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Kia Rio gets major upgrade, expected in India next year

Kia Motors has quickly risen through the ranks of automobile companies, especially in the Indian market. With a wonderful reception in the Indian market, Kia has sensed this as a brilliant opportunity for establishing a stronghold on the Indian market. 

Seltos has announced its arrival in style with staggering sales numbers, Carnival is a promising MPV that has created a lot of buzz, Kia has meant only business. With the announcement of a significantly upgraded Kia Rio, Kia is all set to rake up the competition quotient for other manufacturers.

Rio has been one of Kia’s most popular global product and with the announcement, it sounds that they have planned some major upgrades, which is something to look forward to. 

Though Kia has not dropped many hints of details regarding Rio’s India launch, Considering it is a premium hatchback and also one of Kia’s most successful global offering, it will irrefutably be launched in India, at least in 2021, if not very soon.

For starters, a slight glance at the Stylish Kia offering would make one sense that the car surely packs in the punch to give established players like Baleno and i20 a tough time, and that is what makes this car even more interesting.  

There is no denying the fact that Rio will be eagerly awaited in India and also will come loaded up to the brim, it should be kept in mind that all the upgrades and features that are being discussed in this article, might not be carried with the Indian spec-version, some of the obvious reasons being largely different safety standards, conflicting customer priorities and also contrasting purchasing power.  

What did the company official say?

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe said that 

“Rio is an important car for Kia in Europe and worldwide and is an entry point into the Kia brand for many drivers. The upgraded model builds on the car’s key strengths – practicality, quality and technology – with newly electrified powertrains, a refreshed design, and advanced safety and telematics features often found in cars many segments above. We are convinced these upgrades will make Rio more successful than ever.”

What new do the updates bring to the table?

Well, as mentioned before this is a major upgrade and as a result, there are a lot of brilliant additions and updates.

Talking briefly about them, Updated Rio gets a lot of changes included an updated design profile on the exterior and reworked fresh interiors. However, the couple of revelations that really highlights the launch announcements include ‘big car’ like safety and infotainment features. 

The major announcement that shone right through this announcement was the fact that Kia has included a 48 V mild-hybrid system that comes equipped with the company’s new clutch-by-wire intelligent manual transmission.  

Let us go through different changes one by one-


It is the single most probable aspect that will most possibly be carried whenever Rio is launched in India, for starters, the car is an absolute visual treat and looks stunning, with great quality levels on offer.


As welcome retentions, the car carries forward Kia’s iconic tiger-nose grille, changes around the grille like a wider bumper and updated fog light housing come forward as appealing changes right away.

The stylish LED Headlamps and Day time running lights acts as the perfect icing on the cake, giving the car a smart and confidence stance upfront.  


The moment one steps inside Rio’s cabin they would surely notice top-notch quality, plush, materials used inside the cabin, the car has always been practical and with the updates cabin feels richer and better.

The company provides buyers with an option of giving a personal flair to the car with interior customisation option colour packs. These packs include the option to add different colour schemes to different parts of interiors.            



The hatchback from Kia gets a number of important safety features including tech like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with a pedestrian, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW).

The car also gets a variety of new active safety systems to enhance occupants safety. These features include Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and Lane Following Assist (LFA)

The updated Kia’s Rio comes equipped with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-Line Stability (SLS) Systems as standard which will help the driver in maintaining the control under braking and cornering.


Rio gets an updated touchscreen infotainment system, with the update Rio becomes one of Kia’s first offering to get the all-new “Phase two” UVO Connect Telematics System, enhancing vehicles’ connectivity options. 

The larger 8.0-inch infotainment system offers satellite navigation, the system also provides the option of Bluetooth multi-connection (provides the users with the option of connecting up to a couple of mobile devices at the same time) it also gets an advanced split-screen functionality, the system also comes with the option of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

As the infotainment system comes equipped with a connected mobile phone application UVO, it offers the convenience of activating a wide range of functions that can be operated remotely. These features include access to vehicle reports, diagnostic notifications and also check the location of the vehicle. 


Kia Motors has introduced a mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrain. Rio’s new ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain couples with the new ‘Smartstream’ (it replaces the old Kappa engine) 1.0L T-GDi (Turbocharged direct injection) engine with a 48V MHEV system, the combined Mild-hybrid transmission will surely be a big step-up in terms of fuel efficiency.

Ecodynamics+ is responsible for supplementing engine’s torque output with power from the compact 48V lithium-ion polymer battery. 

As far as the power output is concerned, Rio gets a couple of engine options producing 100 HP and 120 HP, while the 100HP unit produces a maximum torque of 172 Nm, the torque outputs of 120HP produces 16 per cent extra peak torque, giving an output of 200 Nm.

Clutch-by-wire system

The EcoDynamics+ in Rio works with the new Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT), which employs a ‘clutch-by-wire’ system helping the car achieve greater fuel efficiencies and also helping in reduction of the harmful CO2 emissions. 

The IMT does not depend on a mechanical linkage and is controlled electronically, which helps the engine in functioning well and achieve great efficiency numbers.