2014 Kia Cadenza Beats Toyota Avalon, Mercedes-Benz GL Tops SUVs in Consumer Reports Testing

By Jacob Brown | August 21, 2013
Let's hear it for the underdog! We might have already told you that the 2014 Kia Cadenza full-size luxury sedan is pretty darn good. Kia thought it was good enough, in fact, that the company brought it out to this past weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to share space with much more expensive metal. But of the accolades the car has won, a new one will help further establish its credibility: Topping the similarly sized and priced Toyota Avalon in the latest round of Consumer Reports evaluations. The full-size sedan outscored its gas-engine V-6 rival (which we also thought was a very good car) and tied with the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, mostly because CR puts a high priority on its score weighting on fuel economy. That puts the Korean-built Kia Cadenza in second place in its segment by the organization's measures behind the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The last time CR tested full-size sedans in 2007, the Avalon won its class. Of course, back then, the Avalon was one of just a handful of good full-sizers. The rest were antiquated or poorly thought-out.
"The Cadenza banishes any lingering thoughts that Kia is just a manufacturer of cheap, unrefined cars," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, according to Automotive News. The Cadenza wasn't the only big winner this time around. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec earned an "excellent" rating, outshining the 2014 Acura MDX. The GL350 picked up points because of its fuel economy, space, and towing capacity, but it lost some luster in emergency handling tests. The MDX earned a "very good" rating because of its features and usability, but the three-row SUV was found to have a lousy touchscreen interface. Source: Consumer Reports via Automotive News (Subscription required)