The Koreans have built an all-American luxury sedan fit for LeBron James

LeBron James KIA K900KIA

Recently, pictures and ads began popping up around the Internet and on TV featuring basketball superstar LeBron James behind the wheel of a white luxury sedan. It wasn’t a Benz, nor was it a Bentley. It was a Kia — A Kia K900 to be exact. That’s right, a four-time NBA MVP, a future hall of famer, and a pop culture icon who is expected to earn more than a billion dollars over his career is endorsing a $US66,000 luxury limo from a Korean brand known mostly for its affordable economy cars and the hipster hamsters that star in its commercials.

To some that’s just down right odd. But is it really that outlandish? Could Kia successfully pull off a high-end luxury car worthy of the man known as King James? When Kia delivered a brand new 2015 K900 test car to Business Insider, I made it my mission to find out.

A big, soft, V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan, the Kia K900 is quite unlike any car the company has ever produced. And to be honest, it's a breed of car we don't encounter in America very often anymore.

In the four days I spent behind the wheel of the K900, I realised that it was a very different animal from its far more expensive and established competitors, such as ...

.... the ultra-refined Lexus LS ...

... the tech-filled Mercedes-Benz S-Class or ...

... the super-stylish Jaguar XJ.

In fact, the big Kia feels much more like a spiritual descendant of great American luxury cars of the past, such as ...

... the Cadillac Eldorado ...

... the Lincoln Continental and ...

... even the Lincoln Town Car.

This isn't as preposterous as it may sound. These days, there aren't really any large American, soft-riding, V8, rear-wheel-drive luxo barges left.

Modern luxury cars from Detroit's Big 3 -- such as the Cadillac CTS -- have moved away from traditional notions of American cushiness and instead embraced the Germanic-sports sedan ideal

Even Detroit's two newly-minted flagship luxury sedans -- the Lincoln Continental and ...

... the Cadillac CT6 both have turbocharged V6 power. Not V8s.

In that regard, the Kia K900 picks up where Detroit's luxury legends left off.

It's powered by a traditional 5.0-litre, 420-horsepower, air-breathing V8 engine. No turbos here!

This enables the 4,500 pound Kia to sprint to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 149 mph. But don't let the impressive performance numbers fool you. This isn't a sports sedan -- not even remotely close.

The K900's steering is vague and, its 8-speed transmission is oftentimes slow to react when you need it to order up a burst of torque for passing. But then again, performance isn't the K900's mission.

The Kia's strength is providing its occupants with a pampering experience. I'm not saying it's Rolls-Royce or Bentley-like, but it's certainly on par with rivals.

Inside the cabin, the fit and finish is very good. It's also incredibly quiet and isolating.

The K900's heated and cooled leather seats were amazingly comfortable.

At the heart of the front dash is Kia's UVO infotainment system. Although the display quality was quite good, the user interface was -- frankly -- awful.

Using Kia's rotary controller and a set of command buttons, it took two journalists and a lawyer 10 minutes to figure out how to 'cancel a route' on the GPS system.

I'm sure somewhere in South Korea there's a flowchart that says the confusing array of menus make sense. But it didn't come with the car.

In the back, the K900's passengers are treated to plush, reclining rear seats ...

... that are roomy even if you're 6'8 and 250 pounds.

Oh! And the seats are fully cooled and heated, with massage functions, as well.

A large, panoramic roof serves up some very welcome sunshine.

The cabin also offers a few high-tech flourishes, such as a digital instrument cluster ...

.... a really impressive set of adaptive headlights ...

.... a dazzling array of surround-view cameras and ...

... and one of the finest heads-up-displays I've ever come across.

Over all, the Kia K900 is a remarkable achievement for a car maker taking its first stab at luxury. Although it's not perfect, the big Kia offers a throwback American luxury experience with some modern technological features at a very reasonable price.

Although Kia and LeBron have a multimillion dollar endorsement deal, word on street is that he actually really likes the K900.

So, is it fit for King James? Absolutely.

Here's what England has to offer ...

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