nose grille.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Its exterior features sharper angles and elongated proportions, riding on a new Kia platform. At the front is Kia's new interpretation of its tiger nose grille, LED daytime running lights, a rectangular air intake, wing-shaped air curtains, and skid plate. The new Sorento's back features vertical tail lamps that wrap around the back end, lower rear bumper, dual tailpipes, and rear skid plate. There's also a subtle spoiler.

The model is more heavily sculpted with a more mature stance than the previous Sorento thanks to a larger body style. The longer and wider Sorento retains elements from previous generations as well with a wide D-pillar, clad wheel arches, and dynamic C-pillar all harkening back to previous models.

Kia has announce that buyers can choose from 10 paint jobs, and the option of 17-, 18-, 19- and, for the first time in the line-up, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Availability may vary by model.

2021 Kia Sorento The rear of the Sorento takes deign notes from the Telluride.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia will offer the Sorento with an electrified powertrain, which will result in lower emissions and higher performance than third-generation models. Kia has publicized that the Sorento will be available in traditional hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, though their availability for the U.S. market is unconfirmed. Kia says that the Sorento Hybrid will be available in select European markets at launch, with others to follow later in 2020. The new Sorento will also be available as a Plug-in Hybrid variant from late in 2020.

The Sorento Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 44.2 kWh electric motor, and six-speed automatic transmission.. That powertrain produces approximately 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That's more powerful than the standard four-cylinder in the 2020 Sorento but less horsepower than buyers would get with the 2020 Sorento with a V6.

A new 2.2-liter four-cylnder diesel power plant is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and unlikely to make its way to the U.S.

Kia has given the Sorento a new Terrain Mode as one if it's drive modes. The mode uses the SUV's available all-wheel drive system to distribute torque as needed to all four wheels and adapts transmission shift times to help the vehicle traverse tough conditions including mud, snow and sand.

2021 Kia Sorento The Sorento adds a new drive mode to the equation that allows for the model to traverse sand, snow, and mud with ease.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Its interior heightens the appeal with fresh design and a level of luxury that brings the Sorento to a near-premium offering. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12.3-inch driver instrument display paired with a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen and navigation system is available. The list of available features also includes a mood lighting system, wireless charging pad, and Bose surround sound system.

There's two USB ports up front and the ability for two devices to simultaneously connect to the car's Bluetooth system. Two USB charging sockets are integrated into the backs of the two front seats, with a third found at the rear of the front-row center console. Both third-row passengers also have their own charging ports.

Premium appointments are available in the SUV include metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Kia has announced that in Europe, the Sorento will be offered to buyers with a choice of black cloth, leather (grey or black single-tone, or black-and-grey two-tone), or black quilted Nappa leather. It's likely that it will be offered with similar options in the U.S.

2021 Kia Sorento Kia has given the Sorento an entirely new in-cabin design with model features and a fresh look.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The hybrid model keeps its battery below the floor, allowing for a spacious cabin that retains its dimensions without restricting cargo space or headroom. In fact, there's more head-, leg-, and shoulder-room in this model. Kia brags that the seven-seat Sorento has 32 percent more cargo space in this new generation than in the last, as well as more legroom for first- and second-row occupants, and more headroom for third-row riders.

There is also a new grab handle built into the interior trim inside the C-pillar, giving third-row passengers something to hold on to as they climb aboard. Third-row passengers also have access to a newly incorporated cupholder and smartphone tray.

The 2021 Kia Sorento is available to be equipped with a range of safety and driver assistance technology: forward collision avoidance and assist with cyclist and pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring and assist, surround view monitoring, speed limit assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, safe exit, navigation-based cruise control, lane follow assist, driver attention warning, highway driving assist, rear view monitor, and rear cross traffic assist.

2021 Kia Sorento A 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen is available in the new model.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the SUV the same smart park technology that is in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.

The 2021 Kia Sorento will be produced alongside the Kia Telluride at Kia's West Point, Georgia plant as well as in Korea.

Pricing is expected to remain similar to the 2020 model. The 2020 Kia Sorento starts at $26,990 and tops out near $42,000.

The adventure-ready Kia Seltos has debuted to a long list of accolades.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

If you think the 2021 Kia Seltos has familiar looks, you're right. This all-new compact crossover has been crafted with the DNA of Kia's full-sized 2020 Telluride SUV. That's good news because the award-winning Telluride was lauded not only for its handsome looks, but also for its smart engineering and notable collection of standard features. Seltos is endowed with a similar set of attributes in a smaller footprint. It slots between Kia's Soul and Sportage.

