The Cadenza had a rough 2019 when sales fell to just 1,630 units (compared to 4,507 units in 2018), but Kia hopes demand will bounce back with the midsize sedan's refresh. The revised model actually made its debut back in June last year when the K7 was introduced in domestic market South Korea, but it's only now the Cadenza is getting the revisions in North America.
Entering its fourth model year, the stylish sedan comes with a redesigned front fascia with a new hood and grille. The standard LED headlights benefit from revised daytime running lights, but it's the taillights that catch all the attention as there's now a full-width strip on the trunk lid to make the Cadenza look more imposing. The rear bumper has also been subjected to a few changes, and Kia has redesigned the standard 18-inch alloys. At an additional cost, a larger 19-inch set can be specified.
There are more changes once you hop inside the cabin where the 4.2-inch digital driver's display is new, as is the standard 12.3-inch touchscreen of the infotainment system. Go for the Limited model and the Cadenza comes with new multi-color LED ambient lighting enabling a cozy atmosphere at night. Kia has installed three extra USB charging ports so that your smart device never runs out of juice. Speaking of which, the wireless fast-charger has been upgraded for those who are keen on avoiding the hassle of using charging cables.
Kia hasn't fiddled with the engine, so the 3.3-liter V6 soldiers on with 290 horsepower and 253 pound-feet (343 Newton-meters) of torque channeled to the front axle through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engineers have made some changes underneath the skin by installing reinforced rear sub-frame cross members and resonator wheels to reduce NVH levels. For the same purpose, there are larger rear dampers and redesigned shock valves.
One last notable change brought by the model year transition is the more generous array of standard safety kit bundled into what Kia calls Drive Wise. There's now everything from forward-collision warning and collision-avoidance assist to smart cruise control and high-beam assist. In addition, the 2020 Cadenza's Smart Wise also has blind spot and lane-following assist, while the highway driving assist will automatically adjust the car's speed based on the federal highway speed limits.
Going on sale later this year, the 2020 Kia Cadenza will only be available in Technology and Limited trim levels as the Premium model has been removed from the lineup. Pricing details will be disclosed closer to launch.