Monday, February 27, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
When we drove the 2017 Kia Cadenza, it struck us as being "fine." It doesn't stand out from the mundane crowd of near-luxury sedans, but also manages to hold its own in an unexciting-by-design segment. If the car's styling and the driving experience weren't enough to get you interested in the Cadenza, maybe the price will.
The Cadenza will be offered in three trims: Premium, Technology, and Limited. The Premium trim will start at $32,890, representing a $950 decrease from the least-expensive 2016 Cadenza model. There are two packages available on the Premium: the $3,000 Luxury package and $1,000 Panoramic Sunroof package. The Luxury Package adds a variety of features, including a Harman Kardon 12-speaker audio system, and power-folding outside mirrors, as well as a rear parking assist system. As its name implies, the panoramic sunroof package adds a massive sunroof with a power-operating shade, as well as LED interior lighting. The contents of both come standard on the upper trim levels.
The next step up is the Technology trim, which adds things like autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and high-beam assist, and has a starting price of $39,890. The range-topping Limited trim adds Nappa leather seats, a head-up display, a feature to open the trunk when you're standing nearby, and other goodies for $45,290.
And for people doing some cross-shopping, the base price of the Premium trim undercuts those of the Cadenza's competitors – the Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, and Buick LaCrosse. So there's something to be excited about.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
No one had a better night than
Tom Brady, but Melissa McCarthy and Kia came close.
Her slapstick shtick for Kia won the 29th annual USA TODAY Ad Meter competition in a crazy commercial where she gets bounced out of a boat by a rampaging whale, among other ecological calamities.
The 60-second spot, called “Hero’s Journey,” is about an eco-warrior called on to save the whales — and the trees and the polar ice caps. Each time she strives heroically but ends up with the sort of cartoonish comeuppance more commonly associated with
Wile E. Coyote. (Except that he chased the Roadrunner, while she gets chased by rhinos.)
The ad’s save-the-planet theme dovetails with the 2017
Kia Niro, which the company ballyhoos as a smarter kind of crossover. The spot was created by the David & Goliath agency, which is based in El Segundo, Calif.
Car humor won the day last year, too, when
Hyundai took the prize for an ad starring Kevin Hart. This makes two years in a row for automakers after Anheuser-Busch InBev won it the three previous years.
Car companies drove off with Ad Meter’s second and third places too. Honda scored for a 60-second spot called “Yearbooks.” Real photos of nine celebrities in their youth come to life and talk about the power of dreams. They are (in alphabetical order) Amy Adams,
Steve Carell, Viola Davis, Missy Elliott, Tina Fey, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Stan Lee and Robert Redford.
Audi offered “Daughter,” a powerful 60-second spot that shows a father watching his daughter weave her way down the course in a cart race. Her father worries about her place in the world as she drives to first place in the race. The ad fades to black as these words appear: “Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone.”
“Born the Hard Way,” an ad telling the immigrant story of
Budweiser co-founder Adolphus Busch, finished fourth. And “#BradshawStain” — Terry Bradshaw’s meta spot for Tide about a spot on his shirt — finished fifth.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It's rare that we come across a new car that hits all the right notes.
So it's hard to restrain our enthusiasm for the new
Kia Niro, a small hybrid crossover.
If you live in a city, it's just the right size to squeeze into those annoyingly tight "compact" parking spaces. Yet inside, there is enough room to handle cargo and people, including a 6-foot-2 bloke like myself who admired the headroom both front and back.
The car is a joy to drive, especially when it comes to its tight turning radius.
The Niro is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 139 horsepower in tandem with its batteries and electric motor. Doesn't sound like much, but it was plenty for urban scooting. The powertrain, including the six-speed transmission, was well behaved and quiet.
That performance alone would be fine, but consider the gas mileage: At 52 miles per gallon in the city, 49 mpg in the city and 50 mpg overall, the new Niro's numbers come close to the hybrid leader, Toyota's indefatigable Prius sedan, and exceed the
Prius V crossover.
Then, there's the styling, which is impressive from outside since small boxy cars generally lack the stature to look bold, modern and inviting. We were even more captivated by the inside, with a dashboard so clean and thoroughly European that, had we not known better, we would have thought we were in a
Volkswagen or Volvo.
The new Niro is priced to start at $22,890, plus $895 in destination charges. The price sandwiches it between the slightly smaller, non-hybrid
Honda HR-V at $19,465 and the slightly larger, non-crossover Prius sedan at $24,465.
For all the things it does well, Niro arrives in an era of cheap gas when motorists may not pay heed to hybrids. We wonder if Kia will create a non-hybrid version with an even cheaper pricetag. But there's no reason not consider this one if you're in the market for small SUV.
What stands out
Looks: Sharp inside and out
Size: Just right for the city
Price: Affordable for a hybrid crossover
2017 Kia Niro
What? A small five-passenger hybrid SUV
When? In showrooms "in next few weeks"
Where? Made in South Korea
How big? 14.3 feet long
What makes it go? A 1.6-liter four cylinder gas engine and electric motor
How thirsty? 52 miles per gallon in the city, 49 mpg on the highway, 50 mpg overall
How much? Starts at $22,890, plus $895 in destination charges
Overall? Good in so many ways