It seems the 2014 Kia Cadenza is our Four Seasons car of choice when it comes to long road trips. Almost immediately after the Cadenza returned from Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, associate web editor Joey Capparella took it back down south to Nashville for his little brother’s high school graduation, along with his aunt, uncle, his cousin, and a German exchange student living with his extended family. “In addition to everyone’s suitcases, we easily stuffed several dozen homemade cupcakes, brownies, and cookies for the graduation party into the trunk,” he reported.

Sounds scrumptious, buddy. With dessert in the trunk, his aunt, his cousin, and the German exchange student slid into the back seat. “It isn’t so bad,” they all said (one in German). The 2014 Kia Cadenza has a nearly flat floor and a middle-seat backrest that makes the second row comfortable even for three. It’s made even more livable by the large panoramic sunroof that gives the rear compartment a very airy feel.

The sunroof is one of our 2014 Kia Cadenza’s best premium features, of which it has many. “This fully loaded Cadenza sort of reminds me of a Lexus sedan from the late ‘90s or early 2000s, when the interiors were flawlessly built but before they became overwrought,” says Capparella. “It’s well-optioned, comfortable, and has a clean design.”

His praise ended, as it has with many other editors, when it came to the powertrain. “The engine isn’t very responsive in the lower rev range, and the six-speed automatic is hesitant to downshift,” he noted. “An engine with all the power at the top end just doesn’t fit this car.” He wrapped up with, “The Cadenza doesn’t have a standout personality, but it’s a high-quality product that can comfortably waft along I-75.”

All of that wafting meant our Cadenza needed its second factory-scheduled service. An oil change and a tire rotation set us back $57.36. No other service bulletins came up during our visit, but we later saw that our car could be part of a recently posted recall. It applies to 2014 Kia Cadenza models with 19-inch aluminum wheels, which ours has. The wheels can “fracture from impacts such as large, deep potholes” and said fracture “could cause the circular rim to separate.” Yikes. We called Kia’s customer service hotline, and, sure enough, our Cadenza is affected. Road trips will be put on hold while the Cadenza heads into service.

BODY STYLE4-door sedan

ACCOMMODATION5-passenger

CONSTRUCTIONSteel unibody

BASE PRICE (WITH DEST.)$35,900

AS TESTED$41,950

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