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2009 Kia Borrego – Click above for high-res image gallery

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.

[Sources: The Car Connection; Kia]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kia=JUNK...Rented a sportage in Houston...no power where I needed it and will NEVER rent another one
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is sad really, I drove one and it was pretty damn enjoyable. Kia's have become surprisingly upscale in the last couple of years, I've never been a big fan, but this and the Soul both surprised me with how much they offered for the asking price. I thought it was quiet, comfortable, sophisticated for what they were asking, and it looks decent.

      I guess it really was just bad luck. This just isn't an SUV conducive market, especially for a newcomer. That market is thinking Ford, Chevy, GM, Toyota, Honda, Subaru; not Kia for a truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look, i think you kind of have to read between the lines, oil is almost $80 and we are in a recession, one the economy will heat up oil could easily reach $150-$200. Gas could reach $4-$5 a gallon and that will make SUVs like Borrego unmovable.

      • 5 Years Ago
      That's really too bad. I have not driven one but I sat in a Limited EX model and it was quite nice. I think the Kia name and bland styling throughout the vehicle damaged it almost as much as the economic climate did.

      I say that because in 08 the 4Runner sold about 50,000 units, the Explorer about 125,000, and the Grand Cherokee about 75,000. Now 2009 is a different year but I think it's clear Kia had nothing on those numbers anyway. The public also probably didn't now the Kia was as capable as it was, at least not enough people.

      Hope they keep it around, but things aren't looking good for body on frame buyers in this size class. The new Grand Cherokee and Explorer will be unibody, and the Pathfinder is rumored to be the same. That leaves the 4Runner, this Kia, and.......that's it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Local ad from a Los Angeles dealer $7000 off List. Not for 1 vehicle, but the entire stock. I checked it out. A top of the line, 4.6L v8 with 337 horsepower with leather, navigation, rear climate control, 2 extra speakers up from standard (10 total), etc, msrp $39K, or $32K after rebate+dealer discount. A top of the line Ford Expedition 310hp (less options than the Kia!) runs for 46K msrp or 41K after discounts+rebates.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I've seen a few Borregos driving around. They're a cheaper alternative to the Explorer, and probably have some appeal to people who already on a Kia, and like the brand. With the Explorer's sales way down, it makes sense that the Borrego's expected sales numbers would be in the four-digit range. Rest in peace.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone else think maybe they're just cancelling/delaying 2010 production?

      If sales were so miserable, then surely they have a surplus of 09 models on dealer lots -- wouldn't make much sense to continue production until supply starts to dwindle.

      If this is the case, then I would expect a limited number of 2010 models to be produced later in the year -- or perhaps they could skip 2010 entirely and resume production for 2011.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've never even seen one before. Oh well. SUVs= ghey.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The problem is still the same people that are still working and still have not lost thier homes yet soon many more will be in the same boat as the others were when they lost thier homes. the reason is simple people have to cut costs and minimize expenses this vehicle is based on the asumption that the rich Americans will buy them not so. Americans are broke. and will be for 5 generations now our childrens childrens children have been born into slavery because the government refused to represent the property owning taxpayers and only represented everybody that doesn't pay property taxes and isn't a legal American taxpayer. The KIA company should have built a 3 cylinder auto like the old GEO metros and kept the price as low as possible that way if the vehicle got 50 mpg and you could drive it at speed of up to 75 mph thats not a bad deal and people could invest is something they could afford and could save tons of money when the drove it. A penny saved on the cost of fuel is just more money that a person can use to pay thier electric bill or something thats what I figure,
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new models from both Hyundai and Kia are going a bit too upscale lately with their packaging and especially prices. They have essentially priced themselves out of their original target markets, and this Borrego is a case in point. The new 2010 Tucson is another good case. Just to get a moonroof, buyers must put up an additional $8K over the base price. A simple cloth interior option isn't even available if you want other basic options such as cruise control. You must step up to the vinyl bolstered or leather interior to get even the most basic other features. And that is why I left Honda, because of the rigid overpriced packaging and lack of dealer installable options.

      I also fail to see any major differentiation between the Sorento and Borrego. There is a lot of overlap very similar to what Toyota is doing with both its sedans and SUVs.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't you get tired posting the same drivel on every Hyundai/Kia thread?

        The Honda or Toyota of today isn't the Honda or Toyota of the 1960s and the VW of today isn't the VW of the 1970s.

        Likewise, Hyundai/Kia are improving their product, as well as their customer base (and growing their customer base in the process).

        As for the failing to see the distinction btwn the Sorento and Borrego, the former is now a car-based crossover while the latter is a BOF proper SUV w/ much greater towing and off-road capabilities (aside from being a bit larger as well).

        As for the Borrego, it was unfortunate timing on Kia's part; but if Kia does indeed pull the Borrego from the US market, it will still continue to offer it in other markets where the BOF SUV is still going strong (actually, there are still decent sales of BOF SUVs in the States, but w/ a shrinking market, it's difficult for a newcomer to make a dent in the segment).

        The Borrego is a pretty decent "full-sized" BOF SUV offering from Kia - w/ a few tweaks and refinements, it could be very good (it's too bad Kia toned down the looks from the cool-looking concept).

        If Kia is able to break even w/ annual sales around the 10k mark, they should just keep it.

        There are still people who need full-sized BOF SUVs to pull their boats, etc. and the economy should improve w/in another year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Was there ever a Market for a $42K Kia that gets 15 MPG?
      (The Limited 4x4 is $42,995)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not in the US, but certainly in Asia (besides nationalist closed auto market Japan), Middle East, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Calling Japan a nationalist closed market is very very misleading and mistaken... while I cannot argue on the unfavorable tariff situation, one has to understand the market and its buyers really well before making such accusation.

        It's a country that generally favors expensive goods with brand image and western culture. Hence the luxury car market is dominated by European premium brands and only the world famous brands can survive and thrive (VW for example) Their need in vehicles are also vastly different from US and other countries, and many import cars simply don't have the right equipment/options/features Japanese consumers come to expect. On top of that, they understand that bad product is a bad product. If the cars from the country is already quite excellent, why would you buy 2nd rate product that doesn't fit your need?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Was there ever a Market for a $42K Kia that gets 15 MPG?
        (The Limited 4x4 is $42,995)"

        Geez, didn't realize it could be THAT expensive. I would rather have a fully loaded Hyundai Genesis 4.6 (which if you build it online, is less than a grand more).
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey Skydog303, what was the Dodge Ram named after, uh oh, that's right - a sheep. So nevermind the name since they picked it off a California map, and they're already selling this world-wide as a Mohave.

      My wife and I test drove one and we loved it. It also cost less than most comparable SUV's. With the kids growing up, we've had to drive to the same places in two vehicles because we lacked the seating for them and their friends. I also have a travel trailer, I go hunting off-road, and drive in terrible winter conditions. Some of us want an SUV to do all these things, and we also have a car for when we don't need to.

      Kia had a good thing going, but they should have introduced the diesel in North America.
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