Premier Automobiles has not had much success with the Rio mini-SUV. While there wasn't a problem with the finish, fit and some rough edges marred its chances. So did the 1.5-litre Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine that lacks the outright power and refinement of more modern common-rail diesels. But all that is about to change.
Our reporters have seen, what looked like the Premier Rio with a new headlamp-tail lamp treatment. Caught just off-Mumbai, the test car had its logos blanked out, but there was no mistaking which car it truly was. Manufactured by Zotye Auto of China, Premier Automobiles currently assembles the vehicle using the Peugeot-Nissan drivetrain at its facilities in Pune. Based on the old Daihatsu Terios, this is the first facelift that the Rio will undergo since its launch in late-2009/early-2010.
The new Rio has larger, double barrel headlamps, a new front bumper and skirt with integrated foglamps/receptacles, a more prominent front grille and slightly restyled bonnet as well as new outside rear-view mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps. When viewed in profile, the Rio isn't distinictly different, except for new side-cladding and wider-wheel arches. At the rear, the Rio will get new, larger clear-lens tail lamps, a new rear bumper and a tweaked spare-wheel cover design.
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