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Is this the 2022 Kia Sportage? Leak gives tough-looking new Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 rival an early mark - or does it?

This Kia mid-size SUV has ‘Sportage’ lettering on it, but will it be the model Australia gets? (Image credit: CarBuzz)

Kia will soon reveal the next-generation Sportage mid-size SUV, and thanks to a fresh leak out of China, we now unofficially know what it will look like – well, kind of.

The two images published here come via CarBuzz, which points out the clearly identified Sportage pictured is likely exclusive to China, with the current-generation model both restyled and rebadged (to KX5) for that market.

This makes sense considering recent spy shots of the new Sportage from both South Korea and Europe indicate the global version will look quite different to the Chinese-market model that’s leaked, as was the case previously.

The only key difference this time around appears to be China’s version will lose its unique KX5 nameplate and instead adopt Sportage to put it in line with the rest of the world.

We likely won’t have to wait long to find out what the go is, as the Chinese-market Sportage is expected to be revealed at the 2020 Guangzhou motor show, which runs from November 22 to December 1. A previous report claimed the global version would be revealed in April.

The new Sportage is tougher looking than its predecessor, with influence drawn from Kia’s larger SUVs. The new Sportage is tougher looking than its predecessor, with influence drawn from Kia’s larger SUVs.

Either way, there’s no doubting the new Sportage, be it this Chinese or the upcoming global version, is much tougher looking than its predecessor, with clear influence drawn from Kia’s larger Sorento and Telluride SUVs.

CarsGuide previously reported the fresh Sportage will go on sale in Australia around September. Its aforementioned reveal will be preceded by a teaser campaign, so it won’t be long before we get our first glimpse of what we’ll see locally.

As reported, the new Sportage won’t completely follow in the tyre tracks of the related Hyundai Tucson, which is available with both ‘self-charging’ and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

Instead, the only hybrid version of the fresh Sportage will be of the mild variety, and it will be built in Slovakia for Europe, a market with strict emissions regulations, unlike Australia.

Once again, local examples of the new Sportage will be exclusively sourced from South Korea, but it’s not yet known if the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 rival will use carryover naturally aspirated petrol and turbocharged diesel engines here.

For reference, the Sportage is currently priced from $28,690 (manual S petrol) to $48,190 plus on-road costs (automatic GT-Line diesel).