Behind the Wheel: 2017 Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro

Kia’s newest vehicle, the 2017 Niro, is the lowest-priced, gasoline-electric hybrid SUV on the market and is rated as high as 50 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel.

The starting MSRP is $23,785 for a front-wheel drive, five-seat Niro FE with four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack to generate a total of 139 horsepower.

The base price includes an automatic transmission, rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control, seven air bags, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, audio controls on the steering wheel and a 7-inch display screen in the middle of the dashboard.

Even with luxury features added, such as a Harman Kardon premium sound system, leather-trimmed seats, power sunroof, navigation system and heated steering wheel, the Niro still can be priced under $31,000. This pricing undercuts other hybrid SUVs that combine power from an onboard electric motor with a gasoline engine for optimum fuel mileage.

While affordability is the Niro’s most attractive trait, this small SUV also appeals with its comfortable seating positions, pleasant driving traits, decent passenger space and flexible, SUV-like cargo room.

Kia uses a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Niro for more natural-feeling gearing and responsiveness. Regenerative braking and the engine help replenish the battery pack, but a plug-in Niro is due later in 2017.

The top fuel mileage of 52 mpg in city driving and 49 mpg on highways is for the base, Niro FE model, which weighs the least. City mileage is rated higher than highway mileage because the electric power is able to assist more often in city travel.

Back-seat passengers have 37.4 inches of legroom, while there’s nearly 42 inches for front-seat riders. Headroom all around is more than 39 inches.

The luxury features in the Touring model included heated and ventilated front seats, memory driver seat, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, turn signals in the outside mirrors, front and rear park assist, leather, sunroof, 18-inch wheels, and premium audio. Rear seatbacks fold down flat to expand cargo space. The cargo floor sits up at bumper level, so there’s no lifting heavy objects up and out. All-wheel drive is not offered on the Niro, and towing capacity is limited.

Visit 66 Automall

Stay tuned to this space for more info on the Kia Niro as it becomes available. Stop by 66 Automall in the meantime to test drive a new or used Kia or to schedule service with a technician at Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall.


Best March Events on the Shore


Try one of these fun events if you’re looking for something to occupy yourself this March along the Jersey Shore.

Highlands St. Patrick’s Parade – March 18

Head to Huddy Park in Highlands to see the 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM. Nearly 100 marching units, including bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, and beautifully decorated floats, will line up to march in the 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The parade is free to attend.

Spring 2017 Bridal Fair – March 19

Getting married soon? Head to the Spring 2017 Bridal Fair to get ideas, meet vendors and professionals, and learn how to make your big day extra special. Admission is free and there will be prize drawings. The event is from noon to 4pm at the Wildwoods Convention Center in WIldwood, New Jersey.

Jersey Shore Comics and Cosplay Show – March 19

If you love comics, cosplay, and pop culture in general, head to the Jersey Shore Comics and Cosplay Show for a great day of family entertainment at the “Biggest Little Con on the East Coast.” There will be a number of special guests, including artists, creators, and writers of comics. Also on hand will be various vendors offering up comics from the Golden Age to Modern, collectible cards, toys, graphic novels, DVDs, crafts, and more! The show will take place at Toms River Elks from 10am to 4pm

Visit 66 Automall

Stop by Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall today to test drive a new or used vehicle. If your vehicle needs service, contact the service department at 66 Automall today and meet with a certified technician.


Spring Break Road Trip Ideas


If you want to head out for spring break without going too far from home, pack up the car and pick one or more places around New Jersey. Even though you are close to home, you should still have your vehicle checked before you leave. Call us at Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall to schedule a service appointment for regular maintenance or to have your vehicle repaired if needed.

Lighthouse Tours

Take tours of some of the lighthouses in Cape May, go on a 3-hour cruise to spot dolphins, finback whales, sea turtles and humpback whales, or visit many of the historic places in the city. During the summer, Cape May is generally crowded, but you can still enjoy this beach town during the cooler months.

Co-Co Key Water Resort

Reserve one of the overnight packages at the Co-Co Key Water Resort in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The indoor water park is the perfect place to visit for a spring water vacation and feature over 55,000 square feet of high-speed body flumes, water slides, an interactive play area and arcade, an adventure river, dip-in theater and more.

Crystal Springs Resort

Head over to Hamburg, New Jersey, to visit Crystal Springs Resort and spend time on the 140-foot water slide, in the Jacuzzi or the cave-themed steam room and sauna, at the Biosphere Pool Complex or spend time at the indoor golf simulator. Grab dinner at the Minerals Spa or the Restaurant Latour.

Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park

This water park, located in West Berlin, New Jersey, features over 58,000 square feet of water fun including a family raft ride, indoor surfing simulator, a toddler lagoon, tube slides and water basketball. Check out local hotels before you go for their “stay and play” packages. And, if you get tired of the water park, head over to Philadelphia – about 20 miles away – to visit some of the museums and other offerings.

Visit Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Stop by Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall today to test drive a new vehicle or to have your vehicle serviced before you head out for spring break fun.


What to Expect with the 2017 Kia Niro

2017 Niro - Red

Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced pricing for the all-new 2017 Niro crossover hybrid.  When the Niro arrives in dealerships early in 2017 it will be offered in five trim levels – FE, LX, EX, Touring and a limited-production, Launch Edition. MSRP for the FE is just $22,890 and the top-of-the-line Touring with its many luxury, infotainment and convenience features is $29,650.  Destination charges of $895 are not included in the MSRP.

“At Kia, we’re always striving to offer exciting new products that redefine their segments in all areas, including price,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA.  “The new Niro checks all the boxes – it provides crossover utility, good looks, outstanding fuel economy, it’s fun to drive and it’s affordable.”

The Niro FE, with a starting MSRP of $22,890 and 50-MPG (combined), is equipped with a long list of standard features, including: 16-inch wheels; 6-way front seats; power windows; keyless entry; cruise control; 7-inch touchscreen display with rearview camera; UVO3 with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a six-speaker audio system with steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Moving up to the $23,200 LX trim adds Smart Key with push button start, roof rails and LED rear combination lamps.  Among the extras added to EX $25,700 are heated combination cloth and leather seating, leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, heated power folding mirrors, front fog lamps, and Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA) driver assistance features.

The Launch Edition is available in Snow White Pearl or Aurora Black Pearl exterior colors and offers an exclusive look via the unique Hyper Gray 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin tires, unique metallic color grille, 10-way driver’s seat, 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio and is $28,000.

Touring trim $29,650 is equipped with an amazing array of additional features – power tilt/slide sunroof, front and rear park assist, heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, 10-way power driver’s seat with memory and 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio.

Three option packages are available.  Advanced Technology Package is offered on the LX at $1,450 and includes Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning System.  Sunroof and Advanced Technology Package is offered on EX at $2,300 and includes power tilt/slide sunroof, Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning System. The Advanced Technology Package $1,900 offered on Touring includes HID headlights, wireless phone charger and 110V inverter, Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning System.

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Stay tuned here at Car Chat with Paul Sansone Jr. for more info on the Kia Niro as it becomes available. If you can’t wait to check out a Kia vehicle, stop by 66 Automall today to discover what Kia has to offer with its current lineup.


2017 Nissan Maxima Named Best Resale Value


The 2017 Nissan Maxima is the highest-ranked full-size car of the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards. The annual Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards recognize new vehicles that best retain their value over the first five years of ownership, based on the Kelley Blue Book® Official Residual Value Guide. The award was presented this week in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention in New Orleans.

The eighth generation Nissan Maxima, which was completely revised for the 2016 model year, is enhanced for 2017 with the addition of standard Apple CarPlay™ and two new accessory value packages – the Medallion Package and Dynamic Package. The two new packages join the previous Midnight Edition, offering buyers three convenient ways to customize their Maxima straight from the dealership.

The Maxima is available in five fully equipped models: Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum – with a starting MSRP of $32,610 USD. The 2017 Maxima is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide.

“Nissan is proud to have the Nissan Maxima named a Best Resale Value,” said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “This prestigious award speaks volumes about the strong value of Maxima – not only is it a stylish, technologically-advanced and fun car to drive, but it also rewards customers in their pocket books many years after purchase. We are very pleased to be recognized by the experts at Kelley Blue Book.”

Visit Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Stop by Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall to test drive a Nissan Maxima and learn more about its features. You can also schedule some maintenance service on your current car, truck, or SUV.


Best Events on the Jersey Shore


Check out these local events happening around the Jersey Shore.

9th Annual At the Shore Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Art Show – February 8

Plan to attend this show happening at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University from 5-8pm. 20+ local and regional artists will showcase their work while attendants enjoy wine tasting, appetizers, live music, and raffles. Tickets cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door. All proceeds will go to benefit local hospitality students from Stockton, Atlantic Cape Community College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University at ACCC.

Valentine’s Day in Jersey Shore – February 14

The Jersey Shore has its share of Valentine’s Day specials, mostly related to dinner deals at local eateries. Included among the participating restaurants are:

  • La Dolce Vita
  • Nonno’s Italian Bistro
  • Salt Creek Grille
  • The Bonney Read
  • Blend on Main
  • Brandl
  • Knife & Fork Inn
  • La Cipollina Ristorante
  • Nauvoo Grill Club
  • The Cabin
  • The Molly Pitcher Inn
  • The Washington Inn Restaurant
  • Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant
  • The Ebbitt Room

Most will accept reservations, and while not strictly required, if you want to guarantee a spot for your Valentine’s date night, it pays to call in advance.

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Before you check out any of February’s fun events, stop by at Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall to shop for a vehicle that can reliably get you to all of your destinations.



Decorating Your Car for the Holidays

Wooden car carrying a christmas tree

This year, take Christmas decorating to a whole new level. Don’t just decorate your house: decorate your vehicle, too. Whether you have a brand new vehicle you just picked up from Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall or you are driving a car that is a couple of years old, have fun with decorating it.

