New 2021 Kia Rio facelift is a mild-hybrid electric car

The upgraded 2021 Rio features Kia’s first gasoline mild-hybrid powertrain.It goes on-sale in Europe during the third quarter of 2020.
By : Prashant Singh
| Updated on: 26 May 2020, 06:05 PM
Front fascia of the Kia Rio facelift
Front fascia of the Kia Rio facelift
Front fascia of the Kia Rio facelift
Front fascia of the Kia Rio facelift

Kia on Tuesday revealed the new 2021 Rio facelift for the international markets. The latest update to the current fourth-generation Rio hatchback brings a number of enhancements to reinvigorate the car’s position in the competitive B-segment space.

The biggest change on the new Rio is the Kia’s first petrol 48V mild-hybrid system with ‘clutch-by-wire’ manual transmission.

(Also Read: Kia Motors resumes production at its sprawling Anantpur facility)

In the latest iteration, it features subtly refreshed exterior design comprising a mildly tweaked front fascia. The car retains its iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille which has now been narrowed for a sharper appearance. The front bumper has grown wider and features distinctive looking new fog lamp housing. The headlamps are full LED units with integral running lights. The car will be sold in two new exterior paint schemes - Perennial Grey and Sporty Blue, bring the total available paint palette choices to nine. The options also depend up on the specification and market.

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Inside, the Rio gets an up-scaled cabin featuring a new visual, material and technological upgrades. The key tweaks include a new bigger 8.0-inch widescreen, and a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster display.

The Rio hatchback is the first car from Kia to source power from a gasoline mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrain. This powertrain pairs company’s new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) unit with Kia’s 48V MHEV system. It delivers the same 120 PS power output and a 16% higher 120 Nm as the previous ‘Kappa’-generation 1.0-litre T-GDi engine.

Its main driver assistant features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian, vehicle and new cyclist recognition, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW). Moreover, some safety features such as Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA) and more are also offered which are specific to variant choices.

The updated model makes use of Kia's Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems. These are all the standard additions on the new car.

Rear fascia of the new 2021 Kia Rio facelift
Rear fascia of the new 2021 Kia Rio facelift
Rear fascia of the new 2021 Kia Rio facelift
Rear fascia of the new 2021 Kia Rio facelift

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, says: “The Rio is an important car for Kia in Europe and worldwide, and is an entry point into the Kia brand for many drivers. The upgraded model builds on the car’s key strengths – practicality, quality and technology – with newly electrified powertrains, a refreshed design, and advanced safety and telematics features often found in cars many segments above."

(Also Read: Kia introduces industry-first complimentary car sanitisation campaign)

The car is set for the European sales in the third quarter of 2020. Kia has also recently introuced the new Picanto. (Check it out here)

First Published Date: 26 May 2020, 05:09 PM IST
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