2020 Kia Rio facelift revealed

2020 Kia Rio

The Kia Rio luxury hatchback has been facelifted and now sports a raft of new technologies and a new mild-hybrid petrol engine with an advanced manual clutch-by-wire transmission, along with the styling changes. The 2020 Kia Rio is seen on the international markets as a rival to the Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz.

Outside, the Rio gets several subtle updates on styling. The styling includes a narrower front grill, a lower and wider the front bumper, it also gets full-LED headlights and the fog light connectors have also been redesigned. It also features a new eight-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheel.

2020 Kia Rio interior

The larger 8.0-inch, freestanding touchscreen infotainment system with Kia’s latest ‘Phase II’ UVO telematics and connected car technology is the most significant change on the inside. This is also expected to find its way into upcoming models for Kia India.

Special carbon fiber like trim inserts is also available for the GT Line model. More safety kit has also been added by Kia including Lane Following Assist. Using cameras and radar sensors, this feature maintains a safe distance from the front car when tracking road markings to keep Rio in the middle of its lane.

Kia also fitted the Rio facelift with a new powertrain –the 1.0-liter T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine ‘Smartstream’ that is fitted with a 48V mild-hybrid. This engine replaces the previous 1.0-liter engine from the T-GDI ‘Kappa’ series. However, when compared to the older engine, the power figures remain unchanged, as the Smartstream unit produces the same 100hp as its ‘Kappa’ counterpart. A naturally aspirated unit of 84hp, 1.2-litre, is also available with the base models.

2020 Kia Rio infotainment system

The mild-hybrid system allows Rio to assist with electrical torque and regenerative braking, maximizing fuel efficiency. In regards to its competitors, the introduction of Kia’s Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology allows the engine to switch between different combustion cycles depending on the load to maximize efficiency.

The new ‘clutch-by-wire’ Intelligent Manual Transmission(iMT) is another notable improvement. It’s said to contribute to the greater fuel efficiency of the mild-hybrid powertrain. An auto rev-matching feature makes adjustments to the gear in the absence of a pedal clutch. This latest iMT gearbox, when introduced, will also be fitted to the forthcoming Kia Sonet compact SUV. A new manual is a 6-speed unit (instead of replacing the 5-speed), and there will also be an optional dual-clutch 7-speed.

What’s your opinion about the 2020 Kia Rio?

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