Quick Test: 2009 Kia Borrego EX V-6 4x4
Fewer calories, same flavor
By now, we've gone over the V-8-powered 2009 Kia Borrego with a fine-tooth comb and picked at every nit. The jury has returned, and the verdict is in: The Borrego is a great midsize SUV that suffers from bad timing. The only question is, what about the V-6?
Unsurprisingly, it's just as good. The Borrego V-6 is the same well-built and well-equipped SUV, with no cheap upholstery or low-quality materials dragging the base model down like a stone. In fact, in terms of features, the V-6 gives up very little ground. Besides 17-in. wheels instead of 18s and the lack of the V-8's standard driver's knee airbag, the differences between the two variants of the Borrego are confined purely to the driveline.
Underhood is a smooth and potent 3.8L V-6 making 276 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. That's a drop of 61 hp and 56 lb-ft from the powerful 4.6L V-8, but it's hardly noticeable in daily driving. The V-6 Borrego scoots 0-to-60 in 7.5 sec and through the quarter in 15.9 sec, both just four-tenths behind the V-8. The five-speed automatic (instead of the V-8's six-speed) gets the job done, no complaint, with smooth, well-timed shifts. The suspension is still on the stiff side, but once again, not uncomfortably so.
The only real hit is to the towing capacity, which, at 5000 lb, is down a third from the V-8's 7500 lb. There's a negligible fuel-economy improvement, with 2WD Borrego V-6 achieving 17/21 mpg city/highway, while the 4WD gets 16/21 mpg.
Things deviate more when it comes time to count dollars. The base-model Borrego (LX V-6 2WD) checks in at $26,995, while the first V-8 model (LX 4WD) starts north of $30,000 -- at $31,745, to be exact -- a difference of $4750. Stepping up to the 4WD LX V-6 reduces that difference to $2700. As for the better-equipped EX trim, both V-6 versions are exactly $3000 cheaper than their V-8 counterparts.
Are an extra cog, extra airbag, 2500 lb of towing capacity, and 60 extra hp worth $3000? To some customers yes, to others no. What is certain, however, is that the Borrego is a serious midsize SUV, regardless of its having six cylinders or eight.
|2009 Kia Borrego EX 4x4 V-6|
|Drivetrain layout||Front engine, 4WD|
|Engine type||90 V-6, alum block/heads|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|Displacement||230.5 cu in/3778 cc|
|Power (SAE NET)||276 hp @ 6000 rpm|
|Torque (SAE NET)||267 lb-ft @ 44000 rpm|
|Weight to power||14.5 lb/hp|
|Suspension, front; rear||Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Brakes, f;r||12.9-in vented disc; 12.8-in disc, ABS|
|Wheels||7.5 x 18 in, cast aluminum|
|Tires||265/60R18 109T Hankook RA07|
|Track, f/r||63.6/64.0 in|
|Length x width x height||192.1 x 75.4 x 71.3 in|
|Ground clearance||8.5 in|
|Approach/depart angle||27.3/22.5 deg|
|Turning circle||36.5 ft|
|Curb weight||4750 lb|
|Weight dist., f/r||53/47%|
|Towing capacity||5000 lb|
|Headroom, f/m/r||40.0/39.0/38.0 in|
|Legroom, f/m/r||41.7/37.4/32.9 in|
|Shoulder room, f/m/r||60.2/59.1/55.7 in|
|Cargo vol behind f/m/r||156.8/49.3/12.4|
|Acceleration to mph|
|Passing, 45-65 mph||3.9 sec|
|Quarter mile||15.9 sec @ 87.2 mph|
|Braking, 60-0 mph||135 ft|
|Lateral acceleration||0.75 g (avg)|
|MT figure eight||28.7 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)|
|Top-gear revs @ 60 mph||1900 rpm|
|Price as tested||$36,295|
|Airbags||Dual front, front side, f/r curtain|
|Basic warranty||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||10 yrs/100,000 miles|
|Roadside assistance||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|Fuel capacity||20.6 gal|
|EPA city/hwy econ||16/21 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.08 lb/mile|