Upgraded Rio the first Kia to implement a petrol mild-hybrid powertrain

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• First mild-hybrid powertrain for Kia

• 1.0-litre engine available with 74kW/88kW

• Apple CarPlay/Android Auto: model dependent

The Kia Rio sees a significant upgrade to the fourth-generation model. A range of enhancements, says Kia, will bolster the Rio's position within the competitive B-segment of the auto industry.

One of the big talking points around the upgrade is the inclusion of hybrid technology. For the first time on a Kia, the Rio will sport a 48V mild-hybrid system.

This new system is fitted to the Rio's turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, which is available in two states of tune: 74kW and 88kW, with the latter producing 200Nm. Kia says that the hybrid system improves fuel efficiency, and regenerative electricity is garnered under braking.

The 1.0-litre engine is mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre is also available and offers 62kW.

Kia says: "Our engineers have also upgraded the Rio's Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system, in recognition of the car's use in urban areas in markets around the globe."

The new Kia Rio is expected to arrive locally in the fourth quarter of this year.


How would you predict the updated Kia Rio's success in South Africa? Email us.

Kia Rio

2021 Kia Rio. Image: MotorPress

Improved infotainment system

The new Rio's infotainment system now comes with an upgraded touchscreen navigation system, but it is model-dependent. The 8.0-inch display allows for two Bluetooth devices to be connected at the same time. The split-screen functionality enables users to monitor different settings simultaneously, as well as to customise the screen with a series of different widgets.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on infotainment systems fitted with the new 8.0-inch display.

READ: Feeling the pinch? Kia offers owners vehicle servicing from R999

Other technological updates include Kia's latest Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian, vehicle and, the newly introduced, cyclist recognition, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW).

The updated Rio is also equipped with Kia's Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems as standard, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.

Six airbags are added standard across the range.

Kia Rio

2021 Kia Rio. Image: MotorPress

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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