Naza Kia Malaysia launched the all new Rio today, with a starting price of RM73,888 for the 1.4 EX and RM79,888 for the 1.4 SX. Prices quoted are on the road with insurance.
There will only be one powertrain option - a 1.4 litre MPI CVVT Gamma engine paired to a four speed automatic transmission.
The more expensive SX model comes with the following additional features :
- 17" alloy wheels
- Front fog lamp
- Supervision backlit instrument cluster
- Automatic air-conditioning
- Automatic defogger
- Rain sensor
- Smart entry with engine push-start button
Standard features include LED daytime running lights, electric folding mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, black interior, 6-speaker audio with MP3 and AUX input, active head restraint, six airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake force assist, electronic stability control and traction control, ISOFIX child seat anchors and a static bending light which turns on/off when the steering wheel turns, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio control buttons.
The Rio is a crucial model for Kia, selling 466,826 units in 2012, making it Kia's global best seller.
While Kia has been quite successful at the middle-upper end of the market, with models like the Forte and Optima a common sight, the brand is under represented in the local B-segment market. This is something which Naza-Kia Malaysia aims to change with the new generation Rio.
The Rio is the latest model under Naza Kia's range to wear Kia's signature 'tiger-nose' grille on the outside and a 'three cylinder' instrument cluster on the inside.
Naza Kia Malaysia has set a monthly sales target of 200 units per month for the all new Rio.
"With the all new Rio, we will be able to tap into the growing B-segment market," said Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, COO of Naza Kia Malaysia.
For General Markets (which Malaysia falls under, along with Central and South America and Middle East), the Rio is offered in two petrol engines, a 1.4-liter Gamma or a 1.25-liter Kappa engine. Considering how cheap petrol is in Malaysia, the smaller 1.25 litre engine is not expected to gain much traction locally and it is only logical for Naza Kia to focus on a single engine option with the 1.4 litre unit.
The 1.4 litre MPI CVVT unit produces 109 PS at 6,300 rpm and 137 Nm at 4,200 rpm. Fuel consumption on a combined highway-city cycle is 16.6 km/litre (manufacturer's figures).
With an overall height of 1,455 mm (five mm less than the Forte), the Rio is one of the lowest cars in Kia’s global product range.
"For 2013, we are targeting to increase our sales volume by 22 percent to 15,000 units and the all new Rio will play a significant part in achieving this target," said Datuk Hafiz.
The Rio is assembled at Naza's plant in Gurun, Kedah using semi-knocked kits from South Korea. Full local assembly will commence in six months time. Datuk Hafiz adds even when the Rio is fully assembled locally, there will be no change in specifications and prices.
For a model line that started off as nothing more than a rebadged Mazda 121/Ford Festiva in 1987, the Rio has certainly come a long way. Below is a brief pictorial history of the Kia Rio through the years.