By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2009 Kia Borrego. It competes with the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder.
(upbeat rock music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com. The SUV fad may be fading a little bit, but don't tell that to Korean auto maker Kia. They're launching a new seven seat mid-size SUV for 2009 called the Borrego.
And it goes up against models like the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder among others. This model's late to the SUV party for sure. But is it worth the wait? Stick around to find out. Where the Borrego differs from other truck based SUVs, is that it's surprisingly easy to step into. This model has running boards, but they're not really necessary because of the low ride height. It's easy to sit in, and even though it rides low, it still has 8.5 inches of ground clearance. So that's not compromised at all. Sleekly styled crossovers like the Mazda CX-9 have been making a lot of news lately, but if you prefer the traditional look of an SUV, the Borrego has something for you. It's about the same size on the outside as a Ford Explorer. And it features a large Chrome grill up front. And this EX trim level that we have here has optional 18 inch chrome wheels. The Borrego's offered with either a V-6 or a V-8 engine and two or four wheel drive. Now this is a 4x4 V-6 model and it gets an EPS made 16/21 miles per gallon, city highway, which is almost as good as the Honda Pilot Crossover. And it's better than the Ford Explorers gas mileage. What may be more important to some SUV shoppers is towing capacity, and the V-6 model can tow up to 5,000 pounds, but the V-8 can handle up to 7,500 pounds, which is quite a bit for a vehicle this size. The Borrego has a cabin that's easy to like thanks to nice materials and fit and finish on the dash. And it also has interesting looking red backlit LED displays for the air conditioning system and also the trip computer. The model can also have an optional navigation system that has nice graphics, and it's a touch screen display. What's not quite as appealing is this model's all gray interior color scheme, and it's a little drab looking, But fortunately there are other color choices available that you can check out like black and beige as well. The Borrego comes standard with a 60/40 split second row bench seat that can slide and recline. The lever to recline the back rest though is located up high here, so you have to kind of twist around to reach it. It's not as good of a design as some manufacturers offer that have the lever on the side of the seat cushion. There's decent space for adults in the second row, but thigh support isn't as good with these second row bench seats. The Borrego also has a 50/50 split third row seat that has room for two people. When that seats up though, there's not much cargo room back here, only 12.4 cubic feet. But if you don't need the third row seat, it's pretty easy to fold down. There's just these levers on the backside. You pull back and then you can push the seat down. And when you do that, you get a lot more cargo space. Another benefit of the Borregos low ride height is also that it has a low bumper you have to clear when you're lifting luggage in. So that's nice when you have to lift up a bag like this to drop it in. And you can see also all the cargo room if you also put the second row down. I posed the question at the beginning of this video, as to whether the Borrego was worth the wait? And while it is a good example of a truck based SUV, thanks to its handling prowess, and overall refinement. Unless you really need its towing capability, there are more comfortable crossovers out there that get better gas mileage. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other. Go to cars.com and our blog "Kicking Tires."