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New for 2009-Kia

New for 2009-Kia

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008
Critical Knowledge:
  • New Borrego SUV gets Kia's first V-8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission

  • More Borrego: navigation system, satellite radio among options

  • Revised Optima sedan grows larger, adds more powerful base engine

  • More Optima: Sporty SX gets sport suspension, 17-inch tires, fog lights

  • Most 2009 Kia models are now pre-wired for Sirius satellite radio

  • Sportage, Sorento SUVs get subtle exterior changes, feature enhancements

2009 Kia Amanti:
The flagship Kia sedan adds Sirius satellite pre-wiring for 2009 as well as a new audio system with USB jacks. The Amanti has a trunk large enough for four golf bags, according to Kia. The list of standard equipment includes air conditioning, wood trim and a sunroof. Packages add leather seats and special interior trim and gauges. The 3.8-liter V-6 engine makes 262 hp. A 2007 redesign created a lighter car with improved suspension and steering.


2009 Kia Borrego:
An all-new SUV, the Borrego seats seven. It carries plenty of Kia firsts: the first V-8 engine; the first 6-speed automatic transmission; the first available navigation system. It'll come with three months of Sirius satellite radio when it goes on sale early this summer.

A rival to the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander, the body-on-frame Borrego measures 192.1 inches and offers seating for seven. A bold grille and optional 18-inch wheels punctuate the Borrego's exterior design. Both second- and third-row seats fold flat. Dual-zone automatic air conditioning, power tilt-and-telescopic steering, and a 10-speaker Infinity stereo are among interior features.

The optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine will produce more than 300 hp and a tow rating of 7500 pounds. The 3.8-liter V-6 engine, with its 5000-pound tow capacity, is standard. Both 2- and 4-wheel drive (2WD and 4WD) versions of the Borrego will be available. Standard safety fare includes 3-row side-curtain air bags; a driver's knee air bag on V-8 models; traction control; electronic stability control; and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.


2009 Kia Optima:
The midsize Optima, redesigned in 2006, gets a substantial freshening for 2009. Exterior changes include a new grille design and changes to front and rear lights. On the inside, the Optima gets a new instrument cluster and new color choices for the upholstery in the EX, LX and SX models.

The optional 2.7-liter V-6 engine carries over from 2008, but gets a slight boost to 190 hp. The new base engine, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, makes 175 hp, up 13 hp from the previous version. Each engine gets Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and a Variable Intake System (VIS) for better performance and fuel economy.

The Optima's wheelbase doesn't grow, but the 2009 car is 3 inches longer than last year's model, making for more passenger room. The SX, new to the Optima family, gets black-leather seats, metal pedals, aluminum trim, a sport-tuned suspension and subtle exterior markings. The 2009 Optima goes on sale in early fall 2008.


2009 Kia Rio:
The subcompact Rio line includes a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, called the Rio5. Every Rio features cloth seats and front, side and side-curtain air bags. The 110-hp, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder motor gets 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Sporty SX versions get specially stitched seats, metallic trim, metal pedals, fog lights and a rear spoiler. Internet chatter suggests that Kia's first gas-electric hybrid might appear in the Rio as a 2010 model.



2009 Kia Rondo:
Introduced in 2007, the Rondo crossover utility vehicle looks like an SUV, but it shares a platform with the Optima sedan. Engine/transmission choices include a 162-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 182-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Rondo LX features air conditioning and 16-inch tires, while the EX version adds fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.


2009 Kia Sedona:
The Sedona remains one of the few minivans on the market sold in both short- and long-wheelbase (SWB and LWB) versions. Each version comes with a 250-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Changes for 2009 include new carpeting and interior trim pieces, Sirius satellite radio capability, and the availability of a DVD navigation system on EX LWB models. Both SWB and LWB models feature seats for seven, with flip-and-fold second-row seats. On the LWB Sedona, which is a foot longer, the third row folds flat into the floor. Electronic stability control is standard fare as are six air bags and anti-lock brakes.


2009 Kia Sorento:
A truck-based SUV with ladder-frame construction, the Sorento comes with a V-6 engine, standard air conditioning, a 10-speaker stereo, and a safety package that earned the vehicle a double-5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Model-year changes for 2009 include a new grille, standard front active headrests, and standard keyless entry. Side body cladding removal and bumpers that are now painted body color transform the formerly two-tone Sorento into a more sophisticated, monotone appearance. The Sorento LX carries a 242-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 engine. The EX version of the Sorento has a 3.8-liter V-6 engine that produces 262 hp. The part-time 4WD system features a dashboard knob for shift-on-the-fly usage; an automatic Torque-on-Demand 4WD system is an option.


2009 Kia Spectra:
Sold as a 4-door Spectra sedan and the 5-door Spectra5 hatchback, the compact car gets 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway with its 138-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. For 2009, EX models get cruise control as standard fare and a sunroof as an option. All models get active front headrests and Sirius satellite radio pre-wiring. Sporty SX models are available with either the sedan or hatchback body styles. They offer a sport-tuned suspension, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, metallic interior trim and 16-inch tires. The Spectra SX sedan gets a standard rear wing.


2009 Kia Sportage:
Changes to the 5-passenger Sportage SUV include a new grille design, new front and rear lights, standard keyless entry, and a new cupholder in the rear armrest. Also, new 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel designs are offered. Satellite pre-wiring and better iPod integration are available, as well. The Sportage comes with either a 140-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 173-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 engine. The car-based model comes in front- or full-time 4WD. Sold in LX and EX trim levels, all Sportage models get a _drop-and-fold� rear seat, six air bags, traction control and stability control.

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