How To Choose The Right Jeep For Off-Roading – Wrangler JK 2 Door vs 4 Door Off-Road Comparison

How To Choose The Right Jeep For Off-Roading – Wrangler JK 2 Door vs 4 Door Off-Road Comparison


Ryan: I’m Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and
in this episode of Throttle Out, we are gonna dig into a feud that’s been raging on the
forums for the past 10 years, pretty much since the JK came out, which is better on
the trails? Either the two-door JK or the four-door JK. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel
so you can check out other great Jeep content videos like this one, as well as some other
comparison videos that we’ve done, like a video comparing East Coast wheeling versus
West Coast wheeling. But in order to get into the two-door versus
four-door feud, we have out here a couple of Jeeps from the fleet, of course, the two-door
and four-door JK and are both similarly set up. They both have 3-and-a-half-inch JKS lift
kits on them. They’re both wearing 35-inch tires. And the four-door does have a little bit more
armor on it, and that’s for a good reason. We’re gonna talk a little bit more about that
in just a second. But now, let’s get out on the trails and see
which one is gonna do better. So, first things first, and this is going
to be the most obvious thing, a four-door JK is going to have a lot more space in it. We’re bouncing down this trail. It’s a pretty light trail where we’ve got
this thing loaded up, a bunch of camera bags in the back. We’ve got a couple of big full-grown cameramen
here. You can see a guy in the back, guy in the
front. We even have room for a fourth guy and all
of our gear in this big four-door JK, and of course in the two-door, not going to be
the case. Trying to fit all this gear in there and a
couple of guys is just not going to work. Now, trails like these are the type of trails
that a lot of you guys are using your Jeep for. You’re trying to get back and forth from a
campsite. You wanna be able to bring a bunch of gear
and a bunch of friends. Or maybe you just don’t have any hardcore
wheeling around you so it’s more dirt roads like this. And in that case, if you wanna have a lot
of extra space, the four-door is definitely gonna be the winner. So the four-door Jeep obviously wins when
you’re talking about space and fitting more people in it. I don’t think that was gonna be a surprise
to anybody. But as you can see by the terrain, we are
in a little bit more of a hardcore off-road situation than we were when we were rolling
down that fire trail, and this is where the two-door is going to be a little bit more
beneficial. It has that nice, compact wheelbase. You can get around corners a little bit easier,
and you’re not going to be dragging things on the ground quite as much as you will with
the longer four-door. With the four-door, you’re definitely gonna
wanna make sure you have rock sliders and underbelly skid plates, because, again, you
do a lot more dragging due to the longer wheelbase. This Jeep, just running some factory skid
plates, no rock sliders and we’re gonna be able to get over obstacles without dragging
quite as much. Now, that’s not to say you don’t need armor
on your two-door. Armor is always a good thing. It’s definitely gonna give you some peace
of mind and allow you attack obstacles that you otherwise wouldn’t knowing you’re not
gonna have any sort of damage, but it’s not going to be quite as necessary on the more
compact two-door. So a term you see thrown around a lot is breakover
angle, and what that really is is the angle between the front tire, the lowest point between
the tires, and then the rear tire. And what that leads to in the real world is
the ability to go over a hill, to crest a hill. With a more compact wheelbase, like we have
here on the two-door, you can go over a steeper hill. You can crest that hill without dragging the
belly of the Jeep on the ground. With the four-door Jeep, that’s not going
to work out as well. As you can see here, you have the longer wheelbase. That angle between the tire, and the center
of the frame, and the front tire is going to be flatter, meaning that your breakover
angle is also going to be flatter. You’re not going to be able to get over as
much without dragging the belly, and that’s why we’re talking about armor here. We’re talking about rock sliders and underbelly
armor, and you’re gonna wanna have some more of that armor on your four-door because you
are gonna be dragging a lot more. What we’re talking about here is more about
the rock sliders. I wanted to get through an obstacle here. Started bringing the big four-door in. I had to do a three-point turn to kind of
get her set up in here. And now that we’re set up, we’re definitely
gonna be using those rock sliders between the tree and the rock on the other side of
this obstacle. Something is going to be dragging. So like I said, we’re gonna try this obstacle
