It's official. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 5 in Houston, Texas. Super Bowl LI is all set, and it's time for those who aren't diehard fans of either team to pick a side.
It's also time to start getting sneak peeks at the commercials. Once again joining the ad lineup for the big game, Kia will be showing off its all-new hybrid crossover, the Kia Niro. The 60-second spot will star actress Melissa McCarthy and air in the third quarter.
The 2017 Niro is already getting plenty of buzz after earning a Guinness World Record™ title for requiring the least amount of fuel (out of hybrid vehicles) to drive across the USA. This is a hybrid that's been designed and built to take on the Prius. And early reviews have been largely favorable.
Why the 2017 Kia Niro Could be the Hybrid Crossover to Watch
Kia has reported that the Niro can get up to 50 mpg (EPA-estimated) highway/city, combined. In order to highlight the fact that the Niro can "go the distance," the Super Bowl ad will focus on a journey taken. Ms. McCarthy is shown traveling great lengths over wildly different types of terrain. So the commercial will also illustrate that the hybrid crossover is built for both utility and adventure.
Joining the Optima Hybrid sedan and the Soul EV in Kia's green vehicle lineup, the Niro uses the same lithium-ion battery used in the Ioniq hybrid vehicle produced by sister brand, Hyundai. It features a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine that produces 103 horsepower. And this engine is paired with a 43-horsepower electric motor.
Referred to as the "Anti-Prius" by Motor Trend, the Niro doesn't look like a typical hybrid vehicle. Instead of opting for the familiar wedge-like shape of the Prius, Kia designed the Niro to look more like a regular crossover. Its appearance is still stylish, but it is obviously meant to be a practical and family-friendly kind of hybrid.
Also, like most vehicles offered by Kia, the Niro is big on value. The Kia website lists a starting MSRP of $22,890, but this is before necessary fees are added. Out the door, it has been estimated that most buyers will be able to pick up a base model Niro for around $25,000.
The 2017 Niro is set to arrive in dealerships throughout the U.S. very soon, with all-electric and plug-in versions reportedly in the works. As of right now, there are no plans to release an all-wheel drive version of the hybrid. But several high-tech safety options will be immediately available. These include blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
Other Cars to Look for During Super Bowl LI
Notably, Toyota will be sitting this year out . . . kind of. While there will be no Toyota-branded vehicle promoted during the 2017 Super Bowl, a spot for the new Lexus LC will be airing. And Toyota owns the Lexus brand.
Hyundai will actually be filming their 90-second ad during the game and showing it at the end. The tagline for their campaign is, "This year, some of the better moments of the Super Bowl won't only happen on the field." Rumor has it that the focus of Hyundai's commercial will be the fans.
As of right now, other brands that will be running Super Bowl ads include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Honda and Buick. A surprising no-show is Mini (owned by BMW). Last year, the brand presented an emotional and star-studded campaign that made a huge impact. But it looks like it was just too big of an act to follow. So no BMW brands will be promoted during Super Bowl LI.
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