Remember the Kia Borrego? This is what it looks like now.
If you're looking for a body-on-frame SUV, there are several different models available in the United States. From the capable but aging Toyota 4Runner to more luxurious examples, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, there's no shortage. But some examples, once available to US consumers, are now forbidden fruit. One such SUV is the body-on-frame Kia Mohave.
Once known as the Borrego in the US, the tenacious Kia Mohave has received several updates to its exterior, cabin, chassis, and engine. This follows on from the 2019 update, which saw the mid-size SUV receive technologies such as LED head- and taillights, as well as a head-up display, among other features.
The closest thing to the Mohave in the United States would be Kia's own Telluride. Unlike its body-on-frame sibling, the North American equivalent utilizes a unibody chassis.
The latest iteration has received chassis and suspension tuning which aims to smoothen the ride quality and reduce pesky interior vibrations. Additionally, dual-layer window glass reduces intrusive road noise into the cabin. Plenty of technology is on offer, with forward collision assist, blind-spot assistance, and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist part of the myriad safety features.
Under the muscular hood sits a 253 horsepower 3,0-liter turbodiesel engine. Torque is rated at 413 Ib-ft. Largely unchanged, the powertrain is now equipped with an "emission reduction device" to meet South Korea's revised emissions requirements. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The interior - available in five, six, or seven-seater configurations - has received a comprehensive update. Now more luxurious, the cabin boasts quilted Nappa leather, available in three color schemes. Navigation-based cruise control not only enables the Kia to slow for traffic but reduces speed when approaching the off-ramp of a highway, for example.
For six-seater models, the second row of pews receives heating and ventilation functionality. Further adding to the premium persona of the Mohave, is the generous use of wood trim on the dashboard and door cards.
Kia was long-rumored to be working on a body-on-frame off-roader that could go toe-to-toe with the Toyota Land Cruiser and form the basis for a midsize truck. Unfortunately, the Mohave isn't it, which means the fact that it won't be coming to the USA is no great shame.