Kia Borrego Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.69/5 Average
53 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Oh Kia Borrego, we hardly knew you. This large, old-school truck-based SUV went from all-new to all gone in a single model year. In retrospect, it wasn't a surprising fate. While most automakers couldn't crank out car-based crossover SUVs fast enough, Kia chose to utilize traditional body-on-frame construction, an available V8 engine and low-range gearing for models fitted with four-wheel drive. This approach gave the Borrego respectable off-road performance and towing capacity, but sales were dismal.

The Borrego itself was a pretty decent SUV. But even assuming you find one as a used-vehicle purchase, we'd recommend staying away. Its incredibly short production life will likely mean trouble getting parts down the road.

Most Recent Kia Borrego

The Kia Borrego midsize SUV debuted for 2009 and never lived to see another model year. It was available in two trim levels: LX and EX. Both models were available with a choice of two engines: a 3.8-liter V6 that cranked out 276 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, or a 4.6-liter V8 that produced 337 hp and 323 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions varied depending on engine choice, with the V6 models getting a five-speed automatic and V8 models a six-speed automatic. The base LX and EX were two-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive available as an option. Properly equipped, the V8 could tow a healthy 7,500 pounds.

The Borrego's exterior design was relatively clean and no-nonsense (you could say anonymous as well), with a somewhat low and wide stance that enhanced vehicle stability. Inside, the overall quality of materials was high, and for the most part, the layout of controls and instrumentation was straightforward and easy to use. All trims featured three rows of seating, giving it seven-person capacity, and were relatively easy to stow and put back into place. In terms of cargo space, with the 50/50 third-row seats folded flat, this SUV could swallow up plenty of gear, furniture and family pets. Unfortunately, with all the seats up, cargo capacity was reduced to a meager 12.4 cubic feet. The Borrego also lacked a power liftgate.

The Kia Borrego LX came standard with 17-inch wheels, roof rails, rear parking sensors, an integrated tow hitch and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, USB port and an auxiliary jack. The EX trim added items like power front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. The V8 versions of those trims added a few extra items. Option packages upgraded the audio system and added features such as leather seating, a rear-seat entertainment system and a navigation system.

In reviews, we found the V8 in particular to be capable of frisky acceleration and performance, but due to the truck-frame construction and dampening features of the suspension, the Kia Borrego felt a bit disconnected from the road. At times, the throttle and transmission felt sluggish and braking capabilities were average. Off-road performance was decent for a midsize SUV, although the lack of serious ground clearance may put off those customers who intend to plunge into truly rugged terrain. Altogether, though, this midsize SUV stood as a worthy if imperfect competitor.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 53.00
  • First Kia and Impressed - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    Purchased an LX about a month ago after seeing a newspaper ad. Was looking to buy a slightly used SUV, but was able to buy my new Borrego for only a couple grand more. Out-the-door price was about $24K after rebate and discount. The strong engine and brake perform flawlessly. Transmission, however, sometimes hesitates. Fuel economy is a little disappointing at 16+ MPG (mostly city). The interior is mostly quiet, and ride is good except over rough pavement. It can get jarring, and mine rattles a bit in the back area. All controls are laid out intuitively. I wasn't sure about the red-lit center stack, but it's actually quite soothing at night. Overall, I'm satisfied with Borrego.

  • New Age Trooper - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    I shopped around for a couple of months and this dealership ordered in the color an option combintation that I wanted. So far I am getting about 19 MPG with mixed driving.V6 has plenty of power,but the transmission holds 4th gear too long.The heated seats are great and it drives really well in the snow.I thought the stock tires would be worthless,but so far they do well in winter weather.The ride is a little firm,but softens some with more cargo.The built in trailer hitch and wiring is great and it tows really well.I think mine had been sitting for a while because there was some rust on the chrome lug nuts upon delivery.Overall a great vehicle for the money and a fairly gnarly 4 wheeler.

  • best purchase ever 4x4 8cyl. EX Limited - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    I was considering an Explorer or 4Runner. The first car has failed everything: price, reliability, comfort handling etc. 4Runner limited is... didn't want to pay for another mortgage. Kia Borrego EX Limited has everything but listed at a great price. After research (and tons of positive reviews) I(6'3") test drove it and was amazed at the vehicle. I have the 8 cyl. It has great turning radius, power, rides smooth, size, comfortable heated seating for 6 or 7, 7,500 towing capacity, BMW transmission & other tons of bells and whistles. I drove it for over 3K with no problems by now. I think the Borrego is a great car for the price. Mileage is 16.7 mpg combined avg but I don’t drive HW much.

  • VALUE! - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    Traded a 2003 Explorer, Rear end failed at 76000...Understand this is big problem with ford limited silp 4x4. Wanted a Huge warranty, Kia 10 years 100,000 drivetrain and 5 year bumper to bumper...25,000 with leather seating, looks goods drives good...and I sleep at night not worrying about big repair bills! Salesman said watch the maintance scedule; have proof and no one can say no to repairs. Goodnite I sleep like a baby!

  • Gotta Great Deal !! - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    Purchased my 2009 Borrego LX 4WD in Nov 2009 for over $7k off the sticker - gotta a great deal at $22,900. We are overall very pleased with this SUV with the exception of gas mileage (about 16 in town). Hope to see improvement as it breaks in. Also, the last gear in the tranny shifts really late, which makes you feel like it is revving too much under certain driving conditions. It is my understanding that this is normal or was designed that way, but still a little annoying. Overall, LOTS of room and comfort. All back seats fold pretty flat making hauling easy. It is a bit cumbersome getting in the 3rd seat, but the middle seats do slide up pretty far. Handles very well!!

  • Impressive! - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    It exceeded my expectations. Comfortable enough, room & space enough power, interior features and reasonable price. I thought it might be a little rough, but it totally shakes my assumption. This is really smooth and powerful engine. I was impressed! My current mpg is 23 mpg, which is good.

  • Excellent Value - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    Drove a 1000 mile round trip in the last 4 days. We do this trip at least twice a year and this is the first vehicle we have owned, including a Honda Odyssey that my back doesn't bother me. Very comfortable. Gas mileage varied 21 to 23.5 at 70 to 80 mph. Pretty good for a vehicle this size.

  • I LOVE IT!! - Limited V8 4X4 - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    I had been looking at small to mid-size SUV's for a few years and saw the Borrego in a car show. I fell in love instantly - especially price for what you are getting. Was difficult to find the Limited 4x4 but found place in LA to buy and drove back to SF - was a great way to fully test the car and my initial feelings were confirmed - I love this car!

  • Best SUV for the money - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    When comparing the V8 Borrego to other SUVs of this size, it is the best bang for the buck. We picked up a 2009 Borrego EX V8 which was driven by a KIA Rep for 6 months. He put 8,000 miles on it. The sticker price was $37,415 we paid $24,700 plus tax and title. Overall, very pleased. Strong acceleration, luxurious accommodations, great build quality. The suspension on ours is not to stiff for us. All in all, the best vehicle that I have ever had to date.

  • Just what I was looking for. - 2009 Kia Borrego
    By -

    I'm really pleased with my Borrego. It looks great and has all the features I want/need at a great price. People tell me when they take a close look at it that they didn't know Kia made a solid mid-size SUV. The ride is not as smooth as a sedan but much smoother than my pickup truck. My city MPG is holding at 19.5. I haven't been on a highway trip yet.

Kia Borrego Reviews By Year:
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