The company’s flagship wants to steer you away from in-house rival Genesis.

When it comes to buying an upscale South Korean sedan, customers are spoiled for choice. Other than the obvious Genesis standalone luxury brand, parent company Hyundai has the Grandeur, which will switch to the next generation in 2022 and allegedly stretch at over five meters (nearly 197 inches). Then there’s this, the Kia K9 aka the defunct K900 in the United States.

The stately sedan lives on in its domestic market where it’s getting a mid-cycle update. Following a partial reveal a few weeks ago, Kia’s range-topper is making the headlines again by showing its mildly tweaked interior for the first time. It does away with the previous 12.3-inch infotainment to make room for a larger 14.5-inch setup, which has the exact same diagonal you’ll find in some Genesis models.

Gallery: 2022 Kia K9 facelift (KDM)






Already implemented by Genesis and Hyundai, a fingerprint authentication system makes its debut in the KDM-spec K9 and enables the possibility of having multiple personalized profiles. The car will automatically change the seat position and climate control settings once the fingerprint is detected.

In addition, the position of the side mirrors will change to the pre-programmed location, while the digital instrument cluster will also switch to the driver’s preferred layout. Making payments through the infotainment will also be possible with the fingerprint, without the need of a separate card.

Over-the-air updates are now supported by the K9 and will bring improvements to the screens and even the head-up display. A smartphone app will allow owners to remotely open and start the car as well as check the surroundings. An extended array of safety and driver assistance systems is now available for Kia’s flagship, including predictive shifting by changing gears based on information provided by the radar and cameras.

To make the interior even quieter, Kia has fitted its posh fullsize sedan with improved sound-insulating glass. New wood trims are debuting with the K9’s facelift, along with fancier upholstery and “Ergo Motion” driver’s seat that extends for greater comfort. There’s also a VIP rear-right seat that extends to make the journey as pleasant as possible.

The 2022 Kia K9 goes on sale locally on June 3 and costs from a little over $51,000 (converted from South Korean won) for the base version and up to $68,300 for the highest trim level, before options.

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Kia

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