Kia Rio Sedan Taxi IIMS- 1

No shortage of taxis on Jakarta’s clogged road network, and the scene is dominated by the Toyota Vios. Spotted a few Proton Persona and Saga cabs too, but they are rare sights.

Cabs live a hard life, and the Vios’ No.1 position in the taxi fleet sales charts is not surprising. Toyota is king in Indonesia with over 35% market share, and if you factor in affiliate Daihatsu, controls more than half of what will be ASEAN’s biggest market. With a strong local partner in Astra, which is also married to Daihatsu, Toyota has the biggest sales and after-sales network in the archipelago. Support is strong.

Which is why we’re not expecting this Kia Rio Sedan a.k.a. Pride, pitched at IIMS 2014 as a potential taxi, to make any headway. It looks good for what it is, blending the Rio’s cute face with a rear end that resembles the Forte Koup’s.

Spacious enough as a cab too, with a 2.57-metre wheelbase and 390-litre boot. This is a kosong spec Pride, which is why you’ll find no radio, capless steel wheels, black door handles/mirror caps and a six-speed manual gearbox, a far cry from our well-specified Rio hatchback.

Got us thinking, though. Now that the Kia Cerato has gone upmarket compared to the old Forte, will a B-segment Rio Sedan, specced and priced to match (or undercut) lower variants of the City and Vios, make it in Malaysia? What say you?