It’s not a very well-kept secret that Kia’s first true luxury car, the K900, is based on parent company Hyundai’s trailblazing Genesis sedan platform. However differentiated the two may be visually, there’s no getting around their shared architecture—and nearly identical V-6 and V-8 engines mated to the same eight-speed automatic. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the K900′s newly released fuel-economy estimates from the EPA mirror those of the Genesis.
As our friends across town at Automobile
discovered, the base 3.8-liter V-6–powered K900 is EPA-rated for 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway, while the more powerful 5.0-liter V-8–equipped model gets a somewhat dismal 15/23 mpg estimate. While the V-6′s numbers aren’t terrible for a car as large as the K900, the V-8′s performance barely crests what you get from an average full-size pickup. Compared to the Chrysler 300, another rear-drive big boy, the Kias look even more hamstrung; the 300 gets 19/31 mpg with its 3.6-liter V-6, and 15/25 with its 5.7-liter V-8. (The high-performance, 470-hp SRT8 model gets a K900-like 14/23, but that car also runs to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.)
Against Kia’s more-aspirational competitors, it still loses out, with the six-cylinder BMW 535i netting 20/30 and the eight-cylinder 550i nailing 17/25. The Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan gets 21/30, while the V-8–powered E550 4MATIC gets 17/26. Audi’s supercharged V-6–powered A6 3.0T Quattro matches the six-pot Kia’s EPA figures, but also has all-wheel drive. The S6, with its twin-turbocharged V-8, smacks down the Kia with a 17/27 estimate. But fuel economy is just one side of the K900′s story—the other side is the sedan’s value proposition. The Kia is far larger than any of the aforementioned German luxury sedans, but is expected to cost about the same. Hey, that formula worked for Hyundai, which soon will release its next-generation Genesis. So as long as buyers aren’t too hung up on fuel economy, the K900 might just see similar success.