Kia Cadenza (2009) first official pictures

Published: 19 October 2009

Kia has unveiled its latest push into markets once dominated by European brands - a 5-series rival named Cadenza.

That looks familiar...

Observant readers may notice more than a little Saab 9-5 at the front, while the side view hints at 3-series and Alfa 159-esque profiling as you follow the lines toward the rear of the car. The European theme even extends to the name: Cadenza is derived from an Italian musical term loosely meaning 'the elaborate flourish of a concerto'. Bravo.

The Cadenza is based on Kia's VG concept as shown at the Seoul auto show in April 2009. Perching on those big wheels with dark tinted windows, this Korean appears to mean business.

So what's new?

The exterior may make people sit up and listen, but it seems the real focus is on your driving experience. Hands a little chilly? The Cadenza has a heated steering wheel. Rump a bit warm? Fear not: ventilated seats feature too. Step towards the driver's door and you'll trigger a welcoming sequence: a pool of exterior light greets the driver and mood-lighting inside the cabin glows around the floating dashboard.

Although the all-new luxury saloon won't be making an official appearance on UK roads, the Cadenza will be officially released at Middle Eastern motor shows towards the end of 2009.

Will the Kia Cadenza blow my socks off?

No official word yet on engines or prices, although the VG concept sported 3.5 litres of V6, throwing 277 horses through the front wheels.

Kia is steadily becoming an oddball brand with a dash of imagination. Collaboration with Lotus on cars for UK release could mean it is set for a swift hike up the manufacturer’s hierarchy. Only time will tell.

By Gareth Evans

Contributor, historic racer and now running sister title Motor Cycle News's website