Kia Motors is giving a fresh update to its small car range, with the Picanto and Rio getting new Transmissions, and newer engines. The Picanto gets the new ‘Smartstream’ engine while the Rio gets a mild hybrid touch-up with the addition of a 48-Volt battery along with exterior changes and technological upgrades all around.

Picanto, with its host of features sourced from costlier models has lower emissions and some upgrades to the safety features, making it the safest car in its class. The infotainment system has been updated with the “Phase II” UVO connect telematics tech, improving the overall connectivity of the car and which comes with a larger 8inch touch display which comes with multi-connect bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple Carplay as standard. The UVO system is Kia’s informative software providing advanced live traffic, weather and parking space details.

The grille has been updated, textured surround and open-link appearance give it an aggressive look. Newer headlights and DRLs, LED taillights make up for a more feature full look. The ‘GT-line’ and the ‘X-line’, have been updated with sharper bumper designs, which are more technical for the latter with the addition of SUV-like skid plates and more tilted towards performance for the former with wider air intakes.

The new Smartstream engines offer better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. A Turbocharged 1L direct injection engine making 99bhp and another 1L engine with Dual-Port fuel injection which makes 66bhp have been added to the Picanto. All models of the Picanto come with a 5-speed manual gearbox with an optional Automated Manual Transmission(AMT) transmission on all except the lowest model.

The car is loaded with a myriad of driver aids, imbibed within the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems which comes with Forward Collision assist, brake torque vectoring, Cornering Brake control and Straight line stability and seven airbags as standard.

The Rio has also been given a variety of updates, the biggest of which is the new Hybrid system alongside updated interiors and exterior, updated safety features and better connectivity with Kia’s UVO system. The car has a similarly designed ‘Tiger Nose’ grille to the Picanto, with a lower and wider bumper, and has new 16inch eight spoke alloy wheels for top spec models. Inside the car gets the larger 8inch screen similar to the Picanto.

The car is a first to get the Mild Hybrid electric vehicle engine, which is a Smartstream 1L mated with a 48-volt MHEV system providing never before seen fuel efficiency, electric torque assist and regenerative braking amongst others. The system extends the efficiency of the engine and helps with constantly regenerative energy harnessed while braking. The car has a clutch-by-wire system, intelligent Manual Transmission which minimizes emissions and extends range while maintaining comfort use by reacting like a manual transmission. The clutch is completely electronic.

A more powerful 1.25l four cylinder engine with Dual-port Injection technology is also available on the Rio, this engine has also been given the Smartstream treatment and is a considerable improvement over the last generation. The UVO has the same features as the Picanto, which can use voice commands and can be controlled via smartphone apps to enhance the connectivity features.

Picanto Prices and specifications

ModelPrice £Power bhpTorque

Nm

0-60 secMax speed mphCombined mpgCO2 g/km
Picanto ‘1’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£10,745669614.110058.9110
Picanto ‘2’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£12,245669614.110058.9110
Picanto ‘2’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed AMT ISG£12,915669616.69954.3118
Picanto ‘3’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£13,745669614.110057.6112
Picanto ‘3’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed AMT ISG£14,415669616.69953.3119
Picanto ‘X-Line’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£13,395669614.110052.3122
Picanto ‘X-Line’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed AMT ISG£14,065669616.69952.3123
Picanto ‘X-Line S’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£14,795669614.110052.3122
Picanto ‘X-Line S’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed AMT ISG£15,465669616.69952.3123
Picanto ‘GT-Line’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed manual ISG£13,395669614.110055.4115
Picanto ‘GT-Line’ 1.0 66bhp 5-speed AMT ISG£14,065669616.69952.3122
Picanto ‘GT-Line’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 5-speed manual ISG£14,395991719.9112TBCTBC
Picanto ‘GT-Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 5-speed manual ISG£15,795991719.9112TBCTBC

Rio Prices and specifications

ModelPrice £Power bhpTorque

Nm

0-60 secMax speed mphComb. mpgCO2 g/km
Rio ‘1’ 1.25 5-speed manual ISG£13,3958312212.610849.6128
Rio ‘2’ 1.25 5-speed manual ISG£15,5958312212.610849.6130
Rio ‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 6-speed manual ISG£16,5959917210.011552.3123
Rio ‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 7-speed DCT ISG£17,5959917211.011750.4127
Rio ‘3’ 1.0 T-GDi 48V 118bhp 6-speed iMT ISG£18,8951181729.811852.3122
Rio ‘3’ 1.0 T-GDi 48V 118bhp 7-speed DCT ISG£19,8951182009.911852.3123
Rio ‘GT-Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 48V118bhp 6-speed iMT ISG£19,8951181729.811851.4125
Rio ‘GT-Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 48V 118bhp 7-speed DCT ISG£20,8951182009.911851.4126

 

Anagh Bhaskar

Anagh Bhaskar

I am a journalism grad who has always had a passion towards machines, especially cars and war machines, the sheer competitiveness of the industry which works with the same enthusiasm everyday without fail is what fascinates me. Favourie Car: Nissan GT-R R35 Quote: What you do in life echoes in eternity- Russell Crowe, Maximus, Gladiator