Facelifted 2021 Kia Rio adds more life to the hatchback

Facelifted 2021 Kia Rio adds more life to the hatchback

A week ago, Kia had uncovered the facelifted version of their smallest hatchback, the 2021 Kia Picanto. This time the manufacturer has gone for a segment above and refreshed the next hatchback in their lineup, the Kia Rio. The 2021 Kia Rio brings in a mild yet adequate facelift and a bit more tech inside the car and under the hood.

“What facelift?” you may ask if you park the outgoing Kia Rio and the new model side by side. But upon close inspection, a few traits like the more aggressive bumper and the new fog lamp housing make the new Rio look a little bit distinct from the existing one. The new LED headlamps, a standard offering across the variants, help too. The new Rio also gets two new exterior colours and a set of new 16-inch wheels.

Climbing inside the 2021 Kia Rio will reveal some minor changes, including a bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered to enhance connectivity, along with the ability to connect two mobile phones at the same time via Bluetooth. If your wish for a bit more flair inside the cabin, there is a new interior customisation option that will throw a bit of colour on to the dashboard and seats. The GT Line models will have a single-tone black interior with carbon-fibre accents.

Out goes the Kappa 1.0 T-GDi petrol engine of the Rio, making way for a new 1.0-litre mild-hybrid unit, at least in other markets. This engine is offered in two states of tune, 100 or 120 hp.  A new manual gearbox is mated to this engine, along with a “clutch-by-wire” system that switches the engine off while coasting to a halt. A non-hybrid 1.0-litre engine is also offered with the manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. At the bottom of things, a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine sits, producing 84 hp. It is likely the car will come to the GCC with carryover engines.

Kia Rio will go on sale in Europe during the third quarter of this year. The Middle East launch shouldn’t be very long after that.

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