FRANKFURT -- I never thought this combination of words would pass my lips, but here goes: Something about the new Kia Sportage reminds me of the Porsche Macan.

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It's the front end that tricked my eye. The swept back headlamps and sculpted hood just scream, "Porsche!" The design of the fog lights reinforces the first impression.

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However, the illusion falls apart from almost any other angle. From the front, the automaker's "Tiger Nose" grille becomes more prominent and the headlamps take on a sort of cock-eyed appearance.

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The previous generation Sportage was already very sporty in design, but the new model attempts a more muscular and modern aesthetic.

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Around back, the Kia abandons its distinctive tail light shape for a simplified -- dare I say, more Mazda-like? -- housing design.

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The Frankfurt auto show marks the beginning of a new "GT Line" trim level for the Sportage, as well as the Cee'd and Procee'd compacts.

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GT Line models feature styling upgrades that make the models appear more sporty. There's also a suspension tune that Kia says has been "tested on European roads with European buyers in mind."

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The GT Line's interior also features sport-inspired materials design, which is punctuated by the flat-bottomed steering wheel.

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The European Sportage will be available with a variety of engines, including two 1.6-liter gasoline and 1.7- and 2-liter diesel options.

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European dashboard software differs from what we'll see in the States.

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Putting power to the road will be a new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission option which will be paired with either a front- or all-wheel drive system.

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Outside of the GT Line, the Sportage is less aggressive and dark. For starters, the steering wheel is larger and perfectly round.

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This will also be the first Kia model to make wireless smartphone charging available to its drivers.

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Active driver aid technologies, such as forward pre-collision braking and lane-keeping assist, bring the Kia in line with the most modern tech cars.

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In European markets, the Kia's connected navigation system will be powered by TomTom maps and routing software.

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We're not sure whether the Sportage's Smart Park Assist automatic parallel parking feature will make its way to the North American model. We certainly hope so.

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The new Sportage will be larger than the current one. The overall length grows by 40mm (1.6 inch), 30mm (1.2 inch) of which is thanks to a longer wheelbase.

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The new headlamp housings are more compact and their new design seems to position the projectors higher on the fascia.

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The Sportage's width and height are unchanged for the new generation.

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This example is powered by the 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine option, making about 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

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The fourth-generation Sportage will retain its new looks when it reaches North America, but its cabin tech, available engines and packaging will all be totally different.

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The new Kia Sportage will go on sale in Europe in early 2016. We expect to learn more about North American availability later this year.

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For better or worse, expect Kia's hands-free liftgate to make an appearance. While carrying the smart entry transponder, simply approach the rear hatch and it will open.

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