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A white 2020 Jeep Wrangler is shown from the front at an angle.

The Jeep Wrangler: Two-Door vs Four-Door

You may not have ever thought about it, but there’s a larger difference between a two-door and four-door vehicle than the number of doors. If you’re looking for a used Jeep Wrangler, you may have noticed Wrangler models are available in either two-door or four-door configurations. Versatility is the name of the game with the Jeep Wrangler, and there is no doubt that having four doors means more versatility. However, is it that straightforward? It’s subjective, but the versatility of a vehicle is based on your use case scenario. For example, the two-door Wrangler may offer everything you need, and the advantages of a four-door vehicle might be more of a disadvantage for you, depending on how you use it.

You may be able to get by with a two-door Wrangler, but a large portion of drivers know they can’t buy anything but the four-door model. It’s one of those questions that can drastically change what vehicle you should drive. If you’re a fan of off-roading––which is likely, if you’re shopping for a Wrangler––it’s a question that requires more thinking than you may realize. I’m here to give you a rundown on whether you should purchase a two-door or four-door Wrangler—I’ll go over cargo and passenger space and give you a few examples of how to match your purchase to your wants and needs. Ready? Let’s get started.

The Use Case Scenarios

Deciding between a two-door and four-door Wrangler comes down to one question: will you be driving with your family and friends, or are you more likely to be off-roading alone? The Wrangler is a versatile vehicle regardless of which variant you buy, but the four-door model is larger than its two-door counterpart. The question then comes down to what you’ll primarily use your Wrangler for. Two-door vehicles are the perfect choice for the type of person who regularly drives only themselves and maybe one other passenger or a canine companion. It’s worth noting the two-door Wrangler does offer back seats, but it’s undoubtedly more cumbersome for a passenger to squeeze into the back of a vehicle without rear doors. Because of the tighter conditions, rear-seat passengers are also likely to be far less comfortable in a two-door Wrangler than in a four-door model.

The most common use case for the Wrangler is off-roading, but some drivers may not know that having a two-door vehicle is better than having a four-door when negotiating on the roads less traveled. Why is that? It comes down to a couple of things, but the most notable is the shorter frame and wheelbase of the two-door model. Why is that important? A shorter wheelbase means the two-door Wrangler has a better break-over angle and turning radius. Those who have been off-roading in the past understand how windy the trail can become and why this detail is crucial. Looking at the Wrangler JL, the two-door model has a wheelbase of 96.8 inches, while the four-door has a wheelbase of 118.4 inches. Meanwhile, having a shorter vehicle overall makes it safer for off-roading tasks like rock crawling. Now that you know the use cases, let’s take a closer look at some specific dimensions between the two-door and four-door Wrangler models.

An orange 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is shown from the front while driving over a rock.

Dimensions Are Important

Sometimes words don’t cut it, and you’re likely looking for data that proves the four-door model is better for passengers and that two-door models are better for off-roading. Well, that’s easy to provide. Besides the aforementioned differences in wheelbase, the two-door Wrangler JL is 166.8 inches long, whereas the four-door model comes in at 188.4 inches. That extra length creates a significantly more spacious cabin with more room for passengers and cargo. In fact, the difference is so great that the four-door Wrangler can seat a total of five passengers while the two-door Wrangler is limited to just four seats.

Expectedly, the dimensions of front-row seats remain similar between the two-door and four-door Wrangler models, and it’s the rear row of seats that sees the most drastic changes. However, the headroom of the front row will change depending on whether you’ve opted for the hard or soft top roof. What about the back seats? Besides the two-door vehicle adding the tedious task of folding down the front seats to climb into the back, the two-door Wrangler is significantly smaller than the four-door variant. The legroom and shoulder room are where the largest differences appear. For example, the two-door Wrangler JL gives backseat passengers 35.7 inches of legroom, which increases to 38.3 inches in the four-door. It may not sound like much, but in a real-world scenario, extra space is just that: extra space.

That covers tall people, but what about groups of wider individuals? Shoulder room and hip room are what you want in addition to headroom and legroom. However, the two-door Wrangler has a trick up its sleeve in the form of more backseat shoulder room, with 57.7 inches going against 55.7 inches of shoulder room on the four-door model. However, the available rear-row hip room sees a massive increase on the four-door model, with 56.7 inches of hip room outmatching the 45 inches you’d get with the two-door model. This is because the rear seats in the four-door are in front of the rear axle rather than on top of it and do not compete for space with the rear wheel wells. That full foot of extra hip room is what makes the four-door model’s five-passenger capacity possible.

Another large difference between the two comes down to cargo space. With the two-door 2022 Wrangler, you get 12.9 cu.ft. of truck space with the rear row upright, and folding it down brings the total up to 31.7 cu.ft.––a 146% increase. However, the four-door model gives you the same 31.7 cu.ft. of space right off the bat with the rear seats in place. That means the four-door can fit five passengers and as much gear as a two-door model with just two people inside. What happens when you fold down the back row in the four-door model? The total is increased to a whopping 72.4 cu.ft. of cargo space, which is 128% more volume than the two-door Wrangler can provide.

A red 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is shown from the rear in a rocky area.

It All Depends

I can’t tell you which type of Wrangler to go with, but I hope this has been helpful to you as you sort through the many used Wranglers for sale. The chances are you won’t have to sink too much time into this question because you likely already know your daily situation or what you’re planning to do with your new vehicle. However, there are advantages to both versions of the Wrangler that are worth considering. While the four-door model is more popular these days, if you choose the two-door Wrangler, you can still travel with four people, and the shorter wheelbase helps with off-roading. Of course, if you’re looking for the most versatility to carry passengers and cargo, the four-door model is for you. While it may not be as agile as the two-door, the four-door Wrangler is still more capable off-road than nearly any other vehicle on the market. Whichever version you decide on, good luck out there, and have fun!