Nissan X-Trail: softer-styled SUV here in mid 2014

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.
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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