It should debut later this year.

Kia has a new generation of its Sorento SUV coming soon and it will be the brand’s highlight at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show early next month. However, that doesn’t mean the South Korean manufacturer is neglecting its smaller and more affordable models, as a new batch of spy photos shows work on the refreshed Rio continues with cold winter tests in Sweden.

The current generation of the Rio was presented in October 2016 at the Paris Motor Show, which means the supermini is now three and a half years old. Giving the model a mid-cycle facelift makes a lot of sense given the steep competition in the segment at both sides of the big pond.

Gallery: Kia Rio facelift spy photos

Just like the last time we spied the 2021 Rio in January, the prototype snapped snow testing wears a lot of camouflage which is a bit surprising for just a facelift. However, it is unlikely that we will see significant design changes as we’re expecting the usual cosmetic changes brought by a facelift, such as lightly redesigned bumpers and a new look for the headlights and taillights.

It should be the same story underneath the skin where we expect the supermini to carry over with its current engine lineup. Still, some of the combustion engines will probably be tweaked to deliver a bit more oomph and meet Europe’s new emissions standards. 

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While the Rio won’t be all-new for the next model year, its sister model from Hyundai will move to a new generation next month. In Geneva in early March, the South Korean manufacturer will unveil the new i20 with a more appealing design and many new technologies.

Photos: Automedia