Readers of a certain age might remember the Kia Pride. It was an economy hatchback sold here in the '90s, and it was as basic as they come. Power steering was even an option when it was sold. That's how entry-level that model was.

Fast forward to today and Kia makes some of the most stylish cars and crossovers out there. They even have a new sedan that aims to square off against the Lexus LS. It's called the K9, and it's their most opulent and luxurious sedan yet. That said, the K9 (K900 in other markets) has been around for quite some time now, but it's been updated for the 2021 model year.

Kia wants to pick a fight with...Lexus? image

The new K9 has a front end that resembles most of the current Kia lineup. As far as facelifts go, it's not what one would call a minor update. It now comes with slim headlights and a bolder grille which is quickly becoming a trend in the flagship sedan market. Kia even went as far as changing the sheet metal on the hood and the fenders to accommodate the new nose. The overall effect makes it look like an all-new model rather than a facelift.

Kia even made several tweaks to its rear end. They changed the entire trunk lid, which is something that isn't usually done in facelifts. That's to give way to the light bar that strikes through the redesigned panel. Also new for the 2021 model year are the taillights, rear bumper, and license plate holder. As for the rest of the body, it carries over unchanged but there are new wheel options available.

Kia wants to pick a fight with...Lexus? image

Curiously, Kia did not show interior photos of the 2021 K9. But judging from the current K9's interior, it should remain luxurious. It has loads of leather, wood, and metal, which is what one expects from a flagship sedan. It even has massaging seats, a lounge mode, and ventilated seats for good measure. But perhaps the highlight here is the Maurice Lacroix timepiece stuck to the center of the dashboard of the current version.

Kia will release more details for the 2021 K9 in the coming weeks. From there, we will know more about the features, options, and engine choices. Even though this is not the full reveal yet, the new K9 represents how far Kia has come over the decades.