Time to bring some SUV styling.
The Nissan Pathfinder nameplate dates back to 1986 though the latest generation underwent a drastic change when it launched for 2013. You see, up until the current fourth-generation model, the Pathfinder had been a rear-wheel-drive SUV with bona fide off-roading capabilities. Not anymore. Nissan made the strategic decision to turn the Pathfinder into what some call the "Mallfinder".
Although it has available all-wheel-drive, today's Pathfinder is far more comfortable on pavement than off of it. Last refreshed for 2019, an all-new Pathfinder is supposedly due to debut sometime before the end of the year and these spy photo-based renderings, courtesy of Nikita Chuiko at Kolesa.ru, provide a very clear preview of what it could look like.
Despite the more aggressive, SUV-like design, it appears the fifth-gen Pathfinder will retain its unibody construction, though a new and more modern platform capable of supporting a hybrid powertrain is very possible. In other words, those expecting a return to a body-on-frame chassis construction will be very disappointed.
But the good news is that the 2021 Pathfinder will look far less like a wagon/minivan than today's model (pictured below) and more like an SUV. It'll also bear some of Nissan's design hallmarks, specifically the large V-grille, which will take on a more U-shaped appearance. The headlights are also more angular. This angular look continues through the rest of the body. The wheel arches are also more pronounced and the rear taillights are quite a bit smaller.
As for what will be under the hood, in all likelihood the existing 3.5-liter V6 delivering a respectable but not amazing 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque will be carried over and paired to a new nine-speed automatic gearbox. However, we wouldn't be surprised to see a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain as well, though maybe not at the initial launch.
Back to the renderings: although the artist had to take a few liberties regarding specific design details, such as the headlights, what we're looking at is pretty darn close to the real deal. It's not a return to its off-roading roots, but we'll gladly take this overall more aggressive styling than what's currently on the menu.