Having made its global debut earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Kia Motors America (KMA) today officially launched the 2009 Borrego midsize SUV. Borrego is one of the first production offerings based off of the new design direction Kia continues to unveil through concept vehicles including the Kue, KND-4, Kee and KOUP. Given a straightforward and clean look, Borrego is intended for those who enjoy an active yet uncomplicated lifestyle.

Built on a platform with a wheelbase of 114.0 inches, an overall length of 192.3 inches and overall width of 75.4 inches, Borrego stands wider and longer than the Chevy Trailblazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner. Its wide stance allows for a roomy, comfortable interior with standard three rows of seating for up to seven adult passengers.

Borrego is offered with a DOHC, all-aluminum 3.8-liter V6 as well as Kia’s first-ever DOHC 4.6-liter V8 engine, also all-aluminum; both engines are more powerful than any in Kia’s line to date. While the V6 produces a competitive 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm, the all-new V8 generates a class-leading¹ 337 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 323 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm – more powerful than the Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and GMC Acadia. Borrego runs on regular unleaded fuel compared to the Pathfinder, which requires premium unleaded. Both engines also are available in either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).

With class-leading towing of 7,500 pounds when partnered to the V8, and 5,000 pounds with the V6, the new midsize SUV offers unmatched capabilities for a weekend of camping or outdoor lifestyle activities. Borrego models with 4WD feature the second generation full-time Torque-on-Demand® system from BorgWarner, which uses electronic sensors to monitor road conditions and distribute power to the appropriate wheels. Improvements have been made to deliver a fast response and a quieter operation. The result is responsive, sure-footed performance in varying road conditions, all of which is practically seamless to driver and passengers.

Combining its impressive horsepower and torque with the unique-to-Borrego and new-to-Kia six-speed automatic transmission mated to the V8 engine, the midsize SUV is able to achieve best-in-class² fuel economy for an engine of its kind with an EPA rating of 15/22 city/highway for the V8 with 2WD and 15/20 city/highway for the 4WD – perfect for families on the go as well as for long road trips. When the V6 is under the hood, Borrego is able to achieve competitive fuel economy of 17/21 city/highway (2WD) and 16/21 city/highway (4WD).

Borrego’s muscular exterior sits on a front double-wishbone and rear multi-link suspension matched with coil-over springs. The front suspension integrates shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar, while the rear incorporates a damper and stabilizer bar, providing an optimal riding experience, on- or off-road. Borrego is built on a hydro-formed frame structure that increases durability and rigidity. Improved fuel efficiency because of its lighter weight is a result of the hydraulic forming process as opposed to traditional welded press forming. Its body-on-frame construction and insulated rubber mounting provide improved reduction in noise, vibration, and harshness, and help absorb vibrations from the road surface and powertrain yielding a smooth, quiet ride for driver and passengers.