Midsize SUV; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $14,800 – $20,000*

2009 Kia Borrego Front

2009 Kia Borrego Rear

2009 Kia Borrego Interior

2009 Kia Borrego Profile

  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Trailer-towing capability
  • Fuel economy
  • Bump noise

Borrego compares favorably to established truck-type SUV competitors such as Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango. Even so, in an age of higher fuel prices, vehicles of this type are an anachronism. If you need what a truck-type SUV offers, Borrego is worth a look. But bear in mind that this Kia entered a challenging market environment that relied more on incentives than the goodness of the product. Quick expiration of a new model typically translates to bargain used-car prices, but not everyone wants a vehicle that is no longer built.


Brand-new for 2009, the Kia Borrego was a midsize sport-utility vehicle from the Korean automaker. The Borrego marked Kia’s first offering that was available with a V8 engine. This seven-passenger four-door SUV used traditional truck-type construction and came in three trim levels: base LX, mid-level EX, and top-of-the-line Limited. Power came from a 276-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 paired to a five-speed automatic transmission or a 337-hp 4.6-liter V8 that mated with a six-speed automatic. Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive were offered. The 4WD models had low-range gearing for off-roading. LX V8s were 4WD-only. Limiteds were V8-only with rear- or four-wheel drive. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Available features included an uplevel audio system, fold-flat second- and third-row seats, a navigation system, satellite radio, MP3 and USB capability, and a rearview camera. A power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, leather upholstery, and heated front seats were standard in the Limited and optional for the EX. Heated second-row seats, power-adjustable pedals, and keyless access and engine start were Limited-exclusive standard features. Towing capacity was 5000 pounds with the V6 and 7500 pounds with the V8. Borrego competitors included the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, and GMC Envoy.

Yearly Updates


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Borregos have been offered with a choice of two engines. The 3.8-liter V6 produces 276 horsepower and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. A 337-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 mates with a six-speed automatic.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 276
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 267
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic


dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/282
Engine HP 337
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 323
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

Equipped with the V6, Borrego has adequate power in most situations, but the five-speed automatic transmission needs a deep stab on the gas pedal to downshift when going uphill. The V8 provides a greater amount of useful power overall, but also suffers from delayed downshifts and occasionally clunky upshifts. Otherwise, both transmissions shift smoothly enough in normal driving.

Test 4WD V8 Borregos averaged 16.6 to 17.1 mpg with slightly more highway driving than city use. With either engine, Borregos run on regular-grade gasoline.

Although the ride is generally comfortable and composed for a midsize SUV, large bumps can register with startling severity. Over large broken surfaces, the ride in V8 models can become especially choppy.

Handling is typical for a truck-type midsize SUV, with some body lean in turns and a general feeling of heft. Steering feels accurate, with little need for correction at highway speeds. An especially tight turning radius aids parking-lot maneuvers. Brakes offer good stopping control.

Tire noise is almost always audible-particularly on coarse roads-but not annoying. Wind noise rises appreciably at highway speeds. Large bumps generate a surprising amount of noise, especially since Borrego is usually quite serene for a truck-type SUV.

Borrego has mostly user-friendly controls and well-marked, easy-to-operate switchgear. The automatic climate-control system uses horizontal toggle switches that move up and down to control temperature and fan speed; this unusual layout may require some study to master. The climate-control system’s readout occasionally becomes unreadable due to glare. Kia’s optional navigation system has touch-screen controls with clear graphics and absorbs most audio functions. Many audio functions can also be controlled through redundant buttons on the steering wheel. Borrego’s interior features attractive materials with solid assembly.

Front seats are quite comfortable, even for large adults. Six-footers have adequate headroom under the sunroof. EX models have an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, and four-way power adjustment for the passenger’s seat. If installed, the available power tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps with finding a comfortable driving position.

Very roomy second-row seating provides plenty of space for two six-footers, plus good headroom even with the sunroof. The bench seat is generally comfortable but could use additional lumbar support. The second-row seat tilts/slides forward for entry to the third-row seat. Second- and third-row seats are split so they can favor passengers or cargo as the situation warrants. While the third row folds flat, the second-row seatbacks do not. In-cabin storage includes door pockets front and rear, as well as covered space in the console.


Model Tested: 2009 Kia Borrego EX V6 w/4WD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 6

Total: 59


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
114.0 192.1 75.4 71.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 20.6 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.0 39.0 41.7 37.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Borrego 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: The second row seatbacks may have scratches or other cosmetic damage. The company issued a campaign to replace them with cloth-covered seatbacks during warranty. (2009)
Vehicle noise
Description: A booming noise at around 2000 rpm originates in cooling system and revised thermostat housing eliminates it. (2009)
Description: The rear tailgate actuator may work intermittently or may quit working and an improved gear has been released to fix it. (2009)
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission may delay when shifting out of park or may hesitate when shifting into other gears. The company issued a campaign to correct it with software upgrades. (2009)

Recall History

2009 Borrego
Description: Non-adjustable brake pedal mounts may have a fiberglass composition that allows them to break off during a collision. If the vehicle is still in motion, the driver will only be able to stop using the parking brake.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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