2015 Kia K900 V-8 Long-Term Update 4

Conservative Exterior Design Excellence

Zach Gale
Nov 6, 2014
Photographers: Robin Trajano
Despite its fade-into-the-background silver paint, the 2015 Kia K900 V-8 still attracts attention. Every few weeks, someone will ask me about the car and, yes, express surprise or admiration about the fact that it's a Kia. While I have minor issues with the K900 V-8's performance when matched against its more expensive competition, Kia did a great job with the exterior design.
Now that I've spent a few months living with the K900, I can tell you the long LED light pipes in the headlights still impress me at night, even if similar design details can be found all over the new-car market. The long light strips really work with the K900's 200.6-inch length, but I will never get used to the fake side vents. Those 19-inch chrome wheels look fantastic, though I probably would have matched them against the white paint, a color that better contrasts with the black roof our car has.
Parking the Kia K900 near a new Hyundai Equus in a parking lot recently presented a rare, real-world opportunity for comparison. The mechanically related Hyundai uses its extra 2.5 inches of length well, with a rear quarter window making the most of that presence and a beautiful character line swooping up from the middle of the rear doors. Down to the cars' multi-spoke wheels, I found the Hyundai to be slightly more attractive than the Kia, but since I absolutely can't stand the Equus' front grille, the win goes to the Kia.
Photo 2/15   |   2015 Kia K900 V 8 Side Profile
If the Kia K900 didn't have badges, most consumers would have trouble matching the car with the brand -- and that's great for Kia. As a stately and conservative flagship luxury sedan, the K900 presents itself well. What distinguishes the car's exterior design from most other options in its segment -- for better or worse -- is the way the rear windshield gently meets the trunklid. The glass-to-sheetmetal transition is especially smooth, and over the last few months I've come to appreciate that detail.
The design of the LED taillights at night is a plus, as well -- this is no BMW 7 Series copy, despite slight similarities from behind. The well-proportioned Kia gives off a suitably premium appeal everywhere you look, except maybe the showy side-view mirror LEDs and side vents. And if flagship luxury sedan buyers are honest, they'll admit that vanity is a big part of the buying decision.
It's worth repeating that Kia isn't selling many K900s, which makes it one of the most exclusive cars in its class. Combine that exclusivity with a solid, luxury sedan exterior design, and I can see why some buyers might look beyond its shortcomings and drive this rolling brand-building advertisement.
More on our long-term Kia K900 V-8 here:
Photo 3/15   |   2015 Kia K900 V 8 Nose To Nose

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