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The 2019 Kia Cerato has been spotted in Malaysia again, this time by reader Muhammad Hafiy Azim Abdul Aziz in Wangsa Maju, KL. It’s not the first time – the third-generation C-segment sedan was displayed at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) in November last year, before our Jonathan Lee snapped one in the wild on the Federal Highway in April.

Unlike the test mule we last spotted, this one wears a full camo wrap, with cutouts only for the lamps and black plastic bits. Like before, it wears relatively small 16-inch turbine-style alloy wheels with high profile tyres.

The latest Cerato gets a more dynamic design that takes a few cues from the Stinger sports sedan, with sweptback headlights, slim “tiger nose” grille, a longer bonnet, sweeping glasshouse and short tail for that fastback look. Inside, there’s a horizontal dashboard layout with the now-familiar floating infotainment screen and round air vents at the corners.

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Measuring 4,640 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,440 mm tall, the new Cerato is 80 mm longer, 20 mm wider and 5 mm taller than the car we’re familiar with, although the 2,700 mm wheelbase remains. Kia says that the increased dimensions improve both head and legroom, while boot capacity has been increased from 482 to 502 litres.

The structure features an additional hot-stamped components and 54% advanced high-strength steel content, and uses 105 metres of structural adhesive — five times more than before. Suspension is handled by a MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear setup.

Should it be coming in the near future to challenge the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and all-new Toyota Corolla Altis (just launched in Thailand and possibly coming soon), expect the Malaysian-spec Cerato to carry-over the 2.0 litre Nu naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 150 hp/192 Nm, paired to a six-speed automatic. This is the same powertrain that is offered in Australia, whereas some other markets get a revised version of the same motor and an Intelligent Variable Transmission CVT.

Is the battered C-segment sedan class – once the default choice or wheels – staging a mini revival in the face of an onslaught by the SUV? Sedan or SUV for you?

GALLERY: 2019 Kia Cerato at KLIMS 2018


GALLERY: 2019 Kia Cerato in Australia