MoneyINC Logo
Years of

Why Was The Kia Cadenza Discontinued?

Kia Cadenza

Kia Cadenza is a full-size sedan produced and launched in 2010 by Kia. The sedan is an improved version and replacement of the Kia Amanti. It touched the US soil in 2013 and has sold more than 1,265 units for Kia models since then till 2020. On the other hand, the K900 recorded only 305 sales. So, when people who wanted to buy Cadenza heard that Kia discontinued its production, it brought mixed reactions. How could a sedan of this status disappear into thin air? Here are some answers.

An overview of Kia Cadenza

The 2020 Kia Cadenza received a refurbishment with a fresh face and new hood, front fascia, and grille pieces. It has full-width taillights, which were part of the refreshed rear. It also had a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, which some users thought was standard. The sedan boasts 365 responsive horsepower, allowing you to cover up to 15,000 miles per year. The remaining Cadenzas in the US showrooms have an MSRP starting at $37,850. The Hyundai Azera's sibling was already canceled after the 2017 model year. According to Motor and Wheels, Kia Cadenza can go up to 200,000 miles before running into mechanical problems. That means if you cover 15,000 miles per year, you can enjoy up to 13 years of service. Nevertheless, it will only serve you for 13 years if you avoid anything that may interfere with its engine and transmission.

Why was Kia Cadenza discontinued?

According to GM Authority, the last batch of Kia Cadenza touched the US soil in 2020. It is no wonder Kia has recalled Cadenza models five times.

  • The first recall was in May 2014 for the 2014 model. The discontinuation began in June that year because some drivers complained about Cadenza's wheels.
  • The second recall was in 2017 for that year's Cadenza, citing faulty brakes and brake vacuum hose
  • The third recall was in March 2021 for 2017, 2018, and 2019 models

Kia announced later in 2020 that they weren't going to manufacture more Cadenzas due to the following reasons:

1. Clients shifting focus to SUVs

Sedans like the Kia Cadenza lack ground clearance and the ability to withstand bad roads, unlike SUVs. Also, they don't have the flexibility to carry more than four people and luggage. Then there's the problem of the driving position that doesn't offer the confidence that SUVs have in traffic. The benefits of owning an SUV outweigh the pitfalls of sedans, affecting their production. In an interview, Kia announced that the reason for Cadenza's discontinuation was the auto industry's shift from full-size sedans to SUVs. Kia saw an opportunity to realign with the industry's request by providing a huge portfolio of utility offerings like Sportage, Sorento, Telluride, and Seltos.

2. Cadenza sold fewer units in 2020

The rise in demand for SUVs affected Cadenza's selling performance. While it served as a rival to sedans like the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, it generated 1,265 in sales in the US in 2020, making it the second-least selling product of Kia, behind the K900.

3. Some Cadenzas lacked some features though they advertised to have one

The last thing any client wants is buying something that doesn't have the features they were looking for, yet the advertisements say otherwise. The Cadenza was supposed to have a cooled driver's seat, but it didn't. Of all the worst years Cadenza had, the 2014 model is the winner. Not only did it have excessive play in the steering wheel, but it also lacked daytime running lights. Consequently, some drivers felt short changed and raised their disappointments in various car review platforms, tainting Cadenza's long-lived reputation. Still, the 2017 model was the best Cadenza ever to live. It had to outperform features, including a good redesign and improved interior technology.

What happens next to the remaining Kia Cadenzas in the showrooms?

According to Kelley Blue Book, Kia doesn't view Cadenza's discontinuation as a measure of defeat. The auto industry keeps evolving, and the sooner you embrace the shift to SUVs, the better chances you have in landing sales and satisfying your clients' needs. As such, Kia doesn't see the need to force more Cadenzas down users' throats, regardless of it being a high-end sedan. However, some drivers don't mind trying out the few K900s and Cadenzas remaining in the showrooms. As is expected, dealers feel anxious about the discontinuation and rush to fill the void with the car manufacturers are currently marketing. They might charge lower prices following the discontinuation.

What next for Kia after the Cadenza's discontinuation

Currently, Kia doesn't find smaller sedans like Cadenza worthy of being on the roads. However, the company will still produce Rio, compact Forte, and the midsize K5 after a significant overhaul for the 2021 model year. Kia's ultra-stylish Stinger will also carry on thanks to the kye updates it received in 2021, including a new turbo engine option. Going by the renaissance Kia faced, it was only a matter of time before they decided to redesign their logo, create alphanumeric model names, and focus on electrification than ever before. As part of the initiative to fill the void Cadenza left, Kia launched the new K8 sedan in its lineup. Unfortunately, the K8 might never touch the US soil, but that doesn't mean you can whisk it away. The K8 made its debut in 2021 and is about 1-inch longer than the outgoing Cadenza, which other countries dubbed the K7. However, it still shares similar features with Cadenza. Kia's primary goal of releasing the K8 into the auto market is to offer premium benefits and more of a sports sedan than the Cadenza. The K8 is a reinforcement of the Cadenza.


All is not lost, even if Cadenza won't return. Kia's focus on premium vehicles hasn't changed. The automaker is currently focusing on bringing all-electric models to the limelight to trigger the production of future electric vehicles. However, don't expect the upcoming sedans to be as large as SUVs. Kia says the new models will have crossover-inspired designs, accentuating high-performance drivability.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

Related Articles

Stay ahead of the curve with our most recent guides and articles on , freshly curated by our diligent editorial team for your immediate perusal.
As featured on:

Wealth Insight!
Subscribe to our Exclusive Newsletter

Dive into the world of wealth and extravagance with Money Inc! Discover stock tips, businesses, luxury items, and travel experiences curated for the affluent observer.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram