All the Cars You Saw in Super Bowl Ads, Explained
From the electric Porsche to Bill Murray's bright orange Jeep Gladiator
What do Chrissy Teigen, Chris Evans, Maisie Williams and David Ortiz have in common? They all starred in Super Bowl commercials … for cars.
In fact, out of all the 2020 Super Bowl ads, from Budweiser’s bid for prez to James Bond haunting Daniel Craig, the auto spots were among the best. But Arya Stark singing “Let It Go” doesn’t really tell you anything about whether or not you should buy an Audi, does it?
To help you suss out which vehicles are actually worth your careful consideration, we’ve rounded up all the Super Bowl LIV car ads below with all the details they didn’t tell you in the commercial, from release date to price to whether these cars are, in fact, any good.
2021 Audi e-tron Sportback
Let It Go
This Super Bowl turned out to be a big platform for electric vehicles, and if the American public didn’t think of Audi as a leader in EVs, now they just might. Viewers may have noticed that the e-tron Sportback has a European license — that’s because the SUV will be released in that market this spring followed by a U.S. debut in the summer. Basically, it’s going to be a slightly smaller version of the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV, which is already available starting at $74,800, but most likely with a slightly higher price and longer range.
2020 Porsche Taycan
Not only was this one of the best big-game ads (light on treacle and cliché, heavy on tire squeals), it was Porsche’s first Super Bowl commercial in 23 years. The most important thing to know about the Taycan is that it’s pronounced “tie-con.” The second most important thing is that it’s the first all-electric car from Porsche. If you’ve been worried about the reliability of Tesla, but have been interested in an EV sports car, the Taycan is for you. Three models are currently available in the U.S. — the Taycan 4S, Turbo and Turbo S — starting at $103,800.
2020 Hyundai Sonata
Sorry, Hyundai, but you’re 23 years late on this technology. In all seriousness, the most exciting thing about this family-friendly sedan is not the Remote Smart Parking Assist, it’s that Hyundai gave the 2020 Sonata a complete makeover. In an effort to revive interest in the sensible four-door, Hyundai took cues from faster and more luxe cars like the Lexus RX and Toyota Supra. The new model starts at just $23,600 and gets a respectable 32 MPG combined.
2021 Genesis GV80
Going Away Party
As the ad says, this is the first ever SUV from the Genesis brand (the very venerable luxury arm of the Hyundai group). That’s not saying much as it only became a standalone marque in 2015, but it is big news for the luxury SUV market; the GV80 price is rumored to start lower than similar models, around $50K, when it goes on sale this summer. And it doesn’t skimp on amenities: even the second row gets heated, ventilated and power-reclining seats, and you can smaht pahk it with the same Remote Smart Parking Assist that’s touted by the Sonata.
GMC Hummer EV Truck
Yes, everyone at your Super Bowl party had an opinion about the return of the Hummer. (And The Wall Street Journal was right about LeBron.) But as the ad shows, GMC isn’t revealing much yet. The specs they’re touting —1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque (for reference, a standard 2020 Ford F-150 has 470 lb.-ft.) and a 0-60 MPH time of three seconds — are all estimated. The final electric truck won’t be revealed until May 20, which is when we’ll (hopefully) get more details about range, price and on-sale dates. You can sign up for email updates if you’re ride-or-die for Hummer.
2021 Kia Seltos AWD SUV
Tough Never Quits
If you think this ad featuring Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is a tear jerker, just wait until you hear this is a roomy, all-wheel drive SUV that starts under $22,000. It’s also a brand-new model for the U.S., coming in four different trim levels (LX, S, EX, S Turbo and SX Turbo, with the LX AWD priced at just $21,900). While a 2020 model has been available in international markets, the 2021 Kia Seltos will finally make its debut in dealerships stateside sometime in the next two months.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
Sunday was indeed Groundhog Day, so Bill Murray’s reprisal made sense for the spot. But the more meta repeat you probably missed is that the movie came out around the time that Jeep stopped producing pickup trucks. So to revive the Jeep pickup, who better than Phil Connors? The 2020 Gladiator has been available since May 2019 and has seen strong sales with a starting price of $33,545, but the off-road Rubicon model in the commercial is a much steeper proposition, starting at $43,875. The real surprise in the ad was the brand’s new e-Bike which will be available this June. Everyone’s making bikes now.
2020 Toyota Highlander
Get it, it’s a big freaking SUV! The three-row Toyota Highlander is a familiar midsize model amongst a lot of newcomers during the Super Bowl, but its appearance last night was probably not because it was redesigned for 2020 (with a standard V6 engine instead of a four-cylinder, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), but rather just because everyone’s in an SUV arms race at the moment and Toyota felt obligated to get their offering some screentime. Starting at $34,600 with more room for storage than the 2019 edition, that might make it worth keeping on your list.