When the latest Kia Rio was launched in Malaysia last year, it was saddled with a carryover four-speed automatic transmission, but even before that, the South Korean carmaker said that it was working on a gearbox with more ratios. That has come to fruition today, as local distributor Naza Kia has announced the availability of the fourth-generation YB model with a six-speeder.

The new transmission is paired to the same 1.4 litre naturally-aspirated Kappa MPI four-cylinder engine as before, producing 100 PS at 6,000 rpm and 133 Nm at 4,000 rpm, and it retails at the same RM78,888 on-the-road inclusive of the sales and service tax (SST) and without insurance. Included in the list price is a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Naza Kia also took the opportunity to revise the specs of the B-segment hatchback – it now comes with cruise control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a Blind Spot Detection System (BDS) that the company says is the first in the segment. To fit all these items at the same price, something had to give, so the stylish 17-inch alloy wheels on the outgoing model have been replaced by 16-inch units, and there’s also no sunroof.

Otherwise, standard equipment is identical and includes projector halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lights, keyless entry, push-button start, auto lights and wipers, automatic climate control with cluster ioniser, black fabric upholstery, six speakers, a rear-view camera, six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

GALLERY: 2017 Kia Rio 1.4 EX in Malaysia