FARMINGTON HILLS, MI – Nissan unwraps the latest-generation Rogue compact cross/utility vehicle this morning at its Detroit-area technical center here on the same day the overseas-version X-Trail is revealed at the Frankfurt auto show.

The '14 Rogue replaces the first-generation model that debuted in 2007 as an '08 and became Nissan's second best-seller in the U.S., after the Altima midsize sedan.

Both the Rogue and X-Trail, as well as Nissan's Qashqai CUV, use the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new Common Module Family architecture.

Nissan says CMF is not a platform but a "cross-sector concept" with five key areas able to be commonized across one or more segments: the engine compartment, cockpit module, front underbody, rear underbody and electric/electronic systems.

The '14 Rogue carries over the '13 model's powertrain, a 2.5L 4-cyl. gasoline engine making 170 hp and 175 lb.-ft. (237 Nm) of torque. However, that is one of the rare parts in common with the older model it replaces.

Thanks to the new CMF design, the ’14 Rogue has a longer wheelbase and is taller, while front and rear overhangs are shorter. The new dimensions increase interior volume for passengers and cargo.

To make exit and entry from the CUV easier, especially from the optional third row, Nissan engineers have widened the rear door opening to 77 degrees.

The auto maker claims a class-leading 0.33 coefficient of drag has been achieved with the '14 CUV. The 10% reduction in Cd was aided by optimizing the A-pillar section and outside mirror shapes, which also reduces wind noise.

The Rogue continues to offer a standard continuously variable transmission, but Nissan engineers have tweaked the unit by improving the belt and pulley system and reducing friction  40%.

Those measures, along with a wider gear ratio and more compact oil pump, improve the CVT's efficiency about 10%, Nissan says.

The auto maker expects a best-in-class highway fuel-efficiency rating of 33 mpg (7.1 L/100 km) in front-wheel-drive CVT models, an 18% improvement over the outgoing '13 model.

City fuel economy for '14 FWD CVT-equipped Rogues is 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km) and combined city-highway fuel economy is 28 mpg (8.4 L/100 km). Both figures are up 3 mpg (1.3 km/L) from '13.

One of the key features of the new Rogue's interior is Nissan's Divide 'n Hide cargo system. Demonstrated for media attending Nissan's recent 360 event in California, the system consists of two floor covers that can be configured up to 18 ways in 2-row models.

The Rogue's second-row seat slides and reclines.

Nissan has improved ergonomics by reshaping various interior surfaces, including front seat backs. All seats except the driver's fold down, including the 40/20/40 split second row and the 50/50 split bench-style third row.

Standard interior features include Bluetooth, a USB port and power doors and windows. A variety of telematics' features are available.

Nissan will offer the Rogue in S, SV and SL grades, and in FWD or all-wheel-drive.

The Rogue begins at $22,490, roughly $2,000 more than the base '13, and tops out at $29,420 for an SL AWD model. Destination and handling of $860 is not included. Options include a $1,320 moonroof package and a $1,420 premium package.

Nissan forecasts annual volume of CMF-developed Renault-Nissan vehicles at 1.6 million units.

Nissan says it is applying CMF to compact and large-car segments first and will expand its usage to other segments down the road.

Despite its relatively late entry into the U.S. compact CUV fray, Nissan was able to gain volume quickly in the segment soon after the Rogue's launch, selling more than 70,000 units in 2008.

However, the Rogue trails the competition this year in what is one of the U.S. auto industry's fastest-growing segments.

Nissan delivered 113,316 Rogues in the year’s first eight months, according to WardsAuto data, pacing its best annual volume yet. But that's nearly 100,000 units behind the segment-leading Honda CR-V, with 207,645.

The Rogue is the fifth best-selling among compact CUVs in the U.S. this year, The Ford Escape is second behind the CR-V with 205,683 units, followed by the Chevrolet Equinox with 169,977 and Toyota RAV4 with 144,314.

The second-generation Rogue is being built at Nissan's Smyrna, TN, plant. The first-generation model was imported from Japan.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com