2017 Kia Cadenza Limited vs BMW 7 Series

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You might not immediately compare the Kia Cadenza with the BMW 7 Series. But it’s equally true that the higher trim levels of sedans can often rival luxury brands–and no one should write off any model until they know for sure that it doesn’t meet their needs. So let’s see how the Kia Cadenza Limited shapes up against the BMW 7.

2017 Kia Cadenza Limited vs BMW 7 Series

Exterior Styling

There’s nothing gimmicky at all about the 2017 Kia Cadenza, and Kia doesn’t try to make it look more premium by adding lots of superfluous and unwanted chrome either. The Cadenza is a smart, serious, handsome, and refined-looking full-size sedan, and a car you’d be proud to drive or be driven in.

The design of the BMW 7 Series is definitely more conservative and subtle than its predecessors, and it’s a good illustration of not knowing how much we like something until it’s gone. The BMW is obviously a fine-looking car, but the Cadenza just has the edge.


Although the feds at the NHTSA haven’t rated the 2017 Cadenza, the IIHS has and it’s a lot more sparing with its top ratings than the NHTSA is anyway. The Cadenza has the honor of a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS–quite frankly, you can’t get much better than that.

It’s a little disappointing that neither safety ratings agencies have put the BMW 7 Series through their crash testing regimes as yet, but it’s hard to imagine it getting anything other than top marks. If you look at the list of standard safety features, you’ll find everything you might want to see. So, this round is probably a draw, with a tiny edge for the well-rated Cadenza.


You’ll find just a single engine available for the 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited, which is a 3.3-liter V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that develops 290 horsepower. The emphasis is more on refinement than performance in the Cadenza, but it does what it’s supposed to do extremely well.

We would probably only compare the Cadenza Limited with an entry level 7 Series if we were being as fair as possible, but even then, the base engine in the BMW is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that produces 320 horsepower. It’s sportier than the unit in the Cadenza, but it’s also just as refined when you want it to be, so the BMW takes a clear win here.

Features and Equipment

All the stops are pulled out by Kia with the Cadenza Limited. This is the top of the range model when all said and done. You get a premium Harmon Kardon audio system, a head-up display, a world-class infotainment and navigation system, beautiful Nappa leather upholstery, and a whole lot more.

The BMW 7 Series matches the Kia Cadenza with 18-inch alloys, Nappa leather and the like, but it can go above and beyond with options like an Ambient Air Package that ionizes a choice of eight perfumes you just can’t have with the Kia. The base 7 Series and the Cadenza Limited are pretty close to being a match for each other when it comes to standard features. But you have to go up a trim in the BMW for the likes of 19-inch alloys and a head-up display, so give this victory to the Cadenza Limited.

Learn More about the Kia Cadenza

Though the BMW is considered a luxury car–with a luxury pricetag a little over $80K–the Kia Cadenza Limited gives it a true run for its money. Considering the Kia is nearly half the price–close to $45K for the fully loaded version–it makes more sense to go with the Kia. If your goal is the best luxury sedan for the money, without skimping on features or style, then the 2017 Kia Cadenza is clearly the best choice.