Kia Rio Facelift With 48V Mild-hybrid System And New UVO Revealed

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With its mid-cycle facelift, Kia Rio has gained several safety and infotainment technologies along with Kia’s first-ever 48V mild-hybrid system and ‘clutch-by-wire’ manual transmission

Kia Motors has taken the wraps off the mid-cycle facelift for the fourth-generation Kia Rio. With this, the Rio is now available with styling upgrades, updated powertrain and a more premium interior. The company says that the hatchback now has a ‘big car’ feeling.

Moreover, it’s the first time that the company has used a 48V mild-hybrid engine paired with a ‘clutch-by-wire’ manual transmission. The updated Rio will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of this year. It will be available with the industry-leading 7-year/150,000 km warranty as standard.

The new ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain for Kia Rio features a new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi engine and a 48V MHEV system. This leads to an optimized fuel efficiency due to the electric torque assistance and regenerative braking. While the engine is available in same states of tune as the Kappa motors (99 hp and 119 hp), it benefits from 16 per cent torque for the 119 hp variant.

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The Kia Rio also becomes one of the first products from the manufacturer to carry the
‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics system that offers enhanced vehicle connectivity and control. The updated system has a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen display and Satellite Navigation. The new system also gets Bluetooth multi-connection feature that allows the user to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time. This system also offers a split-screen functionality and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The updated Kia Rio also offers a range of ‘Phase II’ On-Board Services and live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, fuel rates, and details of parking location, price and availability. The system also enables drivers to use Online Voice Recognition, which lets the user give voice commands to search for nearby Points Of Interests, addresses, weather updates, or send text messages.

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The UVO App is compatible with both iOS and Android and offers a range of new ‘Phase II’ features, with some of them being remotely accessible. Users can also remotely send route directions to their car before commencing journey, check the location of their vehicle, and access vehicle reports and diagnostic notifications. More details of the new UVO Connect technology will be released ahead of the model’s launch in Q3 2020.