DETROIT – Expect the next-generation Murano midsize CUV to debut sometime this year with a range of offerings closely matching the segment-leading Ford Edge, Nissan officials say.

“We need to be aligned with what (the) Edge is doing,” Pierre Loing, vice president-product planning for Nissan Americas, tells WardsAuto in an interview at the 2014 North American International Auto Show here.

Loing refers not only to content but also to the wide price range of the Edge, which for ’14 stretches from $27,495 for the SE grade to $36,995 for the Edge Sport.

While the current-generation '14 Murano closely matches that, with a base price of $28,440 for the S model to $35,390 for the SL, the Japanese CUV previously was priced higher due to the unfavorable exchange rate between the yen and the dollar in its first four years on the market.

Nissan has been importing the Murano from Japan, but the next-generation model will be built at the automaker’s Canton, MS, plant starting this year.

The Edge sold 129,109 units in 2013, while the Murano reached 44,684, WardsAuto data shows.

“First Murano, big success here, huge success,” Loing says. “Emotional design, emotional appeal. The second Murano probably lost a little bit of (that emotion).”

Current Murano sales also have been cannibalized somewhat by the new 2- and 3-row Pathfinder CUV, Loing says. In the future, there will be more differentiation between the two models, with the new Murano to be “more dynamic and sport-oriented.”

That includes retaining the second-gen Murano’s big leap in interior refinement, which Nissan intends to stick with even as it pursues higher volumes. “The interior will keep that refinement level,” Loing promises.

Nissan hinted at the next-gen Murano’s design with the Resonance concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com