With its rugged body-on-frame architecture, a set of powerful engines and impressive 114-inch wheelbase, 192.1 inches of overall length and 75.4 inches of overall width, the 2009 Kia Borrego is clearly aiming to take the place of the old 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 SUV.
Just like the current Kia Sorento resembles the first-generation Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, the 2009 Kia Borrego doesn’t differ too much from the car it’s trying to replace. However, one must admit that the vehicle’s front fascia with its potent radiator grille, unpainted bumpers and huge head lights is more or less original, coming from the 2005 Kia Mesa concept.
Of course, compared to the show car, the new Borrego looks a lot less inspiring ditching the original LED-powered head lights in favor of simpler and cheaper projector-type halogen ones and losing its sportcar-style roof with prominent D-pillar for a more mundane (and also incredibly more boring) version.
Anyway, the just announced Borrego comes equipped with a choice of either 3.8 liter V6 or 4.6 liter V8 DOHC 300 hp engine, the latter mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox capable of towing a weight up to 7500 pounds (only 5000 pounds for the 3-liter engine).
The list of standard safety equipment includes ABS, EBD, TPMS and even downhill assist control (DAC) and hill assist control (HAC).
Inside the seven-seater, one will be surprised with its in-dash, six-disc CD changer powered by a 600-watt Infinity audio system, standard USB/iPod connectivity and SIRIUS Satellite Radio unit. Optional equipment includes power-adjustable pedals and a DVD navi with a rear camera.
If the Korean company will manage to keep the price low, the 2009 Kia Borrego may be quite an interesting offer when it hits the market.
Photos: Kia / Toyota
See also: 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser 200 / V8 SUV