2015 Kia K900 V-8
WHAT WE LIKE: The Kia’s old-man-car ride quality, silent interior, and sprawl-out space continue to garner praise from road-trippers. In fact, several logbook comments have zeroed in on what a decent Lincoln the K900 would make. (Oh, but for a Town Car redux.)
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: More than 20,000 miles into this test, the Kia has largely failed to produce any new opinions among the staff. As it was upon its arrival, the K900 remains the go-to long-haul, mile-devouring, multiple-states-in-one-day choice, bar none. Yet in between road trips, it can sit for days at a time. Local duty is hampered by the floaty, imprecise handling that doesn’t lend itself particularly well to the cut-and-thrust of rush-hour commutes. As such, the K900 often gets overlooked as a local choice, especially as summer has arrived and the C/D office welcomes more high-performance short-term test cars.
Other complaints center around the car’s inept traction control, which so decisively kills power during wintery uphill starts on snow and ice that kicking a foot out the door for some Fred Flintstone action may be more conducive to forward motion than matting the gas. And the price, at $66K, still seems steep for something so lacking in luxury-brand cachet. Editor-at-large John Phillips sums it up perfectly: “A $66,000 Kia is as peculiar as a $78,000 Volkswagen Phaeton.” And we all know how the Phaeton experiment worked out—at least in this country.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Unwelcome echoes of the ill-fated Phaeton have been restricted to discussions of price, however, as the K900 has continued to stay nearly trouble-free. At 20,488 miles, we took it to the dealer for a check-engine light and a bent wiper arm (likely the result of a bad car-wash experience), with the first issue being handled under warranty and the arm costing us $45.94. The dash light turned out to be the result of a bad purge valve. Through no fault of the Kia’s, we plunked down $974.62 on a replacement windshield after suffering a large crack at 22,712 miles and another $622.04 to have the rear bumper repainted to address some scrapes of mysterious origin. Of specific note to future or current K900 owners—heads up, LeBron—we’re told the luxury sedan actually includes a period of free maintenance, but for some reason dealerships have made us pay for them ourselves because the car technically belongs to Kia.
WHERE WE WENT: With the majority of its mileage accumulation occurring on the great highways of America, the K900 has visited quite a few far-flung locales since our last update. On one journey we viewed Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Boston through the K900’s windshield, and we’ve also seen non-turnpike sections of Ohio as well as the western and northern reaches of Michigan.