The Borrego vs. the Sorento


The 2009 Kia Borrego was a sport utility vehicle that survived just one model year -- through 2010 -- in North America. Although the Kia Sorento has been in production since 2002, it has served more or less as the Borrego’s replacement. Kia initially manufactured Borrego and Sorento as body-on-truck-frame SUVs, but the Sorento switched to a crossover vehicle with unibody construction in 2011. Kia produced no Sorentos in 2010.


  • By SUV manufacturing standards in 2009, the Borrego was already dated with its tuck-based frame. Most SUV builders focused on crossover SUVs that emphasized passenger car comfort with unibody construction while providing styling that gave SUVs their truck-like appearance. The Borrego was Kia’s luxury entry into the SUV market with four-wheel drive and a V-8 engine. It was capable of off-roading, but more practical and comfortable SUVs were available for work commutes and running errands around town. The Sorento started much the same as the Borrego with its truck-like construction, but it came with smaller, more economical engine options. It was also more practical for urban driving during the week and some dirt trailing on the weekends.

Borrego Trims and Features

  • Kia offered the Borrego in two trims: the base LX and the more upscale EX model with choices in two- and four-wheel drives. Its overall exterior appearance was rather pedestrian, but it featured a low profile that gave it better stability on curves than Kia’s taller competitors. It had three rows of seating to accommodate seven people. It sat on a 114-inch wheelbase and had a total length of 192.1 inches, but cargo space was limited, with all seats upright, at just 12.4 cubic feet. It measured 75.4 inches wide and 71.3 inches tall.

Sorento Trims and Features

  • Kia offered three trim levels on the Sorento: the base LX, the mid-range EX and the top-end SX. Buyers could order the LX with an optional sport package that included a five-speed manual transmission. Standard equipment included an audio system with CD player and MP3, SIRIUS satellite radio, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s smaller than the Borrego with a 106.3-inch wheelbase and 183.9-inch length. The Sorento is 74.2 inches wide and 67.3 inches tall, which is shorter than the Borrengo’s already low height.

Borrego Output and Performance

  • The 2009 Borrego featured a base 3.8-liter V-6 engine that generated 276 horsepower and 267 foot-pounds of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission matched the V-6. It earned 17 mpg on urban streets and 21 mpg on the open road. It could haul 5,000 pounds with the help of low gearing. The optional V-8 displaced 4.6 liters and developed a healthy 337 horsepower and 323 foot-pounds of torque. Its towing capacity was 7,500 lb. with a six-speed automatic. The V-8 achieved 15/20 mpg.

Sorento Output and Performance

  • The entry-level Sorento received a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivered 175 horsepower and 169 foot-pounds of torque. It could achieve 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway and could tow 1,650 lb. By 2011, a direct-injection version boosted output to 191 horsepower and 181 foot-pounds of torque to garner 32 mpg in highway driving. An optional 3.5-liter V-6 was available. It developed 276 horsepower and 248 foot-pounds of torque. The V-6 earned 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg outside of town. Its towing capacity was 3,500 pounds

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  • Photo Credit Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images Mark Renders/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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