At the beginning of the year, Kia announced plans to retire the Cadenza and K900 in the United States due to poor demand. The smaller of the two sedans soldiers on in international markets as the all-new K8 and now the company's flagship car is also getting an update for the markets where it's still available. It's a mid-cycle revision rather than a next-gen model, but the visual changes are quite significant.
Sold at home in South Korea as the K9, the fullsize posh sedan is being previewed in two official images showing the redesigned headlights with a flatter design. The enlarged front grille now with chrome "V" logos extends to meet the lights while the bumper has a cleaner appearance and air ducts at its corners. The rear end shows the KDM-spec K9 facelift with a full-width LED light bar and the license plate moved from the trunk lid to the bumper.
New 19-inch alloy wheels and the updated corporate badge round off the changes on the outside while the interior is also expected to go through a series of changes. The K9 / K900 has only been around for a little over three years, but the South Korean brands are shortening life cycles to keep the products as fresh as possible to make them more competitive against German brands.
Considering Kia is tweaking the names it uses for its latest vehicles, we're wondering whether the updated large sedan will be sold as the K9 in the markets where the car is currently offered as the K900 and Quoris. A full reveal is expected to take place in the coming weeks when we'll discover the technical specifications. For what it's worth, that "4X" badge on the trunk lid is likely reserved for the all-wheel-drive version.
It's refreshing to see Kia is still determined to cater to a gradually shrinking sedan segment, investing in facelifts and next-generation models. Crossovers and SUVs have taken over, but the three-box recipe is still relevant. The updated K9 comes only a few days after Hyundai revised the Grandeur sedan in its domestic market, prior to the next-gen model's arrival planned for 2022.