2021 Kia Rio Benefits From Mid-cycle Refresh

Published on May 26, 2020 in News by Guillaume Rivard

Three years removed from a complete redesign, the 2021 Kia Rio is due for several tweaks and updates as part of a mid-cycle refresh—bad news for the competition as the little Korean is The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buy in the sub-compact car segment.

Before we go any further, you should know that Kia has only revealed the Euro-spec model for now. The four-door Rio sedan and Rio 5-door hatchback sold in Canada are expected to follow a similar path, however.

Kia designers first modernized and cleaned up the exterior with a narrower front grille, a lower and wider front bumper and revised foglight housings. Full LED headlights are now available, along with new body colours and wheel designs.

Photo: Kia

Inside the 2021 Kia Rio, the layout and materials are more attractive and refined, but the main update is the larger eight-inch centre touchscreen (optional) powered by a multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A higher-resolution 4.2-inch display right in front of the driver is also included.

We’re hoping to get that new blue colour pack which adds a touch of flair to the cabin with coloured seat bolsters, dashboard and door armrests, matched with contrast stitching.

Photo: Kia

Meanwhile, engineers have developed a 48V mild hybrid system for the 1.0-litre turbo engine, but since the latter is not available here, don’t get your hopes up. Our Rio will likely stick with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that generates 130 horsepower through a six-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission. Average fuel consumption ranges from 6.6-7.0 L/100 km.

Moreover, Kia is announcing new advanced safety and driver assistance features with the 2021 Rio. Which ones will make their way this side of the ocean? That remains to be seen.  

Since the car is hitting European showrooms this summer, details for the North American market should be disclosed sometime soon.

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