Although advising that its fate is not yet permanently sealed, Kia has confirmed the mid-size seven-passenger Borrego SUV won't be making an appearance here for the 2010 model year. The Borrego, which is the automaker's largest sport utility -- and the only one in its lineup to feature conventional body-on-frame construction and offer an optional V8 engine -- has been one of the few disappointments in Kia's otherwise rosy U.S. marketing scenario. The Borrego's total 2009 sales will be lucky to break the 10,000-unit mark, barely half of the company's projected 20,000-unit bogey.
Introduced in late 2008 when the automotive world began heading into free fall in and consumer preferences had already turned to vehicles with more crossover character, the Borrego has proven to be a victim of its own ill-timing and type. However, what's bad for Kia is good for buyers who actually want and need this kind of a vehicle. Extremely comfortable and capable, the Borrego has excellent towing capability and offers best-in-class fuel economy with its V8 engine that's also used in Hyundai's upline Genesis sedan. Factor in the existing sales incentives, and any remaining 2009s should be available at fairly righteous prices.