2015 Kia K900

2015 Kia K900

Episode 3339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Kia brand has certainly come a long way in a relatively short time here in America. Particularly in the last few years where it has been pushing the boundaries of what people expect from a Korean car maker. And the boundary pushing continues as the brand launches an all-new rear-drive premium luxury sedan, the K900. So it’s a Kia that’s all dressed up. But, does the K900 have anywhere to go?

The 2015 Kia K900 is not a new car, just new to us; an Americanized version of the K9 already sold in Korea. It’s based on the current generation Hyundai Genesis/Equus chassis, and much like what those cars have done for Hyundai, Kia is looking for the K900 to push their brand up-market, ditching the entry level tag once and for all.

Our first impressions are that it indeed has all of the necessary pieces for entry into the rear-drive luxury sedan ranks. Suspension tuning is unique to the K900 and noticeably sportier than the Hyundai sedans; but remains luxury-minded, as it still tends to float around corners more than swim through them. Think more Lexus than BMW.

The interior is perhaps the most important nut to crack if you want to join the luxury car league; and as for the K900’s confines… Sophisticated? Yes. Opulent? No. 

The leather and wood materials are the real deal, as they should be. There’s a 12-inch configurable TFT IP screen, available Head Up Display, and a standard 17-speaker, 900-watt Lexicon audio system. In a nod to its perceived German competition, there’s a console mounted central controller for the center stack’s 9-inch infotainment screen.

Driver comfort was obviously a priority as front seats are very plush, with plenty of fine tuning adjustments. There’s good room in the back seat for stretching out. That’s actually the best place to take in the K900’s luxury experience; especially if you opt for the VIP package, which includes seat recline and ventilation. Trunk space is fittingly capricious at 15.9 cubic-ft, and all doors close with a very solid sounding luxury car thump.

A high-class appealing exterior design, while not quite as important as the interior, is pretty imperative if you plan on impressing your friends and neighbors.

And here we think the K900 falls a little short. The looks are almost a direct copy of the front-drive Cadenza. Proportions appear more muscle car than elegant luxury sedan with a raked stance accompanying its 119.9-inch wheelbase, some brawny rear fenders, and over 16½-feet of overall length. 19-inch wheels and LED headlights are standard on V8 models. 

That V8 is from the Genesis: a 5.0-liter 420-horse unit with 376 lb-ft. of torque. A 3.8-liter V6 comes later. However, unlike most large prestige sedans, all-wheel-drive will not be. Both engines connect to an 8-speed automatic transmission with Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. 

With Sport mode engaged our K900 responded with a healthy grunt and a romp to 60 in a really decent 6.0–seconds. From there, this rear-drive Kia gets down the track smoothly; with both power delivery and shift quality worthy of a luxury car. The full ¼-mile pass took 14.5-seconds at 101 miles-per-hour.

Handling is clearly in the luxury car stratosphere with a plush feel that encourages relaxation more than aggression. Both front and rear suspensions are multi-link. But, as expected are more capable at soaking up road imperfections than dealing out grip. Steering feel is also lacking. On the other hand, braking performance was very good for a 45-hundred pound luxury cruiser with panic stops from 60 averaging 123-feet. 

A flagship sedan needs to showcase modern safety systems, and the K900 checks a lot of the boxes with Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Surround View Monitor, and Blind Spot Detection, all standard with the V8. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings come in at 15-City, 23-Highway, and 18-Combined using “natch”, Premium gas.

While Kia has unquestionably aimed high with this car, it’s still the “7-Series package for a 5-Series price” value proposition that is its biggest appeal. Base V8 models start at $60,400. Now, for those of you that can’t stomach shelling out that much for a Kia, the forthcoming V6 K900 will have fewer features and should sticker for at least 5-grand less.

So, is there really a place for the 2015 Kia K900? Yes, well sort of. It’s a great car and even greater value. We’re just not sure who’s going to buy it as it may only appeal to those with stealth wealth. And, maybe a prime example of just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. 

Specifications

  • Torque: 376 lb-ft.
  • Horsepower: 420
  • Engine: 5.0-liter
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.5 seconds @ 101 mph
  • EPA: 15 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 4,000

It’s hard to believe that fall is creeping upon us. But should some weekend leaf peeping be on the agenda, our 2015 Kia K900 will be a great way to take in the changing colors. As this luxury minded full-sizer is certainly a new shade of car from the changing Kia brand here in the U.S. 

