Kia cancels K900 and Cadenza sedans for 2021

Kia confirmed it is discontinuing the K900 full-size sedan and Cadenza large sedan for the 2021 model year, Car and Driver reported Tuesday. The news follows a week after Kia announced a shortened name (Motors was dropped), a new logo, and plans to launch seven electric vehicles in the next few years. 

The low-selling premium sedans victims of the times as much as the success of parent brand Hyundai's launch of the Genesis luxury sub-brand. Positioned as a luxury flagship and touted in marketing campaigns by NBA superstar Lebron James, the K900 launched for 2015, not long before Hyundai spun off Genesis from a luxury sedan to its own brand. The first model launched by Genesis was the G90 full-size sedan. 

2020 Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

Despite selling just 305 K900's in the U.S. last year, according to Car and Driver, the 2020 Kia K900 ranked high for its loaded feature set that included a 20-way adjustable driver seat, nappa leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, as well as a huge rear seating area, all for a starting price just over $60,000. But as the market turned away from sedans to SUVs, and wasn't quite ready to embrace the South Korean automaker for its luxury offerings, sales of the K900 stalled while SUVs such as the tony Kia Telluride skyrocketed.

Meanwhile, the Genesis G90 sold nearly seven times more than the K900 last year. The 2021 Genesis GV80, which is the brand's first SUV and was delayed due to the pandemic sold 1,459 units in the month of December, according to Automotive News, which nearly topped the number of G90s sold all year. 

2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza

2020 Kia Cadenza

The Cadenza sold better than the K900 but at about 1,200 units it wasn't enough to justify its continued existence, even though Kia refreshed it for 2020. The 2020 Kia Cadenza came with a loaded standard feature set that optimized value and roominess in the large sedan, but it wasn't enough to make it relevant. 

Even though the Cadenza and K900 join a long list of sedans (and a couple crossovers) discontinued for 2021, Kia is still committed to stylish but value-oriented smaller sedans. For 2021, Kia redesigned the K5 mid-size sedan formerly known as the Optima, and it still sells the Forte compact sedan and Rio entry-level subcompact sedan and hatchback. The outlier in the lineup now is the Kia Stinger performance sedan. 

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