Kia Rio Sedan Malaysia_ 006

Turns out Kia does have the power to surprise. Previously unannounced, the Kia Rio Sedan will soon be launched in Malaysia. Previewed this weekend, with an estimated on-the-road with insurance price of RM73,000, it will join the existing RM79k Rio 5-door hatchback model in Kia’s B-segment range.

Its pricing will pit it squarely against the lower end of the Toyota Vios, Honda City and Nissan Almera crowd, just as the Rio hatch goes the Jazz and Ford Fiesta. Its sole 1.4 litre engine is smaller than the rest, but its outputs are competitive, at 109 PS and 137 Nm of torque, mated to a four-speed auto.

Big in the Kia’s favour, however, is specs. To be available in a single, facelifted guise, the Rio Sedan will get six airbags, electronic stability control, hill-start assist and all-around disc brakes all as standard. Also in are 15-inch alloy wheels with matching full-size spare tyre and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Inside, there’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls, and a monochrome audio head unit with MP3 and USB support. The latter features 800 MB of on-board storage for music too.

Click to enlarge.

Other than the obvious addition of a tall rump (hiding a 389-litre boot), the Rio Sedan looks quite different to the hatchback. The general look is retained, of course, but the whole front bumper is unique, featuring a lower intake that spans the whole width of the vehicle. The headlights are halogen reflectors, paired with bulb-type daytime-running lights.

The Kia Rio Sedan is now open for booking at all Kia showrooms nationwide, and will go on sale with four colour options (white, silver, blue and red) in January 2016. A five-year, unlimited warranty will be offered.