Just in: Luxurious Kia Cadenza proves to have legs

Some of us jokingly refer to this car as the "Credenza." Which, in case you didn't know, Merriam-Webster describes a credenza as a "sideboard, buffet, or bookcase patterned after a Renaissance credence; especially one without legs."

We're fairly sure this new Kia has legs, especially since it's the most luxurious model the company has produced since the long-dead Amanti. Of the 2004 Amanti, we said it "... was about the worst-handling passenger car we'd tested recently." Translation: When it came to dancing, the Amanti had no legs.

Happily, the new Cadenza is much more tied-down. And it's a much nicer car.

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Kia went the luxury route with this model, filling it full of mostly upscale standard features, such as heated leather seats, keyless starting, navigation, and a rear camera. We recently bought one for our test program, loaded with options such as a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, and heated rear seats. Bottom line: $39,030. Yes, that is a hefty price for a Kia, but the Credenza makes it feel like a solid value.

First impressions are that it's very roomy inside and delivers a civilized ride. Unlike with some competitors, here, drivers are treated to fairly simple controls. The 293-hp, 3.3-liter V6 and six-speed transmission shared with the Hyundai Azera are more than up to the task.

We'll know more as we pile the miles on, but it is a safe guess that it will prove to be a more engaging dance partner than its predecessor.

For further impressions, check out our first drive video below.

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