As we patiently wait for Hyundai to unveil the next-gen Tucson, it looks like Kia has started testing its mechanical Sportage on public roads. Taken somewhere at his home in South Korea, this prototype had a large amount of camouflage on its reworked body, signaling that major changes are underway in the appearance department.
In fact, the disguise is so complete that it is almost impossible to identify some of the new design details. That said, we do note that the prototype had temporary headlights and taillights while the rear bumper looked incomplete. One small change noticeable on this early test vehicle is the placement of the side mirrors as they are now slightly lower on the doors rather than at the base of the A-pillar.
Speaking of which, a small window now sits next to the A-pillars to replace the rather cheap black plastic panel you’ll find on the current Sportage. At first glance, the front-mounted radar for the safety and assistance systems looks absolutely huge and we hope it won’t be as annoying on the production model.
The man with the camera also took a look inside the cabin, but it was heavily camouflaged as well. You can easily tell this is a rudimentary test vehicle by checking the basic looking door cards. These appear to be made exclusively from inexpensive plastics that you certainly won’t find on the final version. For this reason, it would be wrong to judge the quality of the interior at this time, as it uses low cost temporary parts.
Taking into account that the prototype was far from having all the production elements, we have a feeling that Kia won’t be releasing the fifth-generation Sportage anytime soon. Our friends at the Korean Car Blog say the revamped compact crossover has been delayed and it will be some time before it breaks.
While the styling remains pretty mysterious at the moment, we expect to find out more about the oily chunks in the weeks or months to come. That’s because Hyundai is set to introduce the new Tucson from which the Sportage will likely inherit most of the hardware. Both will ride on a more sophisticated platform to reduce a bit of weight and unlock the possibility of a hybrid powertrain.