Kia K900 Ends Its US Run

Kia’s flagship full-size rear-wheel-drive sedan finally runs aground in the US market.

1 month ago
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Jason Fogelson
Managing Editor

The Kia K900 will be discontinued for the 2021 model year, according to a Kia Motors America spokesperson. The flagship full-size sedan, which has been sold in the United States since 2014, will not be replaced in the lineup.

“An important part of our growth as a brand is our ability to understand market conditions and recognize our customers’ needs,” said Kia in an emailed response to CarExpert’s inquiries about the K900. “To that end, as the auto industry shifts its focus from full-size sedans to SUVs, Kia is poised to succeed with a robust range of utility offerings.” 

Kia’s 2021 lineup includes the Rio, Forte, K5, Stinger, and Cadenza sedans, the Rio 5-door hatchback, the Sedona minivan, and the Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Niro, Sorento, and Telluride crossover SUVs. The Telluride appears poised to take the flagship position in the Kia lineup.

While the K900’s departure may be lamented by Kia enthusiasts – and we’ve genuinely liked the K900 at CarExpert – US sales have never been overwhelming. After launching with 1,330 sales in 2014 and peaking at 2,524 in 2015, deliveries have plummeted to below 400 units per year since 2018 with just 305 examples sold in the 2000 calendar year. The Cadenza did not fare much better last year, with just 1,265 sedans sold, which leads us to question its future.

2020 Kia K900

The K900 began life as a rear-wheel-drive sedan built on the same platform as the Hyundai Equus and Hyundai Genesis. In South Korea, where the K900 is built, it is known as the “K9,” a name which was changed in the US to avoid the obvious dog jokes (“K9” = “canine”). In its first generation in the US (2014 – 2018), it used a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 5.0-liter V8 engine (420 hp/376 lb-ft of torque), and came with near-luxury appointments. In its second-generation (2019 – 2020), K900 rode on a longer wheelbase (122.2 inches, up 3 inches) and came with a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (365 hp/376 lb-ft of torque). The 2015 Kia K900 originally listed for $54,500 – $59,900, while the 2020 K900 starts at $59,900. 

2020 Kia K900

If you are looking for a more accurate idea of pricing, you can build and price a K900 on Kia’s official web site.

WHY THIS MATTERS

As the consumer market shifts ever more toward crossovers and SUVs, traditional sedans are disappearing from new car showrooms at an alarming pace. At first, we believed this was a temporary trend to be reversed with a pendulum shift, but we now believe the traditional sedan is an endangered species. If you’re thinking of buying a new sedan, don’t wait too long, or your favorites might be gone. If you’re a buyer who likes to swap out cars every few years, be careful about investing in a new sedan, because other consumers are showing a decided lack of interest in the current crop – which will lead to lower resale values in the near future.

2020 Kia K900

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