So

Three-year residual value*

* Automotive Lease Guide

None

its 337-horse, 4.6-liter V-8 engine is coarse. Ride quality also feels rough and trucky, and the Kia developed an odd groan in front and a squeak in back. The overall driving experience isn't ¿II that memorable, either. As assistant Web producer Scott Evans explained/The Borrego is a perfectly capable but utterly unremarkable vehicle. It went 1000 miles with nary a hiccup and was a pleasant long-haul cruiser. The engine has good power and the SUV handles surprisingly well for its size. Every time I walked away from it, though, I completely forgot about the drive because it was entirely uninteresting."

Making things worse, the Borrego was not as nice as the truck-based Explorer and Tahoe, let alone the crossovers. But it did have positive attributes. The navigation system and mjltimedia interface got very high marks from the staff, not only for ease of use, but hecame the nav allows the front passenger to enter addresses while the vehicle is in motion. The Borrego's tight turning radius and great acceleration also earned praise, hut its V-8 power came at a price: so-so fuel economy with a test average of 16.9 mpc.

How fast was it? At the track, it reached 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, not too shabby for a 4876-pound four-wheel-drive sport/utility. Passing power also impressed; acceleration from 45 to 65 took only 3.4 seconds. It got through the quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 91.0 mph. It stopped from 60 mph in 125 feet.

The Kia went to the dealership four times for regular service. At 9169 miles, it got its

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words allyson harwood

ONE EDITOR remarked that the Borrego's 337-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 engine is coarse and the chassis feels rough and trucklike.

belated 7500-mile service: an oil change, insppction, and tire rotation ($168.??) Running slightly less late for its 15,000-mile service, which cost $451.61, it received the same service as it did before, plus the rear differential fluid was replaced. The 22,500-mile service repeated the 7500-mile service ($56.94) as did its 30,000-mile service, but that last trip also included differential and transmission fluids, in addition to replacing the cabin and engine air filters ($664.21).

The Borrego was a reliable workhorse, serving as transport fora backpacking trip and a weekend of rock-dimbing. It was frequently uspd by photographers Rrian Vance and Julia LaPalme for shoots, especially those that involved off-roading. It was an excellent vehicle for prerunning trails, manuevering easily in dirt and over rocks while carrying a cargo area full of gear.

During the year-plus with the Borrego, we watched as crossovers began their domination of the SUV market, and what started as a hiatus for the Kia truck became permanent. It's probable that sales would have been better for this SUV had it come to market sooner, but

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the Borrego will be a great used-car value for people who want this level of capability.

At the end of our time with the Borrego, associate Web editor Kirill Ougarov summed up: "I'm impressed with how well the Borrego has held up. It has led a fairly hard life in the past year, and despite the high mileage on the clock, everything still works as intended. The design of the interior, however, has not aged well at all. The Borrego's behind-the-times design has really begun to stand out. It deserves an update."

We know how much Kia improves its vehicles over generations. It's sad to think that the Borrego will never benefit from changes that could have made all the difference. ■

from the logbook

"The Borrego's size came In handy: It comfortably seats four adults and plenty of luggage without any rear-visibility issues. Still, though, with that bumpy ride, I don't think I could recommend the Borrego unless you need to use the V-8 to tow up to 7500 pounds."

"Maybe I spend too much time in cars, but the ride is rather uncomfortable. No bump, pothole, undulation, or texture goes untransmitted through the steering wheel, seats, and cabin. Twice, bumps on the 101 actually made the steering jump."

"High marks for the Borrego's turning radius. Every time I had to make a tight turn in a parking lot, the Kia impressed me. It's much more maneuverable than you would expect of a vehicle its size. '

"Have others noticed that the Borrego's V-8 is getting stronger as it gets more miles on it? The engine feels more powerful to me than It did when we first got it."

I Brian Vance

POWERTRAIN/CH ASSIS

Drivetrain layout

Front engine, 4WD

Engine type

90-deg V-8, alum block/heads

Valvetrain

DOHC, 4 valves/cyl

Displacement

282.4 CII in/4627 ee

Compression ratio

10.4:1

Power (SAE net)

337 hp (®> 5000 rpm

Torque (SAC net)

323 Ib-ft a SSOO rpm

Weight to power

14.5 lb/hp

Transmission

6-speed automatic

Axle/final/low ratios

3.36:1/2.32:1/2.48:1

Suspension, front; rear

Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar

Steering ratio

18.0:1

Turns lock-to-lock

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