2009 Kia Borrego

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15 CITY / 20 HWY
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What Changed for 2009:
  • New midsize SUV
  • Kia's first V-8 engine
  • Kia's first 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Seating for 7
  • V-8 engine's tow rating of 7500 pounds tops class, Kia says
  • 3.8-liter V-6 engine is also available
  • DVD navigation offered for first time in a Kia model
  • First three months of Sirius satellite radio provided
  • Borrego earns 5-star rating in government crash tests
The new Kia Borrego represents several firsts for the South Korean automaker, including its first V-8 engine and its first 6-speed automatic transmission. It is the first 7-passenger, 3-row SUV from Kia, although the Sedona minivan also seats 7. Kia officials say they expect worldwide sales of the Borrego-to be sold as the Mohave in the domestic market-to grow from 48,000 in 2008 to 80,000 in 2009. The Borrego competes with the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot.

The Borrego is a traditional, body-on-frame SUV. Measuring 192.1 inches long and 75.4 inches wide, and riding on a 114-inch wheelbase, the Borrego is Kia's largest SUV. It's nearly two feet longer than the Sportage and a foot longer than theSorento. Styling cues include flared-back headlights, a stout grille and a sculptured hood with bulges. While 17-inch alloy wheels are standard on V-6 models, 18-inchers are found on the V-8 versions. Chrome wheels are an available option. The second-row seats fold flat and slide forward and backward to better accommodate either passengers or cargo. The standard third-row seats fold flat as well.

Based on the Mesa concept, which was penned in the Hyundai/Kia Southern California design studio, the production Borrego comes out of Korea, where it'll be built.

As with other new Kias, the Borrego will carry a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty as well as a 5-year or 60,000-mile basic limited warranty. That plan includes roadside assistance over the same time/mileage period.

Model Lineup
Kia will sell base Borrego models as the LX and the upscale trim gets the EX designation. Either the V-6 or V-8 engine is available with each trim level. Kia says all Borrego models will include air conditioning; intermittent front and rear wipers; cruise control; keyless entry; and an in-dash, 6-disc CD changer as part of a 6-speaker, 300-watt stereo. That sound system will be USB/iPod compatible, and the Borrego will become the first Kia to include Sirius satellite radio as buyers get the first three months of that programming free.

The Borrego EX adds automatic lights; front fog lights; heated outside mirrors; dual-zone air conditioning; and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The EX also includes a trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, and floor mats. Interior upgrades on the EX include power front seats, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and metal-film trim.

Options include a power tilt/slide sunroof; running boards; upgraded Infinity stereo; rear-seat entertainment system; rear air conditioning; leather and heated seats; and Kia's first voice-activated DVD navigation system.

Coming this fall, a Borrego Limited model will feature a black exterior and black interior trim. The package will include push-button start; a Supervision meter cluster; power pedals; chrome accents; heated second-row seats; and special badging and floormats.

Most notable on the 2009 Kia Borrego is the availability of a V-8 engine. With a displacement of 4.6 liters, it'll produce 337 hp and 323 lb.-ft. of torque, Kia says. This is a version of the engine found in the Hyundai Genesis Sedan, where it will produce about 375 hp. (Hyundai is Kia's parent company.) The all-aluminum, dual-overhead cam (DOHC) V-8 engine is paired with another Kia first: a 6-speed electronic automatic transmission. Together, the powertrain is capable of towing 7500 pounds-class-leading, Kia says.

Standard on the Borrego is a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which can tow up to 5000 pounds. Also DOHC with aluminum block and heads, the V-6 engine makes 276 hp and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. It's mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission. To be sold in 2- or 4-wheel-drive (2WD or 4WD) versions, the Borrego features independent front and rear suspension setups with coil-over springs. According to EPA estimates, the 2WD with V-6 engine gets 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway. The 4WD V-6 model gets 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway. The top-line V-8 engine gets 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway as a 2WD model, and 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway in its 4WD mode.

Kia has moved to outfit all its models with a full complement of safety features in recent times, and the Borrego doesn't stray from that formula. Standard are front, 2-stage air bags; dual, seat-mounted side air bags; side curtain bags covering all three rows of seats; an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that includes electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist; electronic stability control (ESC); and a traction-control system (TCS). V-8 Borrego models come with a driver's-side knee air bag.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has granted the Borrego its top rating, 5 stars, in front and side crashes for both driver and passengers.

Among the many Kia firsts found on the Borrego, both downhill brake control (DBC) and hill assist control (HAC) are standard fare. Downhill brake control helps the driver negotiate steep hills by keeping the vehicle moving forward at a steady pace without worrying about wheels locking. Hill assist control won't let the vehicle slide backward while ascending a steep hill, Kia says. The Borrego's off-road capability comes courtesy of the second generation of the full-time Torque-on-Demand system by BorgWarner, and the overall result, Kia says, is quieter and more efficient operation. Electronic sensors assure that grip goes to the appropriate wheel or wheels.

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