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May 27, 2020

Kia Gives the 2021 Rio Hatchback a Boost in Looks, Power

After refreshing its Picanto city car, Kia’s now giving the same treatment to its sub-compact hatchback, the Rio. For 2021, the Rio sports a range of enhancements to, in Kia’s words, reinvigorate its position in the B-segment.

The most apparent aspect is the exterior design with changes done to the tiger-nose grille, narrowed in appearance and matched by a lower, wider front bumper and new fog lamp housing. The Rio also gets full LED headlights with DRLs, and revised 16-inch alloy wheels. The sporty GT Line gets unique front and rear bumpers, along with exposed twin mufflers.

Under the hood, the 2021 Rio features new engines including those equipped with mild-hybrid technology, the first Kia to do so. Base models are powered by an 84-horsepower 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine, while higher variants get Kia’s EcoDynamics+ which pairs a 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine with a 48-volt MHEV system for up to 120 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque.

The Rio M/T models also get a new 6-speed gearbox with clutch-by-wire technology. Instead of a mechanical linkage, the iMT’s clutch is controlled purely electronically. A 7-speed dual clutch automatic remains optional.

Inside, the 2021 Rio benefits from higher scale materials. Front and center is a new 8-inch widescreen touchscreen-based infotainment system, while for the driver, there’s a higher resolution 4.2-inch digital display in the instrument cluster. Both front seats now offer height adjustability as well. For the GT Line, contrast piping and stitching on the seats, and a carbon fiber effect on the dashboard are added for visual impact.

Finally, the 2021 Rio features several of Kia’s latest Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian, vehicle and newly introduced cyclist recognition, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Blind Collision Warning (BCW).

The 2021 Kia Rio arrives in global markets by the third quarter of this year.

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