Kia calls the new model "rugged, refined, and right-sized" and is targeting singles and couples from Gen X, Gen Y, and Boomer demographics who are seeking a mainstream utilitarian vehicle that is suitable for Costco runs and capable for modest forays into the backcountry.

2021 Kia Seltos Seltos is designed for adventuring but not true off-roading. Goats not included.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Seltos is available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, with a choice of two powertrains and six trims. It comes with Kia's industry-leading warranty.

The Korean automaker offers a clever value proposition for its based-priced Seltos model that retails for $21,990 (plus $1,120 for destination); buyers can choose the LX trim with less equipment and standard all-wheel drive or the S trim with more equipment and front-wheel drive; both are powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter engine. All other models are offered with the available AWD and a choice of the 1.6-liter or a turbocharged 2.0-liter; the top-of-the-line SX Turbo starts at $27,890.

Kia says Seltos, "punches above its class." Its styling, safety features, and wide array of technologies and comfort and convenience features give it the look and feel of a more premium vehicle than its low price point would suggest it is.

2021 Kia Seltos The interior of the Seltos is more refined than the one in the Soul.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Standard equipment includes an 8-inch color touchscreen, AM/FM/MP3 with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice recognition, drive modes, hill start assist, downhill brake control, traction control, automatic cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, six airbags, alloy wheels, driver's seat height adjuster, heated privacy glass at the rear side and tailgate, and two-step reclining rear seats.

A wide array of trim-specific and optional equipment is on board or available. Some highlights include:

  • 10-way power-adjustable seat with lumbar/heated front seats/leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob;
  • 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen (standard on SX trim level) with satellite radio, UVO telematics, navigation and split-screen display;
  • 8-speaker Bose premium sound system (first time in a Kia), with six color themes that echo the sound-connected mood lighting and change color and intensity based on volume level;
  • 12-volt power outlet, USB charging ports front and rear, and wireless charging;
  • Kia Drive Wise", a suite of advanced driver-assistance systems that brings collision warning, automatic emergency braking, driver monitoring system, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning; pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane-keeping and rear occupant alert.

Seltos sits upright at slightly over five feet tall and stretches to 172 inches in length. A pleasant blend of design attributes shape the exterior with robust and rugged cues comingled to upscale nuances. Kia's tiger nose honeycomb grille is detailed with diamond-like accents, while an aggressive lower front bumper and raked approach angle embolden the front. Skid plates lend a playful, off-road-ready attitude.

2021 Kia Seltos The Seltos's design makes it look road-ready.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The rear emphasizes its panache and power with sculpted dual exhaust pipes connected by a chrome trim and a chrome garnish that ties the tail lamps together. Most versions have projector beam headlights mounted between upper LED running lights and turn signals, and lower fog lights. Uplevel trims sport LED bi-function multi-focus reflector headlights.

Sofina leatherette either trims or covers the seats of the attractive and well-lit cabin that has good ergonomics for seating and controls; the easily-accessible infotainment system is positioned high on the dashboard. Seltos has more interior room than most rivals, says Kia; it's suited for four adults or three small-statured riders in the rear can bring the total to five. An adjustable luggage board in the rear cargo area expands stowage. Manual seats are standard in the base model, which is pretty normal for this size vehicle. Automatic seats are available in higher trims.

2021 Kia Seltos Kia has appointed the Seltos very well for its price point.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a continuously variable transmission, while the available 1.6-liter turbo-four gets 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque geared by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Drive modes allow for normal, smart (eco) and sport motoring; all-wheel-drive versions have a locking center differential that provides enhanced traction and torque vectoring for dirt or slick surfaces and improved handling for treacherous weather. Fuel economy ranges between 25 and 27 mpg city, 30 and 31 highway, and 27 and 29 combined, depending on the drivetrain.

On the road, the compact ute has a mannered ride and brings punchy performance with the turbo engine and dual-clutch transmission, when the throttle is pushed and sport mode is engaged. The SX trim offers good cornering grip, a responsive suspension, linear steering, and efficient brakes. An off-pavement track provided the opportunity to take note of the crossover's 7.2 inches of ground clearance and the impressive 28-degree approach angle. Although Seltos is not an authentic off-roader meant for extreme motoring, it has an impressive set-up for weekend adventures and wilderness forays.

2021 Kia Seltos The car has many design characteristics of the Kia Telluride.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Seltos enters the SUV market as an immediate contender. Kia is riding high on the success of Telluride and producing a small, well-appointed SUV with similar styling that executes the mission it was made for well should be a recipe for success.

The 2021 Kia Seltos starts at $21,990 and tops out just below $28,000. That pricing is similar to the Hyundai Kona, which is arguably its closest rival.