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First Look: 2010 Kia Cadenza

Like its Korean sibling, Kia is moving up-market.

by on Oct.19, 2009

The production version of the KND-5 concept vehicle, the 2010 Kia Cadenza.

The production version of the KND-5 concept vehicle, the 2010 Kia Cadenza.

There may come a time when we’ll look back and try to remember when Korean cars might have best been described as cheap and cheerful.  These days, the Asian makers are moving decidedly up-market, as this pic of the 2010 Kia Cadenza clearly illustrates.

The other Korean brand, Hyundai, has already stepped up the automotive ladder with its Genesis sedan – winner of this year’s prestigious North American Car of the Year award.  Hyundai plans to press even further into luxury territory with the Equus sedan, planned for launch sometime next year. But those who thought Hyundai’s sibling Kia division would be left to focus on the entry auto market might have to think again.

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The 2010 Kia Cadenza is the production version of the maker’s well-received KND-5 concept vehicle.  We’ll get our first look at the actual sheet metal at the Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Kuwait motor shows, later this year.

The sporty-looking four-door derives its name from from an Italian musical term used to describe an elaborate, ornamental flourish for a concerto or aria.  Kia suggests that helps describe the look of the new Cadenza, with which the Korean carmaker hopes to establish a more distinctive look for the brand, certainly when compared to its earlier attempts to nudge into the entry-luxury market.

The overall theme gives the 2010 Kia Cadenza a high-tech feel, a design direction echoed in its interior, which features a distinctive “floating” dashboard.  An unusual mood lighting strip runs across the length of the instrument panel, providing a warm tone when the doors are first opened.

Among the high-line touches, the 2010 Kia Cadenza will feature a heated steering wheel, auto windshield defogger and heated and cooled seats that also offer adjustable thigh support.

Kia officials have not yet announced pricing or a fixed date for launching the Cadenza in the U.S. market.First Look: 2010 Kia Cadenza

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