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Tag / automobile

We were invited to the launch of the all-new Kia Rio at e-Curve last week to take a sneak peek at Naza Kia’s latest offering – the All-New Rio. I always liked the sleek and young design of Kia Rio hatch, but the latest version took it even further in terms of looks, capability, and performance.

performances prior to the launch of Kia Rio
performances prior to the launch of Kia Rio

The event was hosted by JJ from Hitz FM with a couple performances that’s full of energy to pump up the mood. Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, the COO of Naza Kia Malaysia, delivered a speech and officially launched the highly anticipated Rio.

According to Datuk Hafiz, the All-New Rio will allow Naza Kia Malaysia to tab into the growing B-segment market in Malaysia.

Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Ahbu Bakar, CEO of Naza Kia Malaysia launched the new Rio
Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Ahbu Bakar, COO of Naza Kia Malaysia launched the new Rio

The event showcases three different colors (5 available) and I think the design of the car is gorgeous. The signature “Tiger Nose” radiator grille looks sleek, and the LED daylight running light is usually only found in cars that are priced much higher. There’s automated folding mirrors and LED side repeaters at the back too.

The Rio also comes with 16″ (EX model) or 17″ (SX model) alloy wheels to complete the sporty exterior.

Electric Blue, Signal Red, and Clear White are among the color choices
Electric Blue, Signal Red, and Clear White are among the color choices

For a B segment car, the interior is rather spacious, and the centre console packed with Bluetooth connectivity and audio system by Arkamys that comes with AUX, USB, and iPod connectivity too. Other features include tilt and telescopic steering wheel, ABS, vehicle stability management, and six airbags.

Some of the premium features found only on the 1.4 SX model are sunroof, push-start ignition, front fog lamps, and cluster ionizer.

interior is sleek, and there's a full size spare tyre at the back
interior is sleek, and there’s a full size spare tyre at the back

Under the hood, the car is powered by Kia’s Gamma 1.4 MPI CVVT engine which produces 109 PS and 137 Nm of torque. That’s pretty impressive for a 1.4 liter engine that delivers 16.6 km per liter (just over 6 liter/100 km) with CO2 emissions limited to 130 gram per 100 km.

The motor is mated with a four-speed automatic transmission that comes with a shift gate for manual-style shifting, nifty when you need that extra boost to overtake on freeways.

mandatory picture of the cute model at the launch, Cheesie & I were there
mandatory picture of the cute model at the launch, Winner of the New Kia Rio, Cheesie & I

Oh, for a B-segment car, the boot space of Rio is plenty big as well, and I particularly love the fact that it carries a full size spare tyre so that you can just swap out the flat and keep going at full speed in the case of the inevitable.

The All-New Rio comes with a five year unlimited mileage warranty, if you’re in a market for a new ride, here’s one to check out.

Go to www.kia.com for more information on the All-New Rio.

I’ve always have a special place for Proton Saga in my heart. It is in fact, the car that I learn to drive with back even before I was old enough to have a license, I remember we were in some light industrial area on a Sunday when my late dad decided to let me have a go at it, and the “wtf are you serious” face it had on my mom.

A few mati engine incidents later, I was able to manipulate the clutch and gear and drove for some 10 minutes. It was pure joy, a moment I never forget.

Proton Saga FLX front view

There was another incident where I hit a car’s side view mirror whilst riding bicycle before, and it turned out to be my dad in our Proton, I blogged about it here.

That Proton Saga was with our family for quite a number of years, a 1.3 liter manual version that was dark brown in color. When the new saga came out, we helped mom bought one too, and it has been serving her pretty well for the past 2 years or so.

Proton Saga FLX with CVT
Proton Saga FLX with CVT

Fast forward to today, and there is another iteration of the venerable Proton Saga – the Proton Saga FLX.

Instead of just a mere facelift to the “new” Saga FL model, the Saga FLX has so much more to offer, with the biggest selling point being CVT, or Continuous Variable Transmission. A feature usually found in cars of much higher price point.

CVT explained

Unlike conventional Automatic Transmission, CVT allows the vehicle to always be in optimal power band. The gearbox shifts without any shift-shock or loss of power, this allows the engine to have less wear and tear and thus improve its durability.

The other trick under CVT’s sleeve is it’s ability to simulate a 6 speed automatic gearbox when you are up for a little bit of spirited driving.

Proton Saga FLX's SAT Switch

Simply press the SAT (Stepped Automatic Transmission) to engage the function. This brings the familiar feel of most automatic car to the driver, but with 6 speeds instead of the usual 4.

interior of Proton Saga FLX

The Saga FLX with CVT is rated to consume 6 liter of fuel per 100 km running at 90 km/h. Theoretically you can drive from KL to Penang with only some RM 40 in fuel (at RM 1.90 per liter), that’s pretty good isn’t it?

The design of the car’s interior is improved too, and many will undoubtedly be pleased that the power windows in Proton Saga FLX comes with life time warranty, glad to see that they have addressed this issue.

proton saga flx with ABS and EBD

There are still more features packed into this car. There’s now ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) in the Executive models.

These are safety features that allows much better maneuverability during emergency braking, features that can save lives.

Proton Saga FLX with rigid body and airbag

Other than that, the body shell is also built stronger and stiffer to maximize protection. Then there’s the dual airbags too (Executive models) for extra safety.

Immobiliser, central locking, keyless entry and reverse sensor are now standard features across all FLX models.

Then there’s the size and practicality that comes with having a full size sedan with a big boot space. The Saga sits 4-5 adults comfortably and still able to swallow 413 liter of baggage. That size is equivalent to the big refrigerator I use at home!

A  getaway,  weekend shopping with the whole family, and those occasional IKEA trips will be easier with the Saga, compared with a super compact.

Proton Saga FLX rear view

There are too many features that found their ways into the Saga FLX to be listed on this site (MP3 player, USB jack, etc). To find out more, check out EpicSaga.com.my now, there’s a video there too.

If you’re looking for a car, especially a first car, make sure you give the new Proton Saga FLX a look. You definitely won’t get a car with more features and space at this price point. Best value for money if you ask me.