In two months, we’ve quickly racked up 4,000 miles and found that while the K’s 5.0-liter V8 produces great power, it does hesitate a bit off the line before things kick in with earnest. 

It’s also thirsty as you might expect, though our 19.1 miles-per-gallon average of Premium is one better than the Government’s Combined rating. 

Finally, our drivers have nothing but praise for the great interior and the smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, making the K… A.O.K. so far. 

Mileage: 14,000

Things continue to progress smoothly with our most luxurious long-termer, the 2015 Kia K900. 

The 5.0-liter V8 and 8-speed automatic dynamic duo has so far delivered a respectable 19.7 miles-per-gallon of Premium, over the last 14,000-miles and 6-months.  

While our log book continues with mostly praise for the K900, this latest period has revealed a few quirks.

First of all, the rain sensing intermittent windshield wipers seem to have a hard time sensing when they’re actually needed. And secondly, we’re starting to hear some driveline clunks at lower speeds, mostly right after a cold start. 

But aggressive water clearing and questionable noises aside; we still love the effortless cruising, easy to use controls, and jammin’ stereo system that make our daily commutes a high society joy, particularly when we put things in Sport Mode and eliminate the slow wallowing steering feel.  

Being a rarity on public roads, the K900 still has the power to attract a crowd, and to surprise them when you tell them it’s a Kia. 

And most are just as impressed as we’ve been with the level of interior quality and luxury demeanor that it provides.

Mileage: 18,000

So far, our long term road test with this Kia K900 full-size sedan is going great. And like many luxury cars stuck in our mid-Atlantic winter, the K900 recently took a trip south. 

On that 2,800-mile road trip, our staffer came away very impressed with Kia’s first true foray into the luxury market. 

The K900’s ride was smooth and relaxed throughout; and the amount of space and comfort in the back seat was enough to make the front seaters jealous.

The navigation system worked well, and there was room enough for a family of 4’s luggage behind the power operated trunk lid. 

Fuel economy has stayed fairly steady over the last 7-months and 18,000-miles, now at 19.7 miles-per-gallon of Premium; not terrible for a powerful feeling 5.0-liter V8. The 8-speed automatic transmission certainly helps too…

Mileage: 23,000

Rollin’ in our 5-point-0, the Kia edition, in our classy K900; has been a mostly positive experience. With equal amounts of V8 power and A+ posh being delivered from this King of Kias. 

The odometer now reads 23,000-miles, and mileage from that 5.0-liter with 8-speed automatic, has crept up a bit to 19.9 miles-per-gallon of Premium.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses however; as we’ve had some glitches with the radio quitting temporarily; and at times, with a hyper-sensitive blind spot monitor. Both of which seem to have mitigated themselves before a trip to the dealer was necessary. 

Mileage: 27,000

How to wrap up 12 months’ worth of luxury in 1-minute? Well for starters, you talk about what a pleasure it was putting 27,000-miles of comfy cruising on our long-term 2015 Kia K900. 

As a flagship to show the brand’s capabilities, it is without question a big success. Sales have been another story; luxury buyers are a tough nut to crack, tending to stick with brands that carry the highest cache for their cash, rather than the most bang for the buck.

And while the merits of trickle-down economics can be argued about all day long, the luxury feel that has trickled down from the K900 into this 2016 Sorento is proof of that, in the car world at least, it’s a good thing.  We’ll find out just how good over the next year. 

Mileage: 26,000

While luxury comes in many shapes and sizes; more often than not, it’s big in size and bold in shape. That’s our long-term Kia K900.

You may not know what it is when you see it, but it won’t be denied, as the K900 always turns heads followed by, “that’s a Kia?”   

Over the last 12–months and 26,000-miles, we’ve subjected this luxury liner to everything from weddings to family vacations. But hey, wait a minute; this clearly isn’t a traditional family four-door.   

That’s obvious by the ultra-plush interior, limo-like rear seat, and the smooth, powerful V8 engine.  

Fuel economy is steady at 19.9 miles-per-gallon of Premium, and there are no mechanical issues. 

The K900 fully delivers as a flagship Kia, fully displaying what this once upstart brand is now capable of.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!

While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.

It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.

This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge

It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.

That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.

It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.

With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.

We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.

Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.

The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.

Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.

Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.

For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.

Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.5-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 670
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph