2020 Kia Rio: prices, specs and release date

New Kia Rio supermini launched with £13,395 starting price

  • Mild-hybrid technology features for the first time
  • New Rio gets a larger touchscreen
  • On sale now

The Kia Rio hatchback has been updated for 2020 and is now available to buy. The design of Kia’s rival to the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza is largely unchanged but there are more significant updates under the surface. A more economical petrol engine, better connectivity and more driver assistance technology all feature. Prices start from £13,395 and there are four trim levels to pick from.

2020 Kia Rio prices and specifications

Kia Rio trims start with entry-level ‘1’, which features air con, Bluetooth, heated mirrors, lane-keeping assist and collision avoidance systems. The ‘2’ trim starts from £15,595, and brings alloy wheels, DAB radio, a touchscreen and a reversing camera.

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‘3’ adds sat nav, auto wipers and heating for the front seats and the steering wheel. The top-spec GT-Line S models gets a sporty look, front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and keyless start. The 3 model starts at £18,895, while GT-Line S costs £1,000 more.

Interior and technology

Inside, a new eight-inch touchscreen will replace the current car’s seven-inch screen (although the ‘1’ trim makes do with a smaller button-operated display). The eight-inch screen features Bluetooth multi-connection - two phones can connect at the same time - plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and sat nav on higher trims.

Kia is also rolling out the second phase of its UVO Connect live features in the Rio. You’ll be able to access live traffic information, weather forecasts, fuel prices and local on- and off-street parking details. Users can also download an accompanying smartphone app that lets them send sat nav directions straight to the car, check for diagnostic notifications and see where the car’s parked.

There’s more safety technology on board now, too. The forward collision assist now recognises cyclists as well as pedestrians, while everything from intelligent speed limit recognition to adaptive cruise control is available. The latter can be specified on automatic cars, and this - alongside the Lane Follow Assist function - means the Rio can essentially drive itself for short periods, such as on the motorway. Kia has also introduced a Leading Vehicle Departure Alert function, which warns you if you fail to notice that the car in front has moved off.

Engines and mild-hybrid power

The 2020 Kia Rio hatchback gets new engine choices, including a brand-new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. A small battery, recharged from the energy normally lost in braking, essentially allows the stop-start system to shut down the engine sooner to save fuel. The Rio’s fuel economy currently isn’t as good as that of rivals, so the new tech should help it catch up. The 118bhp engine manages 0-62mph in around 10 seconds and 51-52mpg, whether you choose the manual or the automatic.

The new 1.0-litre engine is also available in 99bhp form without mild-hybrid tech, and an entry-level 83bhp naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine. Kia’s given the 1.0-litre engine a six-speed manual gearbox for the first time (instead of a five-speed) and you can also choose an automatic with seven gears for £1,000 extra.

Different trim levels essentially get different engines: the ‘1’ is limited to the 83bhp engine, ‘2’ unlocks the option of the 99bhp engine, and ‘3’ and GT-Line S are both exclusively offered with the 118bhp version.

Styling

You might need a magnifying glass to spot the Rio’s changes but the grille is a little slimmer and the lower air intakes are reshaped. All models now feature LED headlights, while two new paint colours and a new set of 16-inch wheels are available.

See where the Kia Rio features in our guides to the best cheap cars to insure and best used small cars.

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