There really isn't anything wrong with the Kia Borrego. When compared directly to its intended competition, the big, boxy, body-on-frame SUV is both attractive and fully class competitive, as we learned the first time we got any significant time in its driver seat. That said, there's no doubt that the Borrego's model launch was an object lesson in horrible timing.
The Borrego was Introduced in late 2008 as a 2009 model, right when the financial meltdown was starting to make some waves and the previous summer's record-high fuel prices were still emblazoned in our collective memory banks. This being the case, it's no surprise to learn from The Car Connection that Kia moved fewer than half (at 9,510 through November) of its hoped-for Borrego sales in 2009.
That said, we still didn't expect the Korean automaker to drop the Borrego entirely for the 2010 model year, which is exactly what's being reported by the boys over at The Car Connection. Apparently, no decision has yet been made as to whether the Borrego will make a return appearance after 2010 or if the square-jawed SUV will be a one-and-done proposition.
Either way, for the keen bargain hunter, there's a boatload of cash on the hood of the 2009 model year. Kia is presently offering $3,000 in cash back on all trim levels, plus the availability of numerous other incentives. The rundown: $1,500 for trading in a competitor's vehicle (everything from the Buick Enclave to the Pontiac Aztek and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited qualifies); $1,500 for owner loyalty, $400 for recent college grads, $500 for military service, and $300 for Great Dane rescue shelter workers. We made that last one up.