With a bolder but sleeker appearance, more sophisticated feature set, improved handling and even greater emphasis on fuel efficiency, the 2014 Nissan Rogue made its debut in Frankfurt accompanied by its Euro-only sibling, the Nissan X-Trail. As it enters its second generation, Nissan's popular compact crossover SUV has undergone the kind of comprehensive recasting it will need to make headway in one of America's most hotly contested market segments. The transition also will see Rogue production move from Japan to the automaker's assembly facility in Smyrna, Tennessee.

First product spun from the new jointly developed Nissan/Renault Common Module Family (CMF) platform architecture, the 2014 Rogue is marginally shorter and taller than the vehicle it replaces, but nearly 2 inches wider.

Also: See the other new cars unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Its 106.5-inch wheelbase is 0.6-inches longer than the current model. Available in S, SV and top-line SL trims, the Rogue's all-new and more evocatively contoured sheet metal has a more upscale flavor while greater attention to aero detailing has cut its drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.33. A restyled front fascia sets the tone for the Rogue's remake, matching a streamlined grille treatment flanked by trimmer halogen headlamps and LED running lights that can be upgraded to full LED units. More aggressively flared fender wells house 17-inch steel/alloy wheels wrapped in 225/65 tires on the S/SV models or 18-inch alloys with 225/60 rubber on the SL. Out back, the Rogue's tail was treated to a similarly focused tweaking. It boasts edgier detailing and larger LED-infused taillights as well a reshaped liftgate that sports an integrated spoiler and now offers a power-activation option. 

Also fully remade, the 2014 Rogue's well-appointed cabin has a cleaner and more elegant character, with improved people space and up to 70 cu ft of cargo volume with the rear seats folded. Like the Altima, its new front buckets feature Nissan's "zero-gravity" design to enhance support while limiting fatigue. The Rogue's 40/20/40 second-row bench now offers 9.0 inches of fore/aft adjustability as well as reclining seatbacks, and for the first time, this versatile Nissan hauler will be available with a third-row 50/50 "benchette" that can accommodate modestly-sized kids. 

Also: 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 

Key standards in the new Rogue include a full range of power assists, electroluminescent gauges, air conditioning, RearView monitor, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/AUX audio system, Bluetooth hand-free phone/streaming audio, NissanConnect telematics, USB and 12V power ports, a Divide-n-Hide cargo system and a large covered center console plus numerous open stow spaces. Depending on trim level, the Rogue also will offer buyers upscale amenities like leather upholstery, heated seats, a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, navigation, a 9-speaker Bose sound system, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Around View Monitor/Moving Object Detection and run-flat tires. In addition to six airbags and vehicle dynamics/traction control systems found on all models, the Rogue also will offer Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning on its upline SV and SL models with the Premium Package. 

Also: 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 for 2013

Regardless of trim or front-drive/all-wheel drive configuration, all versions of the 2014 Rogue will be fitted with the firm's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque and is backed by Nissan's Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic with Sport mode. While the hardware is familiar, a 40-percent reduction in internal friction on this latest generation Xtronic makes it 10 percent more efficient and Nissan is projecting that the front-drive Rogue will earn a best-in-class 33-mpg EPA highway rating - an 18 percent bump over the current Rogue - and get 26 mpg in the city.  

To enhance its handling and overall ride characteristics, the 2014 Rogue also boasts Nissan's new suite of "confidence-inspiring dynamic technologies." That power trio includes Active Trace Control to help improve cornering feel and smooth engine response under acceleration, Active Engine Braking that uses engine resistance to help reduce pedal effort by the driver when stopping the Rogue, and Active Ride Control that automatically applies the brakes and/or adjusts engine torque to help mitigate any pitching motions after the vehicle hits a bump.

The 2014 Nissan Rogue goes on sale here in November. Pricing will range from $23,350 for a Rogue S FWD to $30,280 for a Rogue SL AWD.

More Crossover SUVs... 

Check out our first encounter with the fully-redesigned 2014 Kia Soul 

The all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class will go on sale here in 2014

Toyota's popular 4Runner gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2014


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