New 2019 Kia K900 VIP AWD proves old axiom with its second-generation flagship sedan
After stumbling with the debut of the first generation K900 a couple years back, Kia has reengaged and completely reimagined their Flagship Sedan for 2019 proving the old axiom ‘what a difference a generation can make’.
We recently spent a week with a 2019 Kia K900 AWD in and around Austin, Texas. Our test K900 was in a gorgeous Snow White Pearl with a luxurious Sienna Brown interior package.
Our considered view is that the 2019 Kia K900 (second generation) is everything – plus more – that the prior version was not.
From styling to engineering, to convenience to technology and comfort to safety, this flagship sedan can run equally with more well-known German (and other) competitors for upwards of $20,000 less.
Equipped or featured with just about everything short of maybe a Nespresso Coffee Machine or ice-maker – our Kia K900 Luxury AWD had an MSRP of just $59,900. Adding the VIP Package and delivery, it priced at a very reasonable $64,895.
Whether you buy it for personal use or want to be an executive focus shared-ride entrepreneur, the 2019 K900 Luxury AWD with VIP Package would have you touring in high style safely, comfortably and affordably.
The Kia K900 AWD is powered by a 3.3L Twin Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection V6 engine V6 (from the Stinger sport sedan) that produces 365 horsepower with 376 lb.-ft. of torque. The V6 Turbo is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with column mounted paddle shifters.
To improve performance or respond to road conditions, the Drive Mode Selection system offers the driver five choices – Comfort, Eco, Sport, Custom and Smart – that tailor the delivery of power to the fulltime Dynamic Torque Vectoring (DTV) all-wheel drive system.
The rear-biased DTV system uses real time sensors to electronically move power between front and rear wheel sets and also from right to left wheel as needed. Up to 50 percent of torque can be routed to the front wheels and, when in Sport mode, up to 80 percent can go to the rear wheels.
For the record, fuel economy ratings for the K900 are 18/24 mpg city/highway and 21 mpg combined.
Underneath, the smooth yet responsive ride of the K900 AWD is a function of its electronically controlled multilink and dampened suspension system that manages and responds to road conditions and driver inputs – real time, making adjustments as needed.
Other road handling elements include motor driven power steering with a Sport Variable Gear rack, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with 4-piston calipers front and 2-piston calipers rear – augmented by Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and 19-inch alloy wheels with P245/45R19 tires front and P275/40R19 rear.
We particularly like the new – what Kia calls – Quadric pattern signature grille with 176 crisply crafted cells surrounded by a satin chrome finish framed by newly styled lighting housings, A satin chrome finish at the base of the doors continues the theme through to the simple design of the duplex rear light housings while a chrome finished exhaust feature completes the look.
Keys include Duplex LED projection headlights with High Beam Assist, Dynamic Assist low beam headlights, LED Daytime Running Lamps, LED Positioning Lamps and LED rear lamps, Power Heated Folding Side Mirrors with Puddle Lamps, Variable Intermittent Rain Sensing Wipers and Power Sunroof with Sunshade.
The exceptionally quiet cabin of the K900 features premium soft touch materials with real wood trim and subtle contrasting accents. The key feature is the luxury Nappa Leather – with quilting – seating.
Up front, seating is heated and cooled with 20-way power adjustable driver seat and width-adjusting bolsters, 16-way power adjustable passenger seat and multipurpose console.
The rear seating features reclining driver side 12-way power adjustable and passenger side 14-way power adjustable seats – both heated and ventilated, a dual open center console with climate controls, cupholders and storage, multi-directional adjusting headrests and a Front Seat Chauffer Switch to increase legroom on the rear passenger side.
Other premium elements in the rear include power rear and manual side window shades, smartphone Wi-Fi charge pad, LED reading lights, pillar mounted AC vents and under seat heating ducts.
Cabin comfort is further enhanced by seven Pantone ambient light combination choices and the Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control system with cabin air filter and window de-fog system.
Infotainment and Technology
Infotainment Technology in our K900 VIP featured a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with Premium Navigation system, an awesome 900 watt 17-speaker LEXICON QuantumLogic7 with Clar-Fi surround sound audio, SiriusXM Satellite and HD radio, Bluetooth with audio streaming and Android Apple and Apple CarPlay integration.
Supporting technologies included Smart Key with Push-Button Start, multiple charging and USB jacks, wireless smartphone charging front and rear, integrated Wi-Fi modem and UVO luxe embedded telematics connectivity services enabling a vehicle control functions such as remote start and HVAC system operation.
Driver Assist and Safety
Key driver assist features included Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, 12.3-inch instrument cluster TFT color LCD driver information screen, 9.7-inch Customizable Head-Up Display, Surround View Monitor and Driver Attention Warning system.
Keeping the K900 on the road were its Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist using an Advanced Cruise Control feature to monitor lane markings and distance to vehicle ahead to maintain the path.
Other safety or assist elements included Front and Rear Parking Sensors with Park Guide System, Forward Collision Warning with Pedestrian Avoidance, Blind-Spot Collision Warning with Avoidance, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control and Hill Start Assist.
Four features really stood out for us during our weeklong city and Hill Country driving. They were:
Haptic Steering Wheel that, when an unsafe lane change of turn condition is noted, vibrates the wheel to alert the driver of the condition.
Dynamic Assist Low Beam Headlights which adjust front and to the side when turning during night driving to provide a very brightly lit view of the space the vehicle is turning into.
Safe Exit Assist (SAE) system uses vehicle sensors to warn drivers or passengers exiting of nearby potential hazards like cars, pedestrians or bicycles when they go to open a door.
Blind Spot Monitor Left and Right Side utilizes the cameras mounted in the side mirrors to give the driver a lighted view of the area immediately alongside the vehicle when signaling and beginning to make a turn to the left or right.
Of particular note was how that side view was displayed – not on the 12.3-inch surround view display– but on the tachometer display right in front of the driver.
A Final Thought and the 2019 Lineup
Sometimes a single feature says it all for us when we test drive a vehicle. For the Kia K900, it was the design and execution of the power trunk open and close system.
The bright LED lit and spaciously configured trunk has the quietest and smoothest power trunk lid we have ever experienced. You absolutely cannot hear the motor running or the latch as it unlocks and locks. Seriously well engineered, as is the rest of the Kia K900 AWD.
There are just two models (AWD only), the K900 AWD (MSRP $59,900) and K900 VIP AWD for just $4,000 more.
Learn more about the 2019 Kia K900 here: https://www.kia.com/us/en/vehicle/k900/2019