Kia Motors revealed the fourth-generation Kia Rio with updated features and powertrain for the 2021 model. The compact hatchback that rivals Hyundai i20 now offers new powertrains including Kia’s first gasoline 48V mild-hybrid system, equipped with one of the first applications of the company’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ intelligent manual transmission (IMT).
The new Rio also comes with Kia’s second gen UVO connect internet-enabled features that enhance vehicle connectivity and control through telematics. The hatchback’s exterior has been updated with new interiors with optional customization for the cabin.
The upgraded Rio comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen display, offering Display Audio or Satellite Navigation depending on car’s specifications. The new system also features Bluetooth multi-connection, enabling users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on models equipped with the new 8.0-inch Display Audio system, negating the need for many owners to connect their smartphone via a cable.
On the exterior, the new Rio retains the iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille, narrowed for a more focused appearance and matched by a lower, wider front bumper with distinctive new fog lamp housing. The new models feature full LED headlamps with integral running lights.
As for the engine, the new smartstream engine replaces the Rio’s earlier ‘Kappa’-generation 1.0-litre T-GDi, and is equipped with Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. CVVD enables the engine to switch seamlessly between different combustion cycles depending on load, maximising efficiency in all driving situations. The Smartstream engine produces the same power as the previous Kappa engine line – 100 ps or 120 ps – but enables 16% higher peak torque output for 120 ps variants (200 Nm).
The 100 ps 1.0-litre T-GDi engine is also now offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, replacing the earlier five-speed manual, and Kia’s seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT).
The new Kia Rio is expected to go on sale in Europe by October 2020. Kia India has not made any announcement about Rio’s availability in the Indian market yet. The Kia Rio rivals Hyundai i20, Maruti Baleno, Honda Jazz, Tata Altroz and it is likely to make its Indian debut in mid 2021 and the expected price for Rio is in the range of Rs 8 Lakhs.