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2009 Kia Borrego EX

Rafay Ansar

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2009 Kia Borrego EX
IN FLEET: Sept. 22 - Oct. 6
AS-TESTED PRICE: $39,295
DRIVETRAIN: 4.6-liter V8; 4WD, six-speed automatic
OUTPUT: 337 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 323 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 4,621 lb
FUEL ECONOMY (EPA/AW): 17/16.3 mpg

SENIOR EDITOR KEVIN A. WILSON: I “threw” a couple of 20-somethings in the third row. The kids are a lot more flexible than we remember--no complaining about access. They’d have preferred something more comfortable, like the Norge (our long-term Chrysler Town & Country), but it was at the end of a long family wedding reception and they were sleeping off the aftereffects.

As for driving the Borrego, it reminded me of what SUVs were like 10 years ago. The ride is on the trucky side, roughly comparable to, say, a three-row Chevy Trailblazer. Except on bad roads, when it’s worse than most recent competitors. I deliberately amended my route, opting for smooth roads rather than shorter distances, after my first experience on a stretch of poor pavement. The driving character is Ford Explorer-like, with some nosedive on braking and not much steering feel.

If I’m going to drop $40,000 on a V8-powered large-ish SUV, I think I’d go with a company that’s into the third or fourth generation of customer feedback on the form, though I suppose if you matched them feature-for-feature, many domestic and Japanese competitors would be closer to $50,000.

Kia has done a fair job of assessing what’s required in the segment, but there are oddities. Such as trying to fold the third row while the leaving the middle seats up--you have to fold the second-row seatbacks halfway forward to make room for the third row to fold down.

Power is sufficient for the mass and the uses you’d envision for a truck like this, but not awe-inspiring.
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