Earlier this month, Kia announced that it had released the facelifted version of the Picanto or Morning as it is known in the South Korean market. Now, however, it's the turn of its stablemate the Rio 5-door hatchback. Visually you will have a hard time telling the pre-facelift from the facelifted model, however, the newer model has gained a more simplified front clip with a wider and more chiseled front bumper that has new fog light housings. Along with the new front comes new lighting elements as well as the hatchback now comes with an LED headlight setup for all models as standard. It also comes with two new color options and with a new set of 16-inch wheels with a new eight-spoke design.
While the exterior of the new Rio has seen minor improvements on the inside. The South Korean hatchback now comes with a new and larger 8-inch touchscreen on the center console. This is paired with a 4.2-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster completing the look. The top of the line GT-Line models also gets new interior accents in the form of special carbon fiber-like trim.
A new power option has also been added to the vehicle. The Refreshed Kia Rio now comes with a new 1.0-liter mild-hybrid engine that replaces the vehicle’s older 1.0 T-GDI engine. It is important to note, however, that the Rio for the Philippine market uses a 1.4-liter naturally aspirated engine. The new mild-hybrid power plant utilizes a three-cylinder engine with an integrated starter-generator which produces less CO2 emissions than before. The new Smartstream hybrid drive produces the same power as the older 1.0-liter engine making 100-120hp. The Rio also now features a new smart manual transmission that features ‘clutch-by-wire’ technology which Kia says increases the vehicle’s efficiency.
Kia Philippines has not confirmed yet if it will be bringing in the refreshed Rio into the country, however, if they did it could be the brand’s first hybrid entry into the country. With the introduction of a hybrid vehicle, it could give the South Korean brand an advantage as its sister company Hyundai already has the hybrid Ioniq on sale in the Philippines.