We’ve been waiting for the new Kia Cerato to come to Malaysia ever since it was unveiled in Detroit last year. The sedan was shown at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) in November, and just today yours truly spotted the car on the Federal Highway, hinting that a local launch is finally imminent.

From the looks of it, the car will be offered here in a similar specification to what was previewed five months ago (minus the garish chrome wrap, of course), right down to the smallish 16-inch turbine-style alloy wheels. That’s an inch smaller than the 17-inch items we’ve seen in press photos – and, indeed, those on the previous Cerato – but perhaps a higher-spec variant will sport the larger rollers.

The new 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. On the inside, there’s a horizontal dashboard layout with the now-familiar floating infotainment screen and round air vents at the corners.

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, although the 2,700 mm wheelbase remains. Kia says that the increased dimensions improve both head and legroom, and 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.

Expect the Malaysian-market Cerato to soldier on with the same 2.0 litre Nu naturally-aspirated petrol engine as before, producing 150 hp at 6,200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm and paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. This is the same powertrain that is offered in Australia, whereas other markets get a revised version of the same engine and an Intelligent Variable Transmission CVT.

GALLERY: 2019 Kia Cerato at KLIMS 2018


GALLERY: 2019 Kia Cerato in Australia