Kia Rio Facelift_0001

The Kia Rio facelift has made an early appearance before its scheduled show debut in Paris later in the week. As Kia’s global best-selling model, the fourth-generation Rio is vital to the Korean carmaker’s immediate future. But as far as facelifts go, this is a very minor one.

On the front, the updated car receives a new front bumper with reshaped fog lamp inserts, as well as a refreshed grille with a piano black pattern. The headlights and the general shape of the tiger nose grille stay as before, though, forgoing the bolder face used on the Rio Sedan.

A redesigned rear bumper with a wider plastic insert – eschewing the faux-diffuser look of the outgoing model – and new, very Citroen DS-like wheels complete the exterior makeover. The latter drops the current car’s flat-dish design, following the same move on the facelifted Kia Optima K5.

Inside, the Kia Rio facelift receives a small update, with new chrome accents surrounding the air-con vents. The single photo provided of the centre console shows the optional 7.0-inch Kia AVN (audio-video navigation) head unit, so we don’t know how the standard version will look just yet.

As expected, no mechanical changes will be introduced. The 107 hp/137 Nm 1.4 litre engine stays, mated to either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Kia’s optional automatic start/stop system (called ISG) will be available in Europe, but not elsewhere.

In Malaysia, the current Kia Rio was launched early last year, priced between RM73,888 and RM79,888 (both on-the-road with insurance). No news yet on when the updated version will arrive in our market. You’ll know more when we do.