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Kia’s 2016 Sportage gets a fresh face, engines, and premium attitude

It’s hard to believe Kia has already been through three generations of its compact crossover, the Sportage, but alas, the time has come for a new design.

Official images with the fourth generation Kia Sportage have leaked online before the model is revealed next week, thanks to TheKoreanCarBlog (take a quick guess about the publication’s theme).

Though proportions about to have remained the same as the current generation crossover, styling is significantly updated to fall in line with the Korean automaker’s new design language. Overall, the new aesthetics are sleeker and yet more outgoing than the third generation.

Notable cues include pulled-back headlights, Kia’s now-signature quad-LED running lights, and new front and rear bumper designs. While interior photos didn’t accompany the exterior angles, we can expect the 2016 Sorento’s refined cabin elements to trickle down to the Sportage.

The platform is also all-new for 2016, borrowed from parent company Hyundai’s redesigned Tucson. That also means engine options will carry over, including a 1.6-liter engine with 132 horsepower and a turbocharged variant with 173 horsepower. For the European market, 1.7 and 2.0-liter diesel powertrains will join the range. Transmission options will include a six-speed manual for lower-spec trims, a six-speed automatic, and a new seven-speed dual clutch automatic. Front-wheel drive will be standard with permanent all-wheel drive available for a little extra coin.

The 2016 Kia Sportage will roll onto the Frankfurt Motor Show’s floor mid-September, but its online debut will take place on August 25. While a sale date has yet to be announced, expect dealers to stock the new crossover late this year.