What’s New: The Kia K900, the brand’s flagship, is all-new to the Korean brand. It’s based-off the same platform as its sibling, the Hyundai Equus.
Price Point: $50,000 for a six-cylinder and upwards of $65,000 for the fully loaded eight-cylinder.
First Impression: The K900 is the brand’s first luxury vehicle. The exterior styling follows the league of luxury makes such as BMW and Mercedes in that all of the sedans in the lineup look similar. Kia follows the same design strategy of both makes we noted in that the Kia Forte sedan, the Kia Cadenza and the Kia K900 all look like they are from the same lineage.
Now while the vehicle offers many of the driver-oriented luxury accouterments found in many of its competitors like GM’s heads-up display and a BMW-like electronic shift gear selector, we especially enjoyed the time we spent in the rear of the Kia K900 with the added legroom, the side window sunshades and the power partially reclining rear seats, as we were being chauffeured on an extended trip to the airport.
Verdict: We’re looking forward to spending more time behind the wheel of the vehicle once it arrives in the press fleet, when we’re able to conduct a thorough review.
Our initial concern is that with the Kia Cadenza just hitting dealerships less than a year ago, commanding a price tag, before discounts, that expands from $35,000 to slightly over $40,000, when fully optioned, we’re not sure how many customers are ready to make the leap from $50,000 to $65,000 with the brand’s halo vehicle, the K900.
So, while Kia has not released their sales projections, we project the automaker could achieve upwards of 2,000 to 2,500 sales per year. Just as a reference source, Hyundai sold approximately 3,500 Equus last year.
With the K900, Kia’s executives acknowledge that the vehicle is definitely going after those luxury buyers who are looking for something that’s different from what everyone else is driving. Added to that, our thoughts are that the buyers for this vehicle are not concerned about the prestige factor or the ‘snob effect’ of what comes with owning an Audi, a BMW or a Lexus.
Well, with Hyundai’s success in the segment, we believe Kia has an opportunity to prove that it’s a worthy player. Ironically, VW tried the same strategy a years ago and decided to drop their pursuit to move into the luxury realm, leaving that for their sister brand – Audi. However, rumor has it that VW could be making another attempt in going after the luxury segment again.
Competition: Kia’s marketing strategy is to use a two-prong approach, meaning they are going after customers slotted between the flagship vehicle like the BMW 7-Series and the midsize vehicle like the BMW 5-Series.
Availability: The automaker has decided to use a staggered approach to launch this vehicle in the U. S. Initially, the vehicle will be available on the West Coast and the South, while expanding to other areas thereafter. Check with your local Kia dealership for arrival the arrival date in your area.
About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is the editor of JeffCars.com, an educational car-buying website for women and minorities, offering new-car pricing, a car payment calculator, new car reviews, used car resources and the latest industry news. Follow Jeff @ twitter/JeffCars.