Kia has dropped the Borrego from its 2010 US lineup due to slow sales. The mid-sized (it’s considered full-sized elsewhere) SUV made its US debut late 2008, coinciding with high fuel prices and the financial crisis. Kia had hoped to sell 20,000 units of the Borrego per year, but only managed to shift 9,510 units for the first 11 months of 2009.

Highly rated by the motoring press, the body-on-frame Borrego was offered with a 3.8-litre V6 and Kia’s first V8, a 4.6-litre unit with 337 bhp mated to a six-speed automatic. Despite the robust underpinnings, the Borrego wasn’t positioned as a serious 4X4 as it lacked advanced off-road hardware, but more as value priced alternative to luxury SUVs. The big seven-seater, which sits above the Sorento in size, is sold in its home market as the Kia Mohave. Kia is reported as not ruling out a future return of the Borrego to the US.

If you want to spend money building a big SUV, you’ve got to do well in the American market, and this has to be a rare setback for Kia, a company more used to encouraging reviews and rising sales these days.

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