Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Kia K900

Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Kia K900

4. Little Quirks

On paper the K900 checks all the right boxes from features, performance and pricing standpoints. It’s a remarkable facsimile of a true luxury flagship. However, when you cross the 50-grand mark the little things start to count and this is where the K900 loses a bit of its luster.

The car’s interior is certainly good, great even, but it just doesn’t feel quite as nice as what you’d find in an Audi A8 for instance. It’s hard to quantify the differences because they’re so subtle, but it feels like something was lost in translation, like engineers worked off a checklist rather than aiming to produce a cohesive product.

2015-Kia-K900-24.jpgTake the digital gauges for instance. The frame rate seems to be a bit off, especially with the fast-moving tachometer needle. It appears to jump or stutter as it moves, which is a bit odd. It’s not immediately obvious but it’s there. Also, glare constantly obstructs your view of the instruments and it doesn’t seem to matter which direction the sun is shining.

Design-wise the K900 is something of a mixed bag. Kia’s styling that works so well on smaller vehicles like the Optima sedan doesn’t seem to scale up. The K900 is pretty generic, with a puffy-looking front. Nonspecific fender vents punctuate the mostly unadorned sides, which flow into a pretty forgettable rear. There’s a bit of Maserati here, a touch of Audi there and some 7 Series thrown in for good measure.

In a lot of ways the Kia K900 is Korean ersatz luxury; it’s like an LG dishwasher that plays a needless little jingle when it’s finished with a cycle; it’s like a Samsung smartphone that’s jam-packed with cutting-edge features (many of which never get used) yet it’s wrapped in a chintzy plastic case.