Kia today pulled the wraps off its redesigned Cadenza, a full-size sedan that slots in above the Optima family sedan in the brand’s North American lineup.

Officially, the car you see here is the K7-badged version sold in Kia’s South Korean home market, but that name is the only thing that will differ when the 2017 Cadenza goes on sale here sometime next year.

We can vouch for the first-generation Cadenza being a lovely car, if underappreciated by Canadians, who have bought a whopping 455 of them since the car’s quiet introduction as a 2014 model.

Maybe the new design’s “more defined lines, wider and lower stance, and modern and thoroughly distinctive new look” will help generate more interest: Kia calls out the Cadenza’s “long hood, gently-rising shoulder line, and swept-back roofline” as key styling hallmarks; also present is the brand’s “tiger nose” grille, shared with the rest of the lineup. The company’s press release tells us nothing about the new design’s interior, so we figure Kia’s saving that nugget for another day. We dig the rear end, which looks like a pastiche of Lexus and Buick design cues.

We expect the new car will continue to use the company’s 3.3L V6 engine, to differentiate it from the four-cylinder-powered Optima with which the Cadenza shares its platform. In Canada, the Cadenza competes for buyers with cars like the Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon, and Ford Taurus.

2017 Kia Cadenza 1

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