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Two-Door vs. Four-Door JK Wranglers

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No matter which Jeep you go with, if you plan on using it for any sort of off-roading, reinforcing the body with certain armor pieces will help keep your drivetrain and engine bay safe from harm.

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Dimension Differences

Although mechanically both Jeep versions are almost identical, structurally they are considerably different. The 4-door model has about a twenty inch longer wheelbase. Pushing the frame out allows the rear passengers to sit before the rear axle and wheel hump.

  • 4-door rear seats folded down: 70.6 cu. Ft. / folded up: 31.5 cu.ft.
  • 2-door rear seats folded down: 56.5 cu.ft. / folded up: 12.8 cu. ft.

Dimensionally, both Jeeps have identical height and width. However, the 4-door weighs about 200lbs more than the 2-door version (Rubicon Automatic 4-door = 4,340 lbs / 2-door = 4,129). As a result, the suspension is slightly different, utilizing a higher rate spring on the 4-door to compensate for the extra weight. Other than that the Jeeps are structurally very similar, but the extra length and additional weight on the 4-door plays a significant role.

Turning Diameter

One of the main deciding factors when considering the differences between a four or two door model is the off-road performance. There are several significant differences to consider.
 
The 2-door’s shorter wheelbase allows it to have a shorter turning diameter of only 34.6 ft. curb to curb compared to the 4-door’s 40.8 ft. curb to curb. That's a major advantage if you find yourself in tight trails. This means a 2-door’s tighter turning radius allows it to maneuver through sharper angles.

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Break Over Angle

Another advantage the 2-door has over the 4-door due to the shorter wheelbase, is break over angle. The break over angle is the point where the Jeep is coming over a steep hill or obstacle. If the angle is to short/sharp the longer wheelbase doesn’t have enough room to breach and descend the hill without making contact in the middle. Often this causes the 4-door to actually get hung up and stuck as traction is completely lost in both the front and rear wheels.

At this point the 2-door has demonstrated it’s a better choice for off-roading, but a significant advantage the 4-door has over the 2-door is the longer wheelbase and additional weight, which provides a more stable base, allowing it to go up steeper hills.

Off-Road Overall

When it comes to the comparison of off-road performance it’s really a question on the type of terrain you plan on tackling. For tighter, rockier, and more challenging terrain the 2-door is more capable. If you plan on doing more of an overland type of off-roading with steeper and more open terrain, the 4-door is a better option.

On-Road Performance & Comfort

Up until this point it would seem the 2-door is a better option, but considering the majority of the time most Jeep owners are on flat asphalt. On-road performance capability is an important factor, and that’s where the 4-door shines. The longer and heavier wheelbase of the 4-door makes it more stable on the road and provides a more controlled and comfortable SUV like ride. The 2-door’s shorter wheelbase and high center of gravity has it wavering on the road at the slightest cross-breeze. However, the 2-door’s slightly lighter frame gives it slightly better gas mileage.
 
In terms of comfort, for four passengers there is no disputing the 4-door is better. In order to climb into the back seats on the 2-door model, the front passengers have to get out and tilt their seats forward, and then rear occupants must contort in order to get up and around the front seats. In addition, only two passengers can sit in the back. Opposed to the 4-door models, which has rear doors and allows for three adults to sit in the back.

Cargo Space

Let’s face it, the 2-door’s cargo space with the rear seats up is comical; you can barely fit a gym bag. In contrast the 4-door has a legitimate amount of space, comparable to most SUVs. When the seats are folded flat the high roofline allows you to carry a significant amount of cargo in both models but more so with the 4-door.

Overall

Aesthetically speaking you can’t make the case for either model, since that's more of a subjective opinion. Whether you feel the 2-door looks better with the top down and doors off, compared to a sparser looking 4-door frame without the doors and top, that's up to personal taste.
 
You can argue the off-road capability based on your intended terrain, but overall the 2-door seems to have the advantage there. On-road there is no denying the 4-door handles better and is a more enjoyable ride. The 2-door handles parking lots better thanks to the tighter turning diameter, but the 4-door will allow you to bring more groceries home.
 
If you have a family, especially with small children, than the 4-door is a much better option. If you plan on using the Jeep as a daily commuter with occasional off-road trips to the forest or rocky hills on the weekend, the 2-door might be a better option. Whichever the case, the decision is largely based on personal needs and purpose, either way, you will be purchasing the most capable vehicle on the market.

VIDEO: 2-Door vs. 4-Door Wrangler Off-Road

Fitment includes: JK, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018