The New Kia Rio Impresses with Its Hybrid Powertrain and Rich Configuration

We first saw the updated Kia Rio in January 2020, when the South Korean company was still testing a prototype model with a huge amount of camouflage wrap.

Five months later, the development of the subcompact hatchback is complete. Now, it is time for the all-new Rio to be released.

Kia Rio 2020 Kia Rio 2020

The model has received a more simplified fascia panel with a wider and more aggressive bumper and new fog lights. The final flourish is LED lights, which absolutely all modifications of the car now come with. Two new body colors and a set of 16-inch wheels with a new eight-spoke design are also available.

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The biggest changes in the interior are a new large 8.0-inch screen of the center console and a 4.2-inch digital display in the driver's instrument cluster. Besides, the vehicle features new customization options, while the GT-Line models have a special carbon fiber finish.

Undoubtedly, the most important upgrade is hidden inside. Kia introduces a new 1.0-liter mild hybrid unit that replaces the Rio Kappa 1.0 T-GDi. The new electrified transmission combines a three-cylinder ICE with a built-in starter-generator to reduce CO2 emissions by almost 8% (according to the WLTP). In terms of performance, the new Smartstream unit will be offered with the same power output as its predecessor – 100 hp or 120 hp.

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The mild hybrid powertrain will be complemented by a newly developed manual transmission with electronic clutch control. Kia explains that the new «clutch-by-wire» transmission seamlessly integrates with the soft hybrid system to turn the engine off earlier than the «start-stop» system does when the driver plans to stop the car. The Rio's non-hybrid 1.0-liter petrol engine will now be available with a new six-speed manual transmission, as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There is also a 1.2-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine with a maximum output of 84 hp.

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The new Rio will be released in Europe in the third quarter of 2020.

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