2021 Kia Rio UK Version

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Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2021 Kia Rio UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details

About the Car

2021 Kia Rio UK Version

  • Upgraded Rio features Kia’s first petrol mild-hybrid powertrain

  • ‘Clutch-by-wire’ intelligent manual transmission increases efficiency

  • Efficiency upgrades to powertrain line-up, including new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi engine

  • New ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics and advanced infotainment system

  • Refreshed exterior design provides a bolder more attractive appearance

  • Fuel economy of up to 52.3mpg with CO2 emissions from 123g/km

Kia Motors has announced a significant upgrade to the fourth-generation Kia Rio. The upgraded model features a range of enhancements to reinvigorate the car’s position within the highly competitive B-segment. You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version

The upgraded Rio pairs an updated exterior and interior design with ‘big car’ safety and infotainment technologies. The new model also offers drivers new efficient powertrains – including Kia’s first petrol 48V mild-hybrid system, equipped with one of the first applications of the company’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ intelligent manual transmission.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The Rio is an important car for Kia in Europe and worldwide, and is an entry point into the Kia brand for many drivers. The upgraded model builds on the car’s key strengths – practicality, quality and technology – with newly electrified powertrains, a refreshed design, and advanced safety and telematics features often found in cars many segments above. We are convinced these upgrades will make the Rio more successful than ever.”

The updated Rio is the largest and most spacious car to wear the nameplate, integrates a cutting edge second-generation connectivity package and advanced driver assistance systems, features new 48-volt mild hybrid turbocharged petrol engines at the head of a more efficient powertrain line-up, and has new a freshly polished appearance. No wonder the Rio is known within Kia as ‘a little Titan’. The Rio will be sold as a five-door model only, in line with customer demand.

Globally, the Rio is Kia’s best-seller, with sales close to 475,000 a year, and while it is overshadowed in the UK by the European-built Sportage crossover and Ceed range, it is still a highly significant model, accounting for more than five per cent of the company’s sales.

The Rio is offered in the UK in an eight-model line-up based on three engines, three gearboxes and four trim levels, including sporty ‘GT-Line S’ variants that crown the small car range. Available with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist for city, pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Follow Assist (LFA), and also features both Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration. A new 8-inch infotainment system is introduced for models grade ‘2’ and above and the Phase II UVO Connect telematics system makes an appearance on the Rio for the first time.


The updated Rio has a refreshed front design exuding style and sportiness. Other tweaks simplify the car’s design, creating a tasteful and uncluttered appearance.

You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.


2021 Kia Rio – UK Version Front View 3/4

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version

The refreshed design retains the car’s iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille, narrowed for a more focused appearance and matched by a lower, wider front bumper and distinctive new fog lamp housing. These changes give the front of the car a smoother, yet more purposeful appearance, imbuing it with a more confident stance on the road.

Two new exterior colours have been introduced with the upgraded model, Storm Grey and Azure Blue, bringing the total number of paint palette options to seven. The upgraded model is also offered with a new eight-spoke 16-inch alloy wheel design on grade ‘3’.

The design of the car was a joint effort led by the company’s studios in Frankfurt and at Irvine, California, with input from the main design centre at Namyang in South Korea.

Inside, the Rio features a series of visual, material and technological upgrades to create a more upscale atmosphere and enhance quality. The main update is a new larger 8.0-inch widescreen, and a higher-resolution 4.2-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster, both featured on grades ‘2’ and above.

‘GT-Line S’ models are offered with a black cloth and faux leather upholstery with silver contrast stitching on the seats, and a carbon fibre-effect dashboard for added visual impact.

All models are equipped with driver seat height adjustability, helping the driver to find their ideal position.

Practicality was a key focus in the design of the Rio, and there is generous front and rear head, leg and shoulder room, which are all among the best in class. Similarly, the boot is among the biggest in the B-segment at 325 litres and expands to 1103 litres with the 60:40 split rear seats folded. A tyre repair kit is provided in place of a spare wheel to maximise luggage capacity and make space for a larger fuel tank of 45 litres.

There is an open double tray for mobile devices and other small items at the base of the centre console, with sunglasses storage in the overhead console, a single-box glove compartment, bottle holders in every door (1.5 litres at the front and 0.5 litres in the rear) and closed-bottom storage areas in the doors.

The cabin has been designed around the touchscreen for the infotainment, navigation and connectivity features and is pleasingly sculpted and ergonomic. As with the outside, it is characterised by straight lines which emphasise width and space, with horizontal air vents.

The dashboard is angled towards the driver, creating a sporty feel, while the centre console is dominated by a ‘floating’ human-machine interface with a 4.2-inch colour supervision cluster display and a new 8-inch touchscreen navigation system on ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models.

Rio ‘1’ has black cloth upholstery, while Rio ‘2’ features premium black cloth, with Rio ‘3’ upholstered in black faux leather. Special black cloth and faux leather upholstery with silver stitching is fitted to the ‘GT-Line S’ models, which also have metal pedals.

