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The all-new Nissan X-Trail has been spied undergoing hot-weather testing in Death Valley, California ahead of its anticipated unveiling in the coming months and local launch in mid 2014.

While the prototype’s body panels are camouflaged by heavy plastic cladding, a lighter wrap at the front and rear gives us a detailed look at the lights, bumpers and radiator grille of the third-generation X-Trail.

As a series of patent images revealed last month, the new Nissan X-Trail draws inspiration from the Nissan Hi-Cross concept that debuted at last year’s Geneva motor show.

Nissan X-Trail 2

Trading its traditional boxy body for softer crossover styling, the new X-Trail features thin, angular headlights integrated into a slim version of Nissan’s signature three-piece grille.

Contoured door panels and a rising window line replace the current car’s slab-sided, square lines, while pillar-mounted tail-lights make way for horizontal lights spanning the tailgate and rear quarter panels.

At 4660mm long, 1850mm wide and 1670mm tall, the Nissan Hi-Cross concept is 25mm longer, 60mm wider and 30mm lower than the second-gen X-Trail, and features seven seats rather than the standard five of the current car, hinting at an upgrade for the new-gen model.

Nissan X-Trail 6

For the first time, Nissan is expected to offer the new X-Trail with a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain in addition to its conventional petrol and diesel options.

Reports suggest the new X-Trail will be unveiled later this year, potentially at September’s Frankfurt motor show or November’s Los Angeles auto show, ahead of its early 2014 launch.

The third-generation Nissan X-Trail will continue the Japanese manufacturer’s refresh of its SUV line-up, arriving in local showrooms roughly six months after the all-new Pathfinder and a little more than a year after the new Patrol.

Nissan X-Trail 7

  • Norm

    First X Trail is a classic.

    • guest

      The box shape will come back.. maybe 2040 or something. “Retro” will be back.

  • Exar Kun

    Looks like they’ll be able to keep it having one of the only truly useful boots in the segment (which will disappear once you add those two extra seats).

  • Jim

    Going by this, as well as the leaked patent renderings and concept, this model will be a pretty good looking contender in the segment.

  • marc

    Best thing about the current X is the huge boxy rear end can really carry loads (of junk). Most others are useless with one or two suitcases at best.

  • Liam Sullivan

    It looks…fat haha I liked the old model, I can’t really pass judgement on a car heavily camo’d but…so far, im not a fan

  • Darryl

    In the US they don’t sell the X-Trail, but the Rogue instead, built off the same platform. It looks like a slightly scaled down Murano, or scaled up Dualis. The camouflaged car looks more like a replacement for that rather than the X-Trail. Does that therefore mean this is a replacement for both of them?

    • Oosh

      IIRC it’s a replacement for (or merger of) the X-Trail and Dualis+2 (which is disappearing entirely).

  • Zaccy16

    looks like an improvement over the box current gen already, the main thing they need to address though is below average for class steering and handling!

    • Shaun

      Steering, handling and the way it drives!! We have a lot of X-Trails at work… Always forget about their overly touchy brakes and give myself whiplash the first time braking haha…. Also the lack of oomph straight up makes it an annoying drive… And when you work them hard they sound terrible… The package of them is smart, but just not a nice car to drive

      • Zaccy16

        very well put, i agree, the are very practical but thats were the good points end, all engines are breathless and unrefined especially with the CVT

  • Gus

    they ruined it, its going to look frumpy and out of proportion just like the pathfinder. please do not let the designer go anywhere near the next iteration of the GTR, Zed or Silvia

  • Box on Wheels

    I hate the box on wheels styling… Practical though.

  • Gaby

    im looking to buy a 2014 x-trail here in Mexico, but seeing this note I am begining to hesitate. is it really true its going to change? any reviews on the x-trail overall? suggestions? thank you!