One of the most anticipated introductions of the 2013 New York Auto Show wasn't a sports car, a convertible, or a high-priced luxury vehicle. It was the return of a familiar model name: the Jeep Cherokee.

And here we have some of the first pictures of this new utility vehicle, live from the floor of the New York Auto Show.

The 2014 Cherokee essentially replaces the Liberty but takes on the heart of the compact crossover market--models like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, and even Ford Escape. Yet the new Cherokee doesn't at all forget about rugged trail ability. In top Trailhawk trim the Cherokee is 'Trail Rated,' and all models with 4WD have the Selec-Terrain system, with separate smart modes for Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock.

Four-cylinder models of the Cherokee offer EPA highway ratings of up to 31 mpg, while V-6 models can, when properly optioned, tow up to 4,500 pounds. Each of these engines comes with a new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. Those Trailhawk models add a locking rear differential, active drive lock, skid plates, and tow hooks, but the Cherokee also offers useful on-the-road safety features like Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot monitoring, and an enhanced lane departure warning system. New infotainment systems and a huge panoramic sunroof are just some of the features that will be on offer.

But of course, the most controversial aspect of the new Cherokee is its styling, and the Cherokee name brings with it some high expectations. Making its debut here is a new, more aerodynamic front end, keeping the Jeep slotted grille but splitting it between an upright snout and low, sharp-edged hoodline. Inside, meanwhile, the look is clearly influenced by the new Grand Cherokee, with elements of the Dodge Dart's interior and a look to the future.

Take a look at these pictures and let us know what you think. Is the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee good-looking? Is it worthy of the Cherokee name?


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