Kia Rio 1.4 SX Facelift 1

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last year, the facelifted Kia Rio has finally made its local introduction. First up, the pricing – from now on, the third-gen UB will now be available solely in full-spec SX trim, priced at RM79,080, on-the-road inclusive of insurance, 6% GST and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty (the same as before). The previous RM73,580 entry-level EX has been dropped with the advent of the facelift.

New exterior touches include a broader lower grille, flanked by reshaped fog light surrounds with twin strakes on either side. Moving to the rear, a reprofiled bumper sports vertical fog lights and a wider black insert, replacing the previous diffuser-style item. Like the facelifted Optima K5, the new Rio ditches the distinctive flat-dish wheels of old, going for a very Citroën DS-like four-split-spoke 17-inch design instead.

Inside, the changes are much more subtle – there’s a mildly-redesigned head unit with seek and folder scrolling buttons moved up to flank the monochrome LCD screen, allowing all the preset buttons to sit in one row (previously two). Next to it, you’ll notice that the previous cubby hole and seat belt indicator panel have disappeared; the latter now sits in between the middle air vents, which feature a new silver surround.

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Kit count has remained static post-makeover, retaining projector halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry, push-button start, a Supervision instrument cluster, single-zone automatic air conditioning with a cluster ioniser, a multifunction leather steering wheel, a sunroof and alloy foot pedals.

The generous safety equipment from the outgoing model has also been carried over, so you get six airbags, ABS, stability control and Isofix child seat anchors on the outer rear seats. Four colour options are available: Deep Blue, Signal Red, Clear White and Bright Silver.