The new Nissan X-Trail has been unveiled today at the Frankfurt motor show.

Nissan say the brief for the new model was to combine the lines of a modern crossover with the appeal of a typical SUV.

In practice, this means many of the squared-off lines of the X-Trail have been replaced with subtle curves, although some features remain such as the familiar shape of the D-pillar.  LED headlights will make an appearance on top grade models.

Nissan say they have worked hard to reduce weight wherever possible – the new X-Trail’s tailgate, for instance, is made largely from plastic, saving 7kg.

The interior features various chrome and piano black finishes and ‘threatre-style’ seating with the option of two extra seats to make a seven-seater.

The rear doors open to almost 80 degrees to make for easier access, while knee room has increased overall thanks to the longer wheelbase and more heavily sculpted front seats.  The middle row of seats slide and recline offering a choice of luggage or passenger space.

The cargo area features a double load floor that can support loads of up to 10kg in its top most position, or 75kg in its lowest position.  The X-Trail now boasts a power tailgate for the first time.

The new X-Trail will use the latest version of Nissan’s Connect in-car navigati0n and entertainment platform with its 7-inch colour touch-screen, Bluetooth integration and USB ports.

Nissan’s All Mode 4x4i electronic four wheel-drive system offers a choice of two wheel-drive, Auto or Lock modes, controlled via a rotary switch on the centre console.  Auto mode monitors wheel speeds and distributes engine torque between front and rear axles as necessary, while Lock provides a permanent four wheel-drive mode for off-road use.

Two new electronic systems will also arrive on the X-Trail: Active Ride Control alters the damping in response to detected surface undulations, while Active Engine Brake uses the Xtronic transmission to regulate engine braking while cornering or decelerating.

Active Trace Control, a system currently in use on some Infiniti models, monitors inputs from various sensors and can apply brakes to individual wheels to help reduce understeer.  The system is said to be particularly effective on slippery and wet roads.

Uphill Start Support and Advanced Hill Descent Control will also make an appearance, as will Nissan’s Safety Shield technologies.

The new Nissan X-Trail will be launched in the first quarter of 2014 with worldwide sales starting in July 2014.