Kia has revealed the facelifted version of the Rio small car, with a focus on added safety features and new technology. The updated 202 Kia Rio arrives in Australia in July 2020, though local pricing is yet to be announced for Kia’s rival to the Volkswagen Polo, Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift.

Searching the exterior won’t give you many clues as to the 2020 Kia Rio’s update – the ‘tiger nose’ grille is narrower, the bumpers have been slightly redesigned and the car’s headlights now feature LED daytime running lights. It’s definitely a subtle update, though the Rio is already a handsome car.

Changes inside have been more significant. There’s a new 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, a higher-res 4.2-inch driver’s information display on Sport and GT models, a multi-device Bluetooth connection, as well as upgraded materials and new upholsteries for a higher quality look. 

The 2020 Kia Rio GT-Line also adopts climate control air-conditioning, and an automatic window defogger.

Kia has spent time upgrading under the bonnet of the Rio – at least in European markets – with a new range of engines. There are new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol units with mild-hybrid tech in 75kW and 89kW power levels, though both units produce 200Nm of torque. Available on both are either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

Australian 2020 Kia Rio models are confirmed to use the same 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre petrol with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto in the S and Sport, and the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine in the GT continues on, though it’s been detuned to the same 74kW of power (it was 88kW) and the same 172Nm of torque. We’re not sure why the downgrade has occurred. 

Active safety tech – one of the current Rio’s biggest negative points – has been significantly upgraded. Sport and GT models now include auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, driver attention alert and auto high beam – though the blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control of European-spec Rios is still missing and the S has no active safety kit at all.

Kia Australia is yet to announce pricing for the facelifted Rio. 

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