1 Jan 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
A new nose and tail, improved cabin trim and more standard features marked the BC Rio’s first and only facelift.
An immobiliser and power mirrors were now included, along with better headlights and a more updated appearance.
But the same old Mazda 121 lurked underneath.
Tellingly Kia Motors’ Australian distributors Ateco were very selective as to which media would road-test the Rio, placing wide-reaching doubts of its ability to stand to more contemporary light cars such as the Hyundai Accent and Holden XC Barina – let alone the class-leading Mazda2, Honda Jazz and Ford Fiesta.
Luckily for value-minded buyers the BC Rio’s replacement shared only the name.