According to a recent China Car Times article, the car was recently spotted testing on Chinese roads, wearing the current Kia lineup grille and a new badge. It will be manufactured in the country through the Dongfeng-Yueda Kia joint venture and is expected to arrive on the market in the first half of this year.
The updated model features a redesigned front end with an aggressive air-intake and more prominent fog lights. The other big change appears to be the availability of body-colored bumpers. Small changes brought by the facelift also include a redesigned central dashboard, which houses a new radio and improved climate control system. Other updates include a new steering, a revised instrument cluster, and stainless steel pedals.
The Rio has been around since the 2006 model year, and recently received a make-over. Most of the changes are cosmetic, as the drivetrain remains untouched and it continues to share its chassis and mechanical components with the Hyundai Accent.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter inline-four which produces 110 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft (145 Nm) of torque at 4,500 rpm. The American version return a respectable 27 mpg (8.71 l/100km) in the city and 32 mpg (7.35 l/100km) on the highway, when fitted with the standard five-speed manual gearbox. The figures change to 25 and 35 mpg (9.4 and 6.72 l/100km) respectively, when the Rio is fitted with a four-speed automatic.