What are the pros and cons of a 2 door Jeep versus a Jeep with 4 doors? Knowing the difference helps one decide which Jeep to buy or rent.
Whether you are adding or taking away 2 doors, Jeep owners might want make the right decision about their vehicle’s capacity and capabilities.
A 4 door Jeep has easier access to the back seat and a longer wheelbase. A longer wheelbase makes tight turns tougher. A 2 door Jeep can be quite useful on narrow trails and costs a bit less to purchase, but offers little space for passengers and rides different from many SUVs.
We are going to explore what matters to Jeep owners in regards to 2 doors vs. 4 doors. Jeeps are unique vehicles with a different attitude, so they make vehicles to match their owners.
We’ll consider cargo space, towing, and more.
Our expertise comes from the world of car dealerships, where we tried many vehicles.
We will also look at how outdoor enthusiasts and people who tow look at their Jeep decisions.
A Bit of Jeep History
Did you know that having a 4 door Jeep is a fairly recent decision?
While the Jeep brand has been around for more than 70 years, Jeep only added the 4 door model to the ever popular Wrangler in 2007 with the JK model.
Pros and Cons
2 door Jeep Wranglers and 4 door Jeep Ranglers have significant differences that impact the way you drive. We’ll review a few of them here.
The 2 door and 4 door models actually have the same amount of cargo space.
In Jeeps as recent as 2019, the total cargo space in back of both models is 72.4 inches with the seats folded down, and about 34 inches with the seats up.
With that said, you can fit the same number of suitcases, sports equipment, groceries, or whatever is coming with you in both Jeeps. There isn’t a big winner either way here.
Older jeeps are a bit different. Earlier models of 2 door Jeeps had little cargo space in back.
The 4 door model makes it very easy for passengers to get in, or for the driver or passenger to put stuff in the backseat either through the back doors or by turning and placing.
The 2 door model is a bit different, but Jeep makes it fairly easy.
You will have to pull a tab on the side of the seat to begin folding the seat down, but the entire process can be done with one hand.
The seat will start to pull forward and down at the same time, leaving space for the future backseat passenger to get in without much hassle.
Kids and young adults might have a fun time getting into the backseat. Less limber older adults might have a bit more of a struggle.
It’s difficult to call the 4 door winner here though. If you don’t plan to have passengers in the rear seat often, the ability to fold a seat down isn’t a big deal.
Also, the 2 door option tends to save you a couple of thousand dollars over the 4 door option, so you’ll be paying less too.
The 2 door Jeep does in fact have a bit of a backseat, but the total capacity is more for 4 people – 2 in front, and 2 in back, and it’s less comfortable for bigger people since it’s smaller.
You might be wondering about seatbelts. Jeep only includes 2 seatbelts in back of the 2 door with a backseat.
The 4 door Jeep has more ample seating for a total of 5, at least more so than the 2 door Jeep. The 4 door Jeep is probably going to be more comfortable for passengers and kids when taking a longer trip.
Both Jeep models have foldable and removable rear seats, so this is also fairly flexible.
Older jeeps from the early 2010s and before have it worse. There is less legroom available for passengers, so the kids will definitely be in the backseat.
This could be a big one for some Jeep drivers. Without doors on the back, the 2 door Jeep’s wheelbase is shorter at 166 inches while the 4 door is 188.4 inches.
The shorter wheelbase drives a little different. You can expect more maneuverability, but also less stable at highway speeds.
This is not to say that the 2 door is unstable at all, it’s just not as stable as a wide, long SUV.
However, with off-roading, the 2 door is more capable because it offers a shorter turning radius.
If you are driving through the woods or a canyon, you’ll find yourself with an extra couple of feet of space to work with.
You are also a bit less likely to scrape something with the bottom of a 2 door, simply because there is less undercarriage to hit.
The longer wheelbase drives more like a traditional SUV. Some would call the drive more comfortable, though its partially up to what you drove before.
The longer wheelbase also gets slightly less gas mileage due to the additional weight.
4 door disadvantages are actually fairly normal for an SUV. The turning radius is smaller and will sometimes make you backup more than you expected.
One potentially unexpected issue that 4 doors make more likely is the potential to “turtle” or have the center of the vehicle become too high.
This is again a standard 4 door problem, but less likely with 2 doors.
If you find yourself frequently off-roading and driving across low rock formations or in place where tight turns are often needed, the 2 door might be the right choice.
Jeep owners who are descending downhill or are more often on wide open terrain might want to look at the 4 door.
The longer base on the 4 door Jeep does offer more towing capacity of 3,500 lbs, which still isn’t a lot, but decent for a midsize SUV.
The 2 door Jeep offers less at 2,000 lbs. The difference here is in axle location and wheelbase.
A vehicle with a longer wheelbase has more potential to move a heavier load than one with a shorter wheelbase.
Gas mileage is important, especially with gas prices rising so much recently.
The 2 door Jeep of most years of the Wrangler can get an additional mile per gallon than the heavier 4 door Jeep.
The cost savings is negligible, though every dollar you spend somewhere besides fuel helps many drivers.
Final Thoughts: Which Jeep Should I Get?
Plan to not have passengers and save a couple of thousand dollars? The 2 door Jeep is the way to go.
You’ll also get the ability to wind through trails and small places easier, and even parallel park in the city.
The 4 door Jeep is a better daily driver for possible passengers, or even a family. You get easier to use seats and more space.
A 4 door drives more like a regular SUV, which might be helpful to some, though a 2 door doesn’t take much to get used to.
Planning to tow a small amount? The 4 door might make a big difference here.
While neither Jeep tows a large amount, it’s always better to have a higher towing capacity when you want to move something big than being limited by the smaller 2,000 lbs capacity. Trailers weigh more than you think!