It’s no surprise that the fourth-generation Kia Rio will make its way to Malaysia eventually, but it may come sooner than expected. Naza Kia Malaysia (NKM) has just released a teaser video of the all-new Rio on their official Facebook page with an accompanying hashtag, “ComingSoon”.

Premiered at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Rio is marginally larger and roomier than its predecessor. The Rio’s design is a collaborative effort from Kia’s Germany, California and Korean design team, resulting in an edgier and sportier design language.

Inside, the cabin’s perceived quality is decidedly more premium than the model it replaces and looks more up to date like its larger siblings. Among the standout feature is the floating human-machine interface (HMI) infotainment display that can be had in either 5.0-inch or 7.0-inch in size.

Features such as keyless entry, push start ignition, heated seats and steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps and reverse camera are all expected from a Kia model. However, it remains to be seen whether all these will make it to the final spec sheet.

Globally, the Rio is available with four engine choices – three petrol and one diesel, although it is safe to assume that only the petrol variants will find its way here. The trio is comprised of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo T-GDI with two states of tune 98 hp/172 Nm and 118 hp/172 Nm, a 1.25-litre four-cylinder MPI with 83 hp/122 Nm and a 1.4-litre four-cylinder MPI with 98 hp/132 Nm. Transmission of choice include a five-speed and six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, sending drive to the front wheels.

Our local-spec Rio will most likely soldier on with the 1.4-litre MPI and four-speed auto combo, although NKM is open to the idea of introducing more turbocharged vehicles depending on the market’s response and acceptance towards forced induction cars.

The all-new Rio is also the first in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Departure Warning System as part of the optional Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This is on top of the usual six airbags, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and ISOFIX.


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Adrian Chia
He believes that the perfect remedy to Monday blues is a mixture of 4 wheels, clear roads and a pinch of twisty tarmac. A hot hatch is the icing on the cake.