( Worldcarfans ) - The steady expansion of Kia's product line continued at the North American International Auto Show Sunday with the introduction of the all-new Borrego SUV. This body-on-frame sport-ute is Kia's largest and most powerful production vehicle to date.
The Borrego's 114-inch wheelbase and 192-inch overall length put it at the large end of the SUV scale, and a choice of 3.8 liter V6 or 4.6 liter V8 power is offered. The V8 is a DOHC engine and makes over 300 horsepower. Both it and the six-speed automatic transmission it's mated to are firsts for Kia. With the V8, the Borrego is rated to tow up to 7500 pounds. The available hill-start control and downhill assist control hint at a measure of off-road ability as well.
The styling is similar to that of Kia's other SUVs, with a simple, no-nonsense look. The Borrego takes some styling cues from the Mesa concept truck of 2005 and has a tougher appearance that's in keeping with its abilities.
Three-row seating is standard, and the Borrego is well-equipped with side and side-curtain airbags, a USB connector for iPods and other MP3 players, antilock brakes and stability control on the standard-equipment list. Sirius satellite radio, a backup alarm and a navigation system are on the options list. It's also got Kia's 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
The Borrego goes on sale this summer as a 2009 model.