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May 2013
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Vehicle Comparison: 2014 Kia Cadenza vs. Lexus ES350
Kia enters new territory and has the competition on edge

Kia has always been a brand that gives buyers more than they expect: more standard features, better value, and an industry-best warranty to name a few. So it’s no wonder that when Kia decided to head into luxury car territory with the 2014 Kia Cadenza, on sale now here at Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware, they continued to exceed expectations, building a car that stands out from every other competitor and even challenge segment stalwarts like the Lexus ES350.
What’s the better value?
The five-passenger 2014 Kia Cadenza starts at an MSRP of $35,100, less than the $36,700 asking price of the 2013 Lexus ES350. The disparity continues when you compare the focus of this article, the Cadenza with Luxury and Technology Package (MSRP $41,900 with destination) to the still more expensive Lexus ES350 with Luxury Package Plus (MSRP $43,470).
More Power
The front-wheel drive 2014 Cadenza is powered by a 3.3-liter GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) V6 that produces a stout 293 hp and 255 lb/ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for the ultimate driving experience. Drivers can expect up to 28 mpg during highway driving. The ES350 uses a less powerful 3.5-liter V6 that puts out only 268 hp and 248 lb/ft of torque through a six-speed automatic without the sportiness of paddle shifters. Even with less giddy-up it can only manage 31 mpg on the highway. The Cadenza also rides on standard 19-inch wheels, among the largest in the segment, and larger than the 17-inchers the ES350 offers as standard.
An Advanced Interior
Inside, the Cadenza offers more overall passenger volume (106.8 cubic feet to 100.1) and holds more cargo (15.9 cubic feet to 15.2) too. The Cadenza has more front headroom and also has over 3.5 inches of increased front legroom. Both the Cadenza with Luxury and Technology Package and ES350 with Luxury Package Plus have an impressive list of standard features, including push-button start with Smart Key, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, driver’s seat and mirror memory, power rear sunshade and navigation systems. In the audio department, the Cadenza utilizes an Infinity audio system and the UVO Voice command system, two features that the ES350 can’t match. Occupants of both models will appreciate the standard premium Nappa leather covering the seats, and while both models offer heated and ventilated front seats, the Cadenza again goes a step further by adding heated rear seats. The Cadenza also gives drivers an extra boost of comfort with a power seat cushion extension and a heated steering wheel, both options that the ES makes available for an extra cost. Other amenities the Cadenza makes standard are a panoramic sunroof, an extra cost option on the ES350, and Xenon HID headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting and power folding outside mirrors, both of which are not even available on the ES350.
Both models are extremely safe. In addition to expected standard safety features like Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Antilock Brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, standard equipment on the respective trims include Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist, Hydrophobic glass for the front side window and a backup warning system. The Cadenza does one up the ES350 with Advanced Smart Cruise Control that automatically adjusts the speed of the Cadenza while you drive and a Lane Departure Warning system that are extra cost options for the Lexus, as well as an Electronic Parking Brake that the Lexus doesn’t offer on any ES350.
Add in the standard 10-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty the Cadenza offers, four-years and 30,000 miles more than the ES350, and you see why spending more doesn’t necessarily mean getting more. Stop by today to see the new 2014 Kia Cadenza for yourself.


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