Kia has unveiled the updated 2021 Kia Rio, which is going to arrive in Europe in the third quarter of this year. The 2021 Rio not only gets updated styling, new tech features, but it also arrives with a new mild-hybrid powertrain and a unique manual transmission.
On the outside, the 2021 Kia Rio gets an updated face with a new version of the tiger-nose grille and LED headlights. The updates give the Rio a cleaner design than before and there are new eight-spoke 16-inch wheels.
Inside there’s a new 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster has a higher resolution. There’s also a long list of driver assistance safety tech, like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist recognition.
Under the hood the Kia Rio gets a new EcoDynamics-Plus powertrain, which mates a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The powertrain will be offered with two power outputs, 98 horsepower or 118 horsepower. There’s also a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine for buyers that don’t want an electrified Rio.
The 2021 Kia Rio also gets a new “Intelligent Manual Transmission” that’s controlled electronically meaning that there isn’t a mechanical connection. The ‘clutch-by-wire’ system works with the hybrid system to switch off the engine earlier than start-stop system when coasting to a halt to improve overall fuel efficiency and emissions.
Kia hasn’t unveiled the US-spec 2021 Rio, but we expect many of these updates to be available in the US as well.