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2009 Kia Borrego

2009 Kia Borrego Road Test Review

by Jeff Voth

“Would you please pass the milk?” I asked the young lady standing near the window counter.

2009 KIA Borrego
2009 KIA Borrego

Her demeanor was one of indifference, typical of most anyone looking for their morning wake-up shot of caffeine before engaging the world. Complying robotically, she passed the silver container I required for easing the bite of my café Americano. Seattle is the home of take-out coffee in the U.S., but even a roasted bean lover such as myself has a limit to how strong they like it.

Outside the original Starbucks where I stood, the sun glistened off the water. Seattle’s infamous streets run toward the Pacific Ocean, in many ways presenting a less severe version of San Francisco to the south. Sharp hills creep downward, drawing you toward a coastline filled with international shipping containers and playgrounds for both the NFL’s Seahawks and MLB Mariners.

In a strange way, it seemed the perfect backdrop for reflecting on my recent test drive of the 2009 Kia Borrego. A city in tune with each new cultural shift, I hoped this would be the perfect setting to help me better understand why Kia has chosen to enter the SUV market when everyone else is running scared. Trends are one thing, reality is another.

The 2009 Kia Borrego is an excellent multiple passenger vehicle in every way. It is easy to drive, comfortable to use and looks good both inside and out. Two powerful engines are available for the seven-passenger Borrego.

Sales will likely come from the 3.6-liter, V6-equipped model mated to a 5-speed auto transmission. A double overhead camshaft (DOHC), 4-valves per cylinder design, it features 276 hp at 6,000 rpm and 267 lb.-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.

2009 KIA Borrego- Rear
2009 KIA Borrego - Rear

I spent the bulk of my time over a two-day evaluation in this vehicle. Driving through the mountainous backroads two hours outside of Seattle, it proved a valiant companion no matter what the road ahead had in store.
Power is crisp and builds rapidly as you push the accelerator to the floor. Even on steep inclines or quick attempts to pass tractor-trailers on two-lane highways, it responded without complaint.

For those who need more power, a compact 4.6-liter V8 is attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This excellent engine showcases 337 hp at 6,000 rpm and 323 lb.-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in just over 7 seconds.

Both the V6 and V8 engines feature multi-port fuel injection and require only 87 octane unleaded fuel, which is stored in a 20.6 gallon tank. Fuel mileage for the four-wheel-drive equipped V8 is rated at 15/20 mpg city/highway, while a similarly equipped V6 should achieve a slightly higher 16/21 mpg.

Anyone who drives an SUV expects ride quality to be firm when compared to today’s more popular CUV vehicles. The 2009 Kia Borrego rides on a strengthened Kia Sorrento frame with a total of 8 crossmembers.

While bumps are noticeable due to overly stiff dampening, the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspensions do an excellent job of straightening out the road. Cornering is easy, but don’t buy the Kia Borrego for the way it handles a twisted path. At just over 4,800 pounds for a well-equipped model, it can only be so light on its feet.

2009 KIA Borrego Interior
2009 KIA Borrego - Interior

Inside, the Borrego offers exceptional room for up to seven passengers. Standard equipment includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sirius audio system with 6 speakers and USB input jack, power windows, door locks and cruise control. Keyless entry, front center mounted storage/armrest and rear seat armrest storage with dual cupholders is also included. Options such as leather and eight-way power driver’s seat on the base LX model add to the price and comfort experience.

A full complement of airbags helps protect the passenger cabin; vehicle control is enhanced with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Cultural shifts and “what’s hot” trends vary with each passing season. The altering face of the city of Seattle proves it. What doesn’t change, however, is good value and the 2009 Kia Borrego has it in abundance. The only remaining question is whether or not Kia waited too long to show a winning hand. Time will tell.

2009 Kia Borrego Features and Specifications:

Wheelbase: 114.0 inches
Overall length: 192.3 inches
Overall width: 75.4 inches
V6: 5-speed Auto
V8: 6-speed Auto
Steering: Rack and pinion power assist
Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with EBD/ABS
Fuel economy, city/highway:
V6: 2WD- 17/21 4WD- 16/21
V8: 2WD- 15/22 4WD- 15/20
MSRP: $26,995-$33,745