NEW FOR 2009:

– All-new model

For 2009, Kia introduces the all-new Borrego, a midsize seven-passenger SUV.

Like the Kia Sorento, the Borrego is a body-on-frame vehicle. It comes with a choice of a 3.8-litre V6 with five-speed automatic, or 4.6-litre V8 with six-speed automatic. It’s Kia’s first eight-cylinder in North America and is a version of the engine used in the Hyundai Genesis sedan. Both transmissions have manual shift mode. Trim levels for both engines are the base LX and top-line EX.

All Borrego models are four-wheel drive, but the systems differ. The LX models have a part-time, manually-activated system, while the EX models use a Borg Warner full-time "torque on demand" system that detects road conditions and distributes torque when needed.

Features are similar for each trim line, regardless of the engine, save for a driver’s knee airbag that is only on the two V8 models, and pushbutton start on the V8 EX.

The LX models include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, projector-beam headlamps, heated mirrors, roof rails, privacy glass, trailer hitch, dual skid plates, CD/MP3 stereo with Sirius satellite radio, power windows, keyless entry, tilt steering column, 2nd- and 3rd-row centre armrests with cupholders, cruise control, rear cargo under-floor storage compartments, locking glove-box, cargo tie-down anchors, six-way manual driver’s seat, heated cloth seats, 60/40 split flat-folding second-row seats, 50/50 flat-folding third-row seats, backup warning system, hill assist control, downhill brake control, tire pressure monitoring system, variable intermittent wipers, windshield de-icer, and intermittent rear washer/wiper.

The EX models add 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, power sunroof, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, integrated side steps, chrome door handles, driver’s express up/down window, leather-wrapped wheel with integrated audio controls and power tilt and telescopic column, trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power heated leather seats, driver’s side memory, and metal grain interior accents.

Larger overall than the five-passenger Sorento, the Borrego offers considerable towing capability, a firm but comfortable ride, and off-road ability for those who prefer to go off the beaten track. It’s known as the Mohave in other global markets.

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