Given the majority of buyers are women, the addition of wireless technology in the new Kia Rio is sure to be a winner.
New Rio adds a larger 8.0-inch infotainment unit with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that eliminates the need for a cable connection.
For the Sport and GT-Line models there’s also a new 4.2-inch colour info display that provides important driver information in one central location.
GT-Line models also get Climate Control and Automatic Window Defogger that operates whenever the climate control system is switched on.
Safety extends to six airbags, ABS and stability control, along with Autonomous Emergency Braking in Sport and GT-Line models — with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection.
Sport and GT-Line also acquire auto High Beam, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Alert where driver steering inputs and patterns are monitored using cameras and sensors with an audio/visual warning issued if careless driving is detected.
The one thing new Rio doesn’t get is any more engine power.
The old tech 1.4-litre multi-point injection engine carries over in S and Sport models, with 74kW and 133Nm, and is coupled to 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions.
The 1.0-litre three cylinder turbocharged engine in GT-Line has actually been downgraded from 88 to 74kW, although the torque output remains the same at 172Nm.
It’s paired with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission.
New Rio features a refreshed face, with narrower ‘tiger-nose’ grille, matched by a lower, wider front bumper and distinctive new fog light assembly.
These changes give the front of the car a smoother, more purposeful look, with a more confident stance on the road.
Two new exterior colours are also introduced for the GT-Line.
There’s Perennial Grey (also available on Sport trim) and Sporty Blue, bringing the total number of paint palette options to six for the S trim, seven for Sport and six for the GT-Line.
Kia hopes the changes will “reinvigorate” the car’s position in the highly competitive small car segment.