Nuts & Bolts

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Complaint: The Borrego is too old-school to make a favorable impression on a market grown tired of traditional SUVs that ride and handle like the trucks they are. It is a work of limited appeal.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Again, it's built like a truck, which means it rides and handles like one. Acceleration with the V-8 engine is highway competitive. The V-6 is more of a right-lane queen.

Head-turning quotient: There's nothing exciting here.

Body style/layout: The Borrego is a midsize sport-utility vehicle available with rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. It is built body on frame and is recommended for buyers seeking the moral equivalent of a work truck.

Engines/transmission: There are two engines and two transmissions. The 3.8-liter V-6 Borrego develops 276 horsepower and 267 foot-pounds of torque. The 4.6-liter V-8 Borrego, driven for this column, delivers a maximum 337 horsepower and 323 foot-pounds of torque. The V-6 is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 gets a six-speed automatic.

Capacities: The Borrego has seats for seven people. Luggage space with all seven seats up is 12.4 cubic feet, but expands to nearly 60 cubic feet when second-row and rear seats are folded down. The Borrego can be equipped to tow up to 7,500 pounds. Fuel capacity is 20.6 gallons.

Mileage: The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway. Our mileage in both cases was somewhat less, largely because we were carrying heavy loads.

Safety: Standard equipment includes electronic stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes, side and head air bags.

Price: The base price for the 2009 Borrego with V-8 engine and four-wheel drive is $32,995. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $30,410. Price as tested is $37,745, including $4,000 in options (leather seating surfaces, power glass roof, onboard navigation with rearview camera, running boards, premium sound system with 10 speakers and MP3 playback capability, satellite radio, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, and rear air conditioning controls) and a $750 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $34,580. Prices are sourced from Kia,, and, an affiliate of The Washington Post.

Purse-strings note: If you are looking for a bargain on old-school, midsize SUVs, the Boreggo is it -- especially in the current buyer's market.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company