2013 New York International Auto Show: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

There have been a lot of big-name comebacks at this year's New York International Auto Show that have had motoring fans buzzing. On this blog, we've taken a look at the redesigned Camaro – which looks to be more of a facelift than a full on redo, but an attractive facelift at that – and the stunning all-new Cadillac CTS sedan, but one nameplate which took the stage at this year's show marks the long awaited return of a legend. (alter tense based on publishing)

The Jeep Cherokee – the grandfather of the modern compact SUV – disappeared from the market back in 2001 after almost 30 years on sale. The previous model underwent very few changes over the course of its three-decade existence because, from the get-go, it was an incomparable package.

This new Cherokee, called the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, has surprisingly little in common with its predecessor besides the seven-slatted grill. While the Cherokee had a very simple, boxy, yet still appealing look to it, this new model is all curves and features extremely stylish squinted headlamps and even a healthy dose of chrome.

Perhaps the biggest departure from this new Cherokee and the original is the fact that this SUV isn't even truck based. The Trailhawk actually shares its platform with the Dodge Dart compact sedan – you heard right, the street-hugging, next-generation Neon replacement Jeep's sister brand introduced to mild fanfare earlier this year.

Despite its underpinnings, Jeep's engineers promised at the show that this new Cherokee will be the best small SUV in the class. The Trailhawk comes with 184 hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or 271 hp 3.2-liter 6-cylinder engine, both connected to a segment-first 9-speed automatic transmission, as well as three different all-wheel drive options, though front-wheel drive is standard.

Do you think that this stylish little crossover is a worthy successor to the Cherokee name, or that Jeep is relying too much on history to garner sales? Leave your thoughts below: