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New Kia Rio 2020 detailed: Toyota Yaris rival gets facelift with safety and technology upgrades

The fourth-generation Rio has been given its midlife facelift.

Kia has revealed the facelifted version of the fourth-generation Rio light hatch, which features upgrades to safety and technology.

Advanced driver-assist systems now extend to autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, speed limit recognition and driver attention alert.

Inside, the Rio now has a 4.2-inch multifunction display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which is powered by a new multimedia system that supports satellite navigation with live traffic, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and dual Bluetooth connectivity.

Design-wise, the Rio now has a redesigned front bumper, tweaked LED headlight and tail-light clusters, a refreshed ‘tiger nose’ grille and fresh sets of alloy wheels.

Meanwhile, a 48V mild-hybrid version of the new 1.0-litre Smartstream turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine, dubbed EcoDynamics+, is now available, with it providing electric power assistance during acceleration and recharging the lithium-ion battery when decelerating.

2020 Kia Rio 2020 Kia Rio

Found in Australia’s current flagship GT-Line variant, the preceding Kappa unit produces the same 88kW of peak power, although its successor has 28Nm more maximum torque, at 200Nm.

The 1.0-litre Smartstream engine is also offered with a new manual transmission that uses a clutch-by-wire system, which helps to engage the start-stop system when coasting to a standstill.

A new 62kW 1.2-litre Smartstream naturally four-cylinder petrol unit has also been introduced, but it’s not yet known if it’ll replace the 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre unit used by the existing entry-level S and mid-range Sport variants.

UPDATE: Kia Australia has confirmed the facelifted Toyota Yaris rival will go on sale in July.

The 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine will carry over in the S and Sport, mated to either the current six-speed manual or a new six-speed torque-converter automatic.

Conversely, the GT-Line's 1.0-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine will have its power reduced to 74kW. Torque will be unchanged, at 172Nm, as will its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

As such, the 1.2-litre and mild-hybrid 1.0-litre Smartstream engines will not be introduced locally.

Kia Australia will confirm pricing and specification closer to launch, although it has revealed the Sport will add the aforementioned 4.2-inch multifunction display, AEB system and driver attention alert as well as lane-keep assist and high-beam assist, while the GT-Line will also pick up climate control.

For reference, the current Rio is priced from $17,490 to $23,590 plus on-road costs.