With an introduction for the 2013 model year and only mild updates since, the Nissan Pathfinder is overdue for a new generation. Fortunately, it seems that new generation is coming based on these spy photos. They show what looks to be the 2021 Pathfinder wearing thoroughly updated sheet metal that follows in the footsteps of other recent Nissans.
The new Pathfinder's exterior still fits the mold of the old one, with a more aerodynamic, car-like shape as opposed to a traditionally boxy SUV design. The nose looks like it will have a giant chrome "V" grille like the latest Altima, and the headlights are tall and swept back. The sides feature large, crisp shoulder lines over the wheel arches, seemingly inspired by the new Juke. The roofline is still similar to the old one, but it looks a little lower. The window treatment looks different with the rear windows seemingly wrapping around the D-pillar, rather than being interrupted by it. The C-pillar may now divide the side windows from the rear portion.
At the back, the taillights are thinner and wider. They blend right into the rear shoulder lines. The hatch glass lacks the bevels of the current one, further suggesting the wrap-around look.
Not much is known about the new Pathfinder. It will likely continue to be a unibody crossover with a transverse-mounted engine and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. We'll be curious if the aging 3.5-liter V6 continues to be offered, or if it will be supplanted by a version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter variable-compression four-cylinder available as an option on the Nissan Altima. Since this prototype looks close to production ready, we expect to see the Pathfinder revealed sometime in the next year as a 2021 model.