The all new K7 is powerful, stylish gentleman

The all new K7 is powerful, stylish gentleman

Kia Motor’s next big thing is the upper-midsize K7 sedan, developed under the motto of “soft charisma.”

And it needs to be “the next big thing” to distinguish itself in the saturated and overheated local midsize sedan market.

This reporter test-drove the car, which has received nearly 500 orders since its January introduction ― a good start to its domestic sales target of 50,000 units this year.

I made a 160-kilometer round trip between W Hotel in Seoul and Ladena Golf Resort in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province.

What grabbed my attention instantly was the sleek pearl-black body of the top-trim all-new K7 3.3 GDi Nobless Special. The K7’s refreshed look, the first in seven years, gives it a strong presence thanks to the impressively designed front with its tiger-nose radiator grille and the dynamic-looking Z-shaped head and rear lamps.

Its interior has been redesigned so it is much more refined. Although it is categorized as a midsize sedan, it provides enough space to the driver and passengers that it feels like a full-size sedan.

Along with the easy to read head-up display, available for all trim levels, the interior is simple but highlighted with some elements of luxury, including the diamond-quilting Napa leather seats, analog watch on the center fascia, double-door console in the front seat and 12 Krell speakers throughout.

As appealing as its new look is, its driving performance is even more impressive. Mated with the first front-drive, eight-speed automatic transmission in the locally produced midsize category, the all-new K7 knows how to add speed.

The car’s acceleration was smooth and it had no shortage of power. It effortlessly accelerates to more than 140 kilometers per hour, not giving the impression that the car is speeding.

On the course of repeated windy off-ramps around the city, it took the corners smoothly, while its steering allowed for stable control at all times.

On city roads, the head-up display, smart blind spot detection and advanced smart cruise control came in handy.

Its fuel efficiency was better than claimed. It made 12.1 kilometers per liter, 25 percent higher than the claimed 9.7 kilometers per liter.

A small minus might be the slight outside noise, but only if the driver expected complete silence.

Yet, competitively priced in the range of 30 million won, it seems hard to look past the stylish and strong-hearted all-new K7, even after comparing it with imported cars in the same category.


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