The all-new Nissan X-Trail has been revealed at the Frankfurt motor show - with UK sales tipped to get under way later this year. 

The new car has been given much clearer positioning within the Nissan line-up. When the next-generation Qashqai arrives early next year, there will be no seven-seat version, so the X-Trail will be Nissan’s sole offering in the seven-seat SUV segment.

The firm closely previewed the new X-Trail with its stylish Hi-Cross concept at the 2012 Geneva motor show. The new X-Trail promises more road-biased ride and handling than the outgoing car. 

But the added style and dynamic improvements has not come at the expense of off-road ability, claim insiders. They say the new X-Trail is just as capable as the current car off-road when equipped with the optional four-wheel drive system.

Front-wheel drive is tipped to be offered as standard to help make the economy better than the current car’s. The core engine will be a significantly updated version of the current X-Trail’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, optionally mated to a newly-developed Xtronic CVT gearbox.

The interior, also previewed by the Hi-Cross concept, is set to be significantly improved both in terms of design and quality over the current X-Trail’s. Standard equipment levels will also increase.

Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show, Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said: "This fourth generation model builds on the X-Trail's earned reputation for value, innovation, style and reliability. This also replaces the US market Rogue to become a sole global car for us, it will be built in five plants worldwide and sold in more than 100 markets. It's another segment busting model for us like Juke and Qashqai.

"The X-Trail introduces a new platform [Common Module Family] that will be rolled out over next five years on everything from a small Indian market car to a large premium offering. [The Module] maximises volume and cost efficiency and allows us to pass on savings, the economy is up to 20 per cent better model for model.

Ghosn also hinted that further development of the X-Trail is also underway, with a new seven-seat option with a sliding second row of seats to provide more space and flexibility. The X-Trail is set to provide 'unexpected levels of comfort and quietness', says Nissan, with plenty of soft-touch materials used inside and a fatigue-free seat design. 

The aim with the new X-Trail is to score a sales success against conventional saloons like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia. “Building on the popularity of the Qashqai in its segment, the idea is to repeat its success in the D-segment,” a source revealed to Autocar at the Hi-Cross’s launch. The new Ford S-Max, also set for a Frankfurt reveal, is another target for the X-Trail.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.