Quality – perceived and actual – is evident in the fit and finish and the choice of materials. There is a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter from grade ‘2’, satin chrome interior door handles on grades ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’, while a silver paint finish is utilised on grades ‘1’ and ‘2’. On Rio ‘3’ models, a black leather fascia trim and ‘GT-Line S’ versions feature a D-cut steering wheel.

You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.


2021 Kia Rio – UK Version Interior

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version


The Rio’s suspension continues to be based on independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear and was completely retuned when the fourth-generation Rio was launched three years ago. The aim was to enhance driver involvement, while extending the compliance and comfort of the ride. This has been aided considerably by the much stiffer body shell of the fourth-generation Rio compared to its predecessor.

Spring and damper settings were completely revised to take advantage of the stiffer body, which allowed the suspension to do its work without having to compensate for flexing of the car’s structure. The front struts and cross-member were made stiffer than in the third-generation Rio and the torsion beam was raised, all of which was designed to enhance stability. The rear dampers are almost vertical (the incline is 8.4 degrees instead of the previous 25 degrees), while those at the front benefit from pre-loaded linear valve technology, delivering more linear handling and suspension response over broken surfaces.

Pre-loaded linear valve technology features a completely new piston design which not only increases driving comfort but also ensures excellent isolation of vibrations in the vehicle body. Rapid opening and closing processes in the valve ensure outstanding wheel damping, which adds to safety by improving handling precision. In addition, innovative piston geometries further optimise the damper’s noise emissions.

The gearbox for the motor-driven power steering (MDPS) was moved forwards by 28mm, while the castor angle of the front wheels went up from 4.1 to 4.6 degrees. Both measures were designed to improve feel for the driver. The number of teeth on the steering’s serration column shaft was almost doubled, which improved off-centre feel while contributing towards an improvement in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Together, all these changes resulted in a more compliant and quieter ride for the fourth generation Rio, greater stability, faster steering responses with greater feedback and increased driver confidence.

The column mounted MDPS requires 2.63 turns between the extremes of lock for a turning circle of 10.2 metres. Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear discs are fitted across the range and supported by anti-lock (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and a Brake Assist system (BAS). Collectively, these allow the Rio to be steered and braked at the same time without risk of going out of control, ensure that most braking effort goes to the wheels which are best able to take advantage of it, and automatically deliver maximum stopping power in emergency braking, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver.

Wheels of 15-, 16- or 17-inches in diameter (steel on grade ‘1’ models, alloy on all others) are fitted, with 185/65 R15, 195/55 R16 or 205/45 R17 tyres. All models have a tyre repair kit in place of a spare wheel to save weight.


The upgraded Kia Rio features major revisions to its existing range of petrol engine options, maximising efficiency, lowering CO2 emissions, and improving driveability. As well as EcoDynamics+ models, the Rio line-up is offered with a choice of Smartstream petrol engines – the new 99bhp 1.0-litre T-GDi engine, and a new version of Kia’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine, with innovative Dual Port Injection technology and a power output of 83bhp.

The 99bhp 1.0-litre T-GDi engine is offered with a six-speed manual transmission and Kia’s seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT).

You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.


2021 Kia Rio – UK Version Side View 3/4

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version

New EcoDynamics+ petrol mild hybrid with new intelligent Manual Transmission
The Rio is the first Kia powered by a petrol mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrain. The new ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain pairs Kia’s new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine with Kia’s 48V MHEV system, maximising fuel efficiency with electric torque assistance and regenerative braking.

EcoDynamics+ has been engineered to deliver greater efficiency from internal combustion engines on the road, seamlessly deploying and recuperating electric power. The system supplements the engine’s torque output with power from a compact 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery and extends engine ‘off time’ with a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) unit.

The MHSG is connected by a belt to the engine’s crankshaft, and switches seamlessly between ‘motor’ and ‘generator’ modes. In ‘motor’ mode, under acceleration, the MHSG provides electric power assistance to reduce engine load and emissions. As the car decelerates, the MHSG has the ability under certain conditions to switch to ‘generator’ mode, recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery.

The new Smartstream engine replaces the Rio’s earlier ‘Kappa’-generation 1.0-litre T-GDi and is equipped with Kia’s advanced Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology, among a range of other innovations. CVVD enables the engine to switch seamlessly between different combustion cycles depending on load, maximising efficiency in all driving situations. The Smartstream engine produces the same power as the previous Kappa engine line – 99bhp.

The new EcoDynamics+ powertrain reduces the Rio’s CO2 emissions, and is offered on the 118bhp versions of the new engine. 48-volt powertrains with seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT) will be equipped with a Drive Mode Select system, giving drivers the choice to customise their drive with ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Normal’ modes.

