Updated Kia Rio gets sophisticated new tech and mild-hybrid system

Updated Kia Rio gets sophisticated new tech and mild-hybrid system

Kia Motors has announced an upgrade for its Rio hatchback, and it’s a significant improvement.

Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to have changed much physically. The “tiger nose” grille is still there but narrower and it apes its newer cousins. LED headlamps, a lower, wider front bumper and new fog lamp housings also appear.

The cabin has been touched up with more premium materials and a larger, 20.3cm main display screen while the driver’s instrument cluster has grown brighter and larger. You can now customise the interior with an optional blue colour pack that decorates the seat bolsters, dashboard and door arm rests.

The GT-Line models get a black single-tone interior with white contrast piping and stitching on the seats and carbon-fibre effects.

Kia Motors SA says the spec mentioned above applies to European cars — local specifications will be communicated closer to the Rio’s local debut in the fourth quarter this year, including whether local models will have the  new-generation EcoDynamics+ powertrain, which pairs a 1.0l petrol turbo engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system.

The engine features continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) technology for efficiency, and the mild-hybrid system reduces CO2 emissions by up to 10.7% by supplying electric power assistance to reduce engine load, and with regenerative braking.

Added safety systems include forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA) with pedestrian, vehicle and cyclist recognition; lane-keeping assist (LKA); driver-attention warning (DAW); and blind-spot collision warning (BCW). Furthermore, the Rio now offers several new active safety systems to enhance occupant safety.

Leading vehicle departure alert is also new and works if the driver stops the Rio in heavy traffic conditions by alerting her if the car in front moves away and the driver hasn’t noticed.

The Rio maintains the usual suite of safety items such as six airbags, stability control, and cornering brake control.