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2020 Kia Rio facelift revealed, will India get it?

Written by Nizam Shaikh

Kia has revealed the premium hatchback, Kia Rio in the international market which receives a refreshed exterior and interior features along with a new electrified powertrain and a Clutch-By-Wire Intelligent Manual Transmission among other upgraded safety features. The facelift Kia Rio will go on sale in Europe from the Q3 of 2020. 

On the exterior, the new Kia Rio features subtle styling updates with a sporty front grille retaining the signature Tiger Nose design feature, new full-LED headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, a wider front bumper and distinctive new fog lamp housing, chrome headlamp inserts, raised bonnet ridges, rounded wheel arches, new eight-split-spoke 16-inch alloy wheel, shark fin antenna, blacked-out B pillars, LED combination tail lamps, black applique on the bumper and tailgate integrated spoiler. 

On the Inside, the new Kia Rio features a multilayered dashboard with textured embellishment on the fascia, silver accented trim, trapezoidal air-con vents, rounded instrumentation, flat-bottomed steering wheel with controls, centrally positioned and upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth multi-connection that enables users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time, split-screen functionality, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and the brand’s latest-generation ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics system. 

The Kia Rio is powered by a mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrain which combines the new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) petrol engine with Kia’s 48V MHEV system dubbed ‘EcoDynamics+’. The system assists the engine’s torque output with a 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery paired to a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator. The Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator or MHSG is coupled to the engine’s crankshaft via a belt system and can provide power assistance to the engine while accelerating improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, the MHSG system also has an integrated generator which recuperates the battery when the car is decelerating. 

The new Smartstream engine retains the power output figures from the previous Kappa series engine, that is 100 Hp or 120 Hp depending upon the application but enables 16% higher peak torque output of about 200 Nm for the 120 Hp variants. The EcoDynamics+ engine is paired to an iMT gearbox with a ‘clutch-by-wire’ system which instead of a mechanical linkage, is controlled electronically.  The Kia Rio is also available with an 84 Hp naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine. The 100 ps 1.0-litre T-GDi engine is also now offered with a six-speed manual transmission and seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT).

The brand has also upgraded the safety systems on the 2020 Kia Rio which feature Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems as standard along with Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian protection, cyclist recognition, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning etc. 

Kia has not made any announcement of the Kia Rio’s arrival in India, but the brand will be introducing the Kia Sonet in the Indian market soon.