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The fourth-generation Kia Sportage, which was revealed in September before making its official debut in Frankfurt, should be arriving on these shores sometime next year, but we’ve got an early view of how it shapes up to the outgoing third-gen SL before it gets here, courtesy of a simple side-by-side comparo.

The photos are from Korea – two generations of the SUV happened to be parked next to each other, and snaps were duly taken by reader Jie Jun Teng. The new QL has been on sale in South Korea for months now, having been launched there in early September (before Frankfurt).

The current SL Sportage has presence, but as the photos show, the QL’s front has incredible heft – massive would best describe that face next to the old one; certainly, there’s no shortage of bumper on the new car. It’s also quite visually imposing at the back, which features among other things sharper LED rear lights and a chrome trim strip providing linkage between the units.

Design-wise, the new Sportage has improved aerodynamics, and it’s also a more refined offering mechanically – NVH levels are down compared to the current one. The interior is also an advancement in terms of material and trim.

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Engine options for the new Sportage include a new turbocharged 1.6 litre T-GDI petrol engine which makes 174 hp and 265 Nm of torque and a 1.6 litre GDI petrol offering 130 hp and 161 Nm. A new seven-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) is dedicated to the 1.6 litre T-GDI engine – a choice of six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission works with all the other mills.

The current Sportage facelift sold locally – be it two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive form – is powered by a 2.0 litre Nu MPI four-cylinder petrol engine developing 154 PS at 6,200 rpm and 191 Nm at 4,700 rpm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

So, which Sportage do you think works better for you, the new QL or the outgoing third-gen SL? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.

GALLERY: Fourth-generation Kia Sportage (QL) GALLERY: Third-generation Kia Sportage (SL)