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While we’re patiently waiting for Hyundai to unveil the next-gen Tucson, it appears Kia has commenced testing on public roads of its mechanically related Sportage. Caught somewhere at home in South Korea, this prototype had a copious amount of camouflage on its reworked body, thus signaling some major changes are in tow in the looks department.

As a matter of fact, the disguise is so comprehensive that it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint some of the new design details. That said, we do notice the prototype had provisional headlights and taillights while the rear bumper appeared to be incomplete. One small change visible on this early test vehicle is the placement of the side mirrors as they now sit slightly lower on the doors rather than at the base of the A-pillar.

Speaking of which, a tiny window now resides next to the A-pillars to replace the rather cheap-looking black plastic panel you’ll find on the current Sportage. By the looks of it, the front-mounted radar for the safety and assistance systems looks absolutely massive and we’re hoping it won’t be this obtrusive on the production model.

The man with the camera also took a peek inside the cabin, but that was heavily camouflaged as well. You can easily tell this is a rudimentary test vehicle by checking out the basic-looking door cards. These seem to be made exclusively out of cheap plastics you’re certainly not going to find on the final version. For this reason, it would be wrong to judge the quality of the interior right now since it’s using low-cost provisional parts.

Taking into account the prototype was far from having all the production-spec bits, we’re getting the feeling Kia won’t be coming out with the fifth-gen Sportage anytime soon. Our pals at The Korean Car Blog are saying the revamped compact crossover has been delayed and that it will take a while before it will break cover.

While the styling remains quite the mystery for now, we’re expecting to learn about the oily bits in the coming weeks or months. That’s because Hyundai is on the verge of introducing the new Tucson from where the Sportage will likely inherit most of the hardware. Both will ride on a more sophisticated platform set to shave off a bit of weight and unlock the possibility of a hybrid powertrain.

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