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Business

March 9, 2014

Kia K900 piles on the luxury

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The VIP package offers a lot for its $6,000 premium, but even stock, the K900’s standard equipment is jaw-dropping. Adaptive LED headlights that adjust to follow the road even when it curves, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, a panoramic roof, park-assist sensors and cameras, blind-spot and lane-departure warnings and Bentley-esque sunshades on the rear and side windows are all included in the base model.

Having spent about six hours in the car, as both a driver and a passenger, if the Kia badging were absent from the steering wheel I would’ve guessed I was driving a Lexus LS460. Its steering is slightly soft, its ride quality confident and comfortable without being especially sporty. If it had been any more quiet, spacious and spa-like, I would’ve been inspired to take a nap.

The rear seat is especially comfort-oriented with terrific leg room and a control panel in the center armrest that can operate the rear window sunshade, turn on the heated seats even move the front passenger seat forward at the touch of a button.

The K900 shares the same basic platform and powertrain as the $61,250 Hyundai Equus, except its overall length is slightly shorter to give the car a more modern stance. Its inside space has, however, manned up with more head and leg room added to the front seats and subtracted from the rear, which is still plenty roomy.

The K900 doesn’t strive for European athleticism, though its 5-liter V-8 offers a satisfying amount of off-the-line performance as it shifts through its eight gears smoothly and automatically. The gear shift can be operated as a semimanual, but the steering wheel lacks paddle shifters.

Like many cars these days, the K900 can be operated in three drive modes — normal, sport and eco — that moderately affect its acceleration and suspension settings. But the true goal of the K900 is comfort and luxury.

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