The Kia K900 has a rather subdued name, especially for Kia, which brands all of its cars here in the US with quite interesting and sophisticated name choices. It is a bit mind boggling why therefore it was deemed appropriate to just leave it at K900? After driving this K900 though, my associations as comparisons go to LS450, S 500, 750 iL…. and suddenly it dawns on me… It does.. It really does compete well with those renowned brand names. It is not just a nicely clad body with a V8.. It really is a solid competitor for the above mentioned… Kudos to Kia!!
The exterior is one of restrained refinement. It has enough of dynamic without being overtly, enough of classic style without being retro, enough Kia without being cheap, enough sophistication that it doesn’t become a misfit. Where I find Hyundai’s attempts at making upper class vehicles lacking in design sophistication up until now, the Kia seems to have struck just the right balance. How difficult must it be to carve out a niche in such renowned competition and come away successfully? Too many companies have proven that even if they hit it close the first time, they are sure to mess it up next time around, but Kia has proven that it has a sustained sense of successful designs for each of it segments.
In that respect I must admit that Lexus has lost all sense of direction over the last couple of years. Their design language seems to make it clear that nobody is really in charge, at least nobody with any sense of esthetics. Their motivation seems to come from the cheap game console driving apps, where they really could not afford to pay for proper design and let some half baked hobbyists have a go, for as little money as possible. And if that was the goal, they really succeeded.
No such thing going on here though. This is ‘just right’ in every sense.
Add to that an interior that is both modern and sophisticated, not tempted by cheap thrills of overly artificial wood everywhere, not of overtly fake metals nor carbon materials. It is just the right materials in the right spot, all of this combined with a build quality that certainly matches the above mentioned renowned players in this segment.
This makes me long to find out what else Kia can do, and of course what Hyundai will start becoming now that Peter Schreyer is also looking over that brand.