Kia To Launch First Full-Size SUV In 2008

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

2009 Kia BorregoIt seems that automakers everywhere will be changing things up a bit for 2008. Many are showing off new vehicles that will amaze us and will take vehicles to the next level. Kia is joining the club and has plans to launch their first seven passenger full size SUV. They will be displaying the new Borrego in January of next year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Powering this body-on-frame truck will be a choice of a V-6 or Kia’s first V-8 engine when the Borrego (named for bighorn sheep that live in desert state parks in California) goes on sale here next summer. It’s a bold move for the Korean automaker, venturing into big-truck territory at a time when U.S. automakers are veering to smaller and more-fuel-efficient cars. But to be fair, although this is Kia’s largest offering to date, it is closer in size to a mid-size Ford Explorer than a Chevy Tahoe.

We anticipate a high take rate for the 2009 Borrego with the 260-hp V-6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. The direct-injection 4.6-liter V-8—the same 375-hp, 4.6-liter Tau V-8 that will power the Hyundai Genesis sedan—is paired with a six-speed auto. A diesel will join the lineup in the second model year for many markets, but the U.S. may have to wait longer, officials say.

The Korean Borrego will be offered with a choice of all-wheel-drive systems, one of which is a part-time setup. U.S. models will be offered with a single AWD system, perhaps shared with the current Sorento.

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