Nissan keeps its global model range well stocked with crossovers and SUVs ranging from little ones like the Juke to big haulers like the Patrol (or Armada in North America). In these latest spy photos, the Japanese brand is keeping the lineup fresh by testing this mule for a future Navara NP300-based entry.

Swirling camouflage covers practically every surface, but we can still pick out a few intriguing details. The front end appears to come almost entirely from the latest Navara, including the V-shaped grille with three slats slicing through it. Things get more interesting towards the back where Nissan appears to use a lot of styling elements from the last-gen Pathfinder. For example, the doors have handles on the pillar, and the rear features vertical taillights and a downward tapered window. The lack of interior photos don’t let us know for sure, but this SUV’s size looks big enough to fit three rows inside.

We suspect Nissan is using this test mule to do early evaluations on a successor to the Patrol. The current model dates back to 2010 and is due for replacement. The body on this one currently has a mishmash of off-the-shelf parts, so the final design isn't done yet, either. Given the normal rate of auto development, we think the Navara-based SUV might hit the road around 2018.

Gallery: Nissan Navara SUV Spy Photos