Prototypes for Nissan’s third-generation Murano SUV have been spotted testing yet again. The new SUV will once again ride on Nissan’s modular D platform, found in vehicles like the Altima and latest Pathfinder, and should be in showrooms late next year, as a 2015 model. This means we can expect the new Murano to make its auto show debut in the first half of next year, most likely at April’s 2014 New York Auto Show although an appearance at earlier shows in Detroit or Chicago is also possible.
The current Murano is getting up in years, with its design dating back to 2009. Its smaller brother, the Rogue, has just been redesigned
, so clearly the time is right for the Murano to receive its own redesign. Thankfully, we’re unlikely to see a second generation of the ungainly Murano CrossCabriolet.
As the latest spy shots confirm, styling of the new 2015 Murano has been clearly influenced by Nissan’s Resonance concept
from earlier this year. Styled under the direction of Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura, the Resonance’s design emphasizes an aerodynamic look that’s meant to come across as both lightweight and protective.
Its overall shape and proportions have been transferred faithfully to the 2015 Murano, though it’s not clear if the concept’s split C-pillar design will be retained. The prototypes are heavily masked so we can't quite see what the rear windows will look like. A shot of the interior shows a fairly conventional design, with a large touchscreen sitting center and a number of physical buttons surrounding it.
As for powertrains, look for a gasoline V-6 mated with a CVT to remain. It may be joined by a new hybrid option, though. The setup, also previewed with the Resonance concept, is expected to pair a 2.5-liter four-cylinder in parallel with an electric motor.
Stay tuned for updates as development progresses._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.