I brought my SXL in for its second oil change and basic service. I pointed out a burned area on the heat shield behind the engine near the turbo. A plastic hose clamp on the turbo melted so they ordered the new part and heat shield. I was provided a loaner 2014 white Cadenza with luxury package. I had the Cadenza for 3 days. My comparison and experience goes like this.
In short the Cadenza is larger inside and more of a smooth luxury ride compared to the sportier looking and driving Optima.
Exterior looks- SXL
Interior looks- SXL
Seating, comfort for a tall guy- Cadenza, Cadenza has great comfortable seats with that extender on the drivers seat.
Head room, leg room front and back- Cadenza
Navigation, touchscreen size, modern graphics, UVO- Cadenza
Acceleration- SXL. Someone has stated that an SX owner might be embarrassed by a Cadenza, I dont feel that way. The numbers show they are very close but the Optima feels much more powerful and the engine doesn't get as loud under hard acceleration.
Gas mileage- SXL even though the Cadenza is new and has a V6, the power and mileage even when new is better on the SXL
Infinity stereo- SXL. The Cadenza has 12 speakers and is louder but not as deep or nice sounding with surround sound on or off in XM mode only.
Ride and handling- SXL Hugs the curves better feels more secure, Cadenza has a nice smooth quiet ride. Tie
Braking- SXL by far. just better stronger stopping power.
Fun to drive- SXL due to the above mentioned torque feel and braking.
LED lighting front and back-SXL. Prefer the individual bulbs look.
Even though I am excited to be back in my SXL the Cadenza is a nicely done vehicle, feels great and is very roomy without taking up any more space in my garage. Many thoughtful touches including the auto fold mirrors when you walk up the mirrors unfold or fold, key lock for glove box, three settings for seat cooler, covered storage areas.
Just wanted to share my experience, I know others have as well.
Apologies pics are sideways, they uploaded that way and I dont see how I can rotate them.