Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 3 Series VS 2015 Kia Cadenza Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 BMW 3 Series

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2015 Kia Cadenza

Safety Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cadenza doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Cadenza doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 3 Series Sedan offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cadenza doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Cadenza’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 1 year and 12500 miles longer than Kia pays for maintenance for the Cadenza (4/50,000 vs. 3/37500).

Reliability Comparison

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Cadenza’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in reliability. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The 335i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (300 vs. 293) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 255) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The ActiveHybrid 3’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 42 more horsepower (335 vs. 293) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 255) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 255) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the BMW 3 Series Sedan is faster than the Kia Cadenza (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

1.5 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

4.4 sec

7.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4 sec


4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

13 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.4 MPH

105.4 MPH

93.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 328d RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (32 city/45 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 320i RWD Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (180 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (24 city/36 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 335i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cadenza:



Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.2 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cadenza are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the Cadenza:

3 Series Sedan


70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cadenza’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Cadenza doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 3 Series Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Cadenza’s (59.6% to 40.4%). This gives the 3 Series Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The 320i handles at .92 G’s, while the Cadenza pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 335i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Cadenza (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 400 pounds less than the Kia Cadenza.

The 3 Series Sedan is 1 foot, 1 inches shorter than the Cadenza, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 328i is quieter than the Cadenza (71 vs. 73 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 3 Series Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cadenza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Cadenza doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Cadenza doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Cadenza doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan


Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 20 years. The Cadenza has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 18 years. The Cadenza has never been an “All Star.”

The 3 Series was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2006 Car of the Year. The Cadenza has never been chosen.

The BMW 3 and 4 Series outsold the Kia Cadenza by almost thirteen to one during the 2014 model year.

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