The Rio EcoDynamics+ is also one of the first models from Kia to be equipped with the brand’s new intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT). The ‘clutch-by-wire’ system contributes to the MHEV system’s greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual transmission. Instead of a mechanical linkage, the iMT’s clutch is controlled purely electronically. It integrates seamlessly with the MHSG to switch off the engine earlier than Kia’s Idle Stop & Go start-stop system when coasting to a halt, improving overall fuel efficiency.

The 48-volt 118bhp edition of the 1.0 T-GDi engine can be paired with an iMT gearbox and hits 60mph in 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. CO2 emissions are as low as 122g/km with fuel economy of up to 52.3mpg on the WLTP combined fuel economy cycle. The 7-speed auto DCT editions hit 60mph just one second later at 9.9 seconds, yet manages the same top speed of 118mph. With CO2 emissions from 123g/km, fuel economy of 52.3mpg is possible on the new WLTP combined fuel economy cycle.

The 1.0-litre T-GDi ‘Smartstream’ engine
The 1.0-litre T-GDi engine delivers exceptional power and torque, despite its small capacity, through turbocharging and direct injection. The T-GDi units spray a fine mist of fuel directly into the cylinders through a high-pressure injection system which ensures they use only as much fuel as necessary for the load being put on them. The result is highly efficient combustion with excellent performance. Dual-port injection technology and direct injection with turbocharging also helps to boost low-speed response and driveability.

There 1.0-litre T-GDi engine in the Rio is 998cc in size and features four valves per cylinder. It has a power output of 99bhp at 4,500rpm and generates 172Nm of torque between 1,500 and 4,000rpm. The powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual, rather than a five-speed unit in its predecessor, or alternatively a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT).

You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.


2021 Kia Rio – UK Version Interior Detail

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version

The key target was instantaneous response, highly efficient combustion and exemplary torque across a wide portion of the rev band. These goals have been more than met with the aid of innovative technical solutions. There is a single-scroll turbocharger paired with an electric wastegate motor. This improves turbocharger performance while scavenging clean air for the engine to re-use for combustion. At the same time it allows the wastegate to open to improve the flow of spent exhaust gases. It is an innovative system which allows higher low-end torque, more immediate response at any throttle opening and improved fuel economy at high engine loads.

The engine is fitted with an integrated exhaust manifold which reduces exhaust gas temperatures, bringing the benefits of higher speeds with greater fuel efficiency. Lower temperatures also result in cleaner emissions by allowing the catalytic converter to operate more effectively. Engine temperatures are closely regulated by a dual-thermostat split cooling system, which allows the block and cylinder heads to be cooled independently. The main thermostat controls the flow of coolant to the cylinder heads above 88ºC to reduce knocking, while the engine block thermostat shuts off coolant flow above 105ºC to reduce friction and improve efficiency.

A number of factors contribute towards the exemplary driveability and efficiency of the all-aluminium T-GDi unit. There is continuously variable valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust sides, electronic throttle control and light, low-friction moving parts. The crankshaft is offset from the centre-line to aid smoothness.

The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold. The integrated exhaust manifold and turbocharger, in a one-piece casting, improve sealing while reducing weight. A number of detailed engineering solutions minimise throttle lag – the delay between the driver pressing the accelerator and the turbocharger delivering boost – and reduce internal friction.

For added durability, the cylinder block has been heat-treated and the crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods have been strengthened.

The 1.0 T-GDi model accelerates the Rio from standstill to 60mph in 10.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of 115mph. Combined fuel consumption is from 52.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 123/km (grade ‘2’). When equipped the 7DCT gearbox, the top speed is 117mph, with an acceleration time of 11.0 seconds. Combined fuel economy on the new WLTP cycle is 50.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of 127g/km.


The 1.25-litre ‘Smartstream’ engine
There is a further petrol engine in the Rio, a four-cylinder 16-valve unit featuring dual-port injection technology. The 1.25-litre unit is from the ‘Smartstream’ family of engines and has been redesigned compared to the engine in the previous Rio.

The entry-level 1.25-litre engine is an aluminium-block 1,248cc unit featuring double overhead camshafts, continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) with low-friction beehive springs, an offset crankshaft and a maintenance-free long-life timing chain. It drives through a five-speed manual gearbox.

You can find more visual details of the 2021 Kia Rio – UK Version gallery by scrolling up.


2021 Kia Rio – UK Version Rear View 3/4

2021 Kia Rio - UK Version

It develops 83bhp at 6,000rpm and 122Nm of torque peaking at 4,000rpm. Thanks to CVVT, this engine delivers outstanding performance over a wide portion of the rev range, while its modern design and compact capacity ensure this is achieved with the lowest possible fuel consumption and emissions. Combined economy is 49.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 128g/km for the ‘1’ grade or 130g/km for the Rio ‘2’ version. This easy-going entry-level power unit is ideally suited to urban driving, but is far from out of its depth at motorway speeds. It can accelerate the Rio from 0-60mph in 12.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 108mph.


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