Kia Rio Facelift Debuts With Smart Face, Mild Hybrid Engine
27 May 2020 - motor1
All models now feature LED headlights as standard.
We first saw the facelifted Kia Rio in January this year when the South Korean company was still testing a prototype of the model with huge amounts of camouflage. Now, five months later, the development work on the subcompact hatchback is done and it's time for the refreshed Rio to show up officially. Say hello to the Rio facelift.
Visually, you'll have hard times trying to differentiate the pre-facelift models from the refreshed ones but the model has gained a more simplified front fascia with wider and more aggressive bumper incorporating new fog lamp housing. The introduction of full-LED headlight setup on all models as standard is surely a welcomed addition. Two new exterior colors are also available plus a set of 16-inch with a new eight-spoke design.
The biggest change inside the cabin is the new larger 8.0-inch screen on the center console and the 4.2-inch digital display in the driver's instrument cluster. In addition, new customization options are available, while GT-Line models benefit from special carbon fiber-like trim.
By far the most important upgrade is hidden underneath the skin. There, Kia is introducing a new 1.0-liter mild-hybrid engine which replaces the Rio's earlier Kappa 1.0 T-GDi. The new electrified powertrain combines a three-cylinder combustion engine with an integrated starter-generator for reduced CO2 emissions of approximately 8 percent measured by Europe's WLTP regime. In terms of output, the new Smartstream unit will be offered with the same peak power as its predecessor - 100 or 120 horsepower (75 or 89 kilowatts).
The mild-hybrid powertrain will be complemented by a newly-developed manual transmission with electronic control of the clutch. Kia explains the new "clutch-by-wire" gearbox integrates seamlessly with the mild-hybrid system to switch off the engine earlier than the start-stop function when coasting to a halt. The non-hybrid 1.0-liter gasoline engine of the Rio will be available with a new six-speed manual gearbox from now on, as well as with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. There's also a base naturally-aspirated 1.2-liter gas engine with a peak power of 84 hp (63 kW).
The refreshed Rio will go on sale in Europe during the third quarter of this year. No word on the US model yet.