Refreshed Kia Rio revealed, and it's due in SA later in 2020

By Jason Woosey Time of article published May 26, 2020

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Frankfurt, Germany - Kia’s Polo-rivalling Rio hatchback has been given a refresh for 2020 and Kia Motors South Africa says we can expect to see the upgraded model in local showrooms around the fourth quarter of 2020.

However, the local importer does point out that the facelifted model revealed this week is the European-spec version, and some of its features might not be applicable to the cars that will be sold in South Africa. The local specifics, it says, will be revealed closer to launch.

The design changes are subtle to say the least, but Kia has sharpened up the bumpers, while the grille has been given a narrower design to create a more “focused” appearance. The colour palette has also been expanded, with the addition of Sporty Blue and Perennia Grey hues.

Kia has kept things familiar on the inside too, but there are some fresh materials and colour schemes for the Euro model as well as a new (and larger) 20.3cm touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as multi-device Bluetooth connectivity. In front of the driver is a higher-resolution 10cm digital display.

On the engine front, at this stage it’s unclear whether Kia South Africa will carry over the current normally aspirated engines or introduce the 1-litre direct injection turbopetrol unit that’s available in Europe.

European models have also been upgraded with a new mild hybrid system to help the cars comply with upcoming emissions regulations. The 48V MHEV system, which is paired with the 1.0T engine, is said to reduce emissions by around 10 percent. The 1-litre engine is available in 74kW and 88kW versions, and these models also sport a Drive Mode Select system that allows drivers to choose between Eco, Sport and Normal modes. Buyers can choose between six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmissions.

Base models in Europe are powered by a new version of Kia’s normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine, featuring dual port injection technology and a power output of 62kW.

Watch this space for local details later this year.

The facelifted Rio is one of four model introductions planned for South Africa in 2020. Click here for more details on Kia's future product plans.

IOL Motoring

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