Mobile Christmas Tree

You wouldn’t want to put a big tree up through the moon roof as that would definitely restrict your vision, but you could put a small tree in the vehicle. Decorate the tree to the hilt, but make sure it doesn’t block your view in the mirrors or out of the windows.


Add a wreath to the front of your vehicle. The grille allows air in to help cool the air conditioning condenser and the radiator, so be sure the wreath doesn’t block too much of the air flow. Decorate the wreath with bows or large Christmas bulbs.

Big Red Bow

Another great way to show the Christmas spirit is to add a big red bow to the front of your vehicle. Add sparkles to the bow to add a bit more decoration. You could also add small decorations to the bow, including small wreaths, which would be set off by the red color.


Add Christmas lights to the bottom of your vehicle. Wire them in to light up when you turn the ignition on. Or you could wire them to a switch so that you could turn them on and off when needed. Use lights made for underbody lighting; just choose red and green or multiple Christmas colors.

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Stop by 66 Automall to test drive a new vehicle for the holidays. Once you have your new vehicle, you’ll be able to decorate it with festive decorations. If you are not ready for a new vehicle because your current vehicle is only a year or two old, be sure to call our service department for an appointment to have maintenance completed or to have your vehicle, including the tires, checked for the winter.



Nissan launches 2017 Versa Note and 2017 JUKE Black Pearl Edition Prior to Los Angeles Auto Show Debuts


Nissan took the wraps off two new 2017 models on November 10th – the revised Versa Note and limited production JUKE Black Pearl Edition – prior to each vehicle’s respective debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show the week afterward.

The two models were the first of four new vehicle models that were shown for the first time in Los Angeles. A new Nissan NISMO product met the media on Nov. 15th, while the “2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition” took the stage at a press conference in the Los Angeles Convention Center on Nov. 16th. Details on the NISMO product and the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition were available following each vehicle’s respective unveiling.

“The Nissan new product onslaught for the 2017 model year is so extensive, we’re bringing out the new Versa Note and JUKE Black Pearl early,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “The four latest additions to the lineup follow our ongoing ‘Year of the Truck’ campaign, which has seen the introduction of an all-new Armada, new Rogue, revised Pathfinder and new TITAN half-ton and TITAN Single Cab.”

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

If you’re interested in checking out the new Versa Note or JUKE Black Pearl, check in with Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall to see when we’ll have them available, or just keep your eyes on this space for new updates as they come. In the meantime, drop by 66 Automall anytime to test drive a Nissan or any other vehicle on the lot.


Kia Soul Receives 2017 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award

Consumer Guide Automotive has awarded the Kia Soul one of its coveted Best Buy Awards for 2017 in the Subcompact Car segment, marking the third year in a row the fun-loving box car has received the award. Once again, the Soul’s funky personality resonated with the editors, along with its roomy interior, premium-looking cabin and long list of desirable features.

“People gravitate toward the Soul because of its head-turning style, extensive feature content, and excellent value. Its practicality makes it a perfect fit for just about every type of lifestyle,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning Kia Motors America. “Being recognized by Consumer Guide Automotive for a third consecutive year proves the Soul continues to be a crowd favorite, and with the new turbocharged version offered for 2017, we anticipate its popularity will surge to new heights.”

For 2017, the Soul gains a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged engine for more fun than ever. Though the 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined —slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower. Performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is further enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which contributes to a more engaging driving experience. Other new options for the 2017 model year are convenience systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection. The 2017 Exclaim also gets standard UVO3 with e-Services with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Each year Consumer Guide Automotive editors select the best vehicles from 20 segments to receive Best Buy Awards, with vehicle price and value being major factors in their selection process. By prioritizing these key consideration points in the car-buying process, the Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Awards serve a practical purpose to everyday car shoppers. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017, Consumer Guide Automotive is one of the most trusted names in the automobile industry.

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Want to test drive the award-winning 2017 Kia Soul? Stop by Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall today to check it out or to take a look at any other car on the lot.


Best Events on the Jersey Shore in December


December is a fun-filled time around the Jersey Shore. Check out one (or all) of these fun events happening this month.

Christmas Fantasy with Lights – Through December 30

Experience holiday magic right before your eyes! At 5pm each night (and lasting until 10pm), Santa Claus appears in his chimney, waves his magic wand and lights the park with over one million lights for the holiday season! Santa is in his home and lights the park until December 30.

Head to Storybook Land at 6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor.

Santa Workshop – Through January 1

Santa’s elves work hard all year making toys in his magical workshop at the North Pole. Stop by and make special crafts before the big day! Listen to Mrs. Claus read a classic Christmas tale and write a letter to Santa! Runs daily from 9am to 5pm.

Head to Congress Hall at 200 Congress Place, Cape May.

Sea of Lights Holiday Festival – December 16-28

This Indoor Holidays Lights Spectacular inside Jenkinson’s Aquarium with a special admission price! $7 Aquarium Admission.

Head to Jenkinson’s Aquarium at 300 Ocean Ave. in Point Pleasant.

Visit Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall

Before you check out any of December’s fun events, stop by at Paul Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall to shop for a vehicle that can reliably get you to all of your destinations.