here with the four-door JK. It’s already been a little bit of work to
get it positioned down in here. I’m gonna go ahead and probably have to do
at least one more K-turn to get it spun around. And like I said, chances are, and it’s a pretty
good chance, we’re gonna end up using those rock sliders, so let’s see what we can do. It’s definitely a little tight in this long
wheelbase. Roll my window down so I can see my line a
little bit because I have that tree on the left-hand side. Like I said, I had the sliders. I’m okay using them. I just wanna make sure I know where everything
is. [00:04:45] [music] [00:05:23] All right, so we made it through. It was eventful, we’ll say. May have cracked not one but two flares. Definitely rubbed the roof on the tree a little
bit. I hopefully didn’t remove any paint. That’s a pretty gnarly obstacle. It was a lot of fun, and we definitely got
to prove our point. We definitely showed that you need sliders,
you need armor when you’re trying to maneuver a big four-door Jeep around some of these
sharper corners. So now we’re gonna go ahead and attack the
same thing with the two-door. It is pretty gnarly, so there’s a chance that
we might end up wishing we had some skid plates. But we’re definitely gonna be in better than
we are with that four-door having the shorter wheelbase in this Jeep, so let’s see what
happens. [00:06:02] [music] [00:06:42] Man 1: You’re looking good right now. Yeah, slowly. Ryan: So I could definitely hear it and feel
it on the inside of the Jeep. We did not make contact on the rocker like
we did with the four-door, and that was pretty much the same line all the way down to the
body damage on the top. So that’s a pretty good one-to-one, apples-to-apples
comparison. Having that longer wheelbase definitely needed
the rockers. Here, trust me, I would have felt a little
more comfortable with rock sliders, but we didn’t need them. We didn’t make contact. So the next thing we’re gonna really illustrate
here is underbelly skid plates and the importance of having them, or when you’re in the two-door,
how you don’t necessarily need them quite as much. And really, the thought process behind that
is closely related to the breakover angle that we already talked about, and the fact
that you can keep more tires up on the high stuff, up on the rocks with the two-door more
of the time than you can with a much longer four-door. So that’s what we’re gonna illustrate here. Looking at this obstacle, chances are we’re
gonna end up using the factory skid plates that are on the two-door that I’m driving
right now. But with the four-door, we’re definitely gonna
be glad that we have those aftermarket skid plates that are gonna be a little bit stronger
and give us a little bit more coverage. [00:08:02] [music] [00:08:18] So just came down very solidly on that transmission
skid plate here in the two-door. Luckily, we didn’t come down on it until we
were about midway down the Jeep, and that is a testament to having that shorter wheelbase,
but we are using those factory skid plates as they were designed for. And if we had a much larger, something like
an oil pan, transmission skid plate, something thicker, something with some nice countersunk
bolt heads, you know, a really nice piece like we have on the four-door, I wouldn’t
be quite as worried about it. We’d be able to slide over and drag over those
obstacles. So I’m gonna hook to my spotter here. We’re gonna see if we can’t get off the belly
pan skid plate that’s on this Jeep from the factory, and we’ll hop in the four-door and
really illustrate how those skid plates slide over some obstacles. Like I said before, if the two-door drug,
the four-door is definitely gonna drag, but we have some aftermarket skid plates on this
one that’s gonna give me a little bit more peace of mind and obviously slide over without
getting hung up quite as much. They’re not showing us anything we don’t know
here. We’re definitely gonna drag. But I wanted the obstacle, so here we go. Oh yeah, that was nice and solid. It’s definitely one of those things where,
yeah, I know I’m protected underneath there. I know I’m not gonna punch to the oil pan. I know I’m not gonna do damage to the transmission,
and all of that is great. But it’s also the peace of mind of knowing
that I can attack an obstacle like this in a long four-door where I know I’m gonna drag,
know I’m not gonna do any damage. So I can just go out there, have fun, watch
my spotter, take on the obstacle, and move onto the next one without ending the day. So the last obstacle we’re gonna hit today
is probably the most hardcore obstacle that we’ve done all day, and it’s really going
to illustrate getting eye-centered, using those belly pan skid plates, and maybe a rock
slider or two. Just, in general, how that longer wheelbase
is going to be a little bit tougher when you’re going over these major obstacles, and how
you’re probably going to wanna have some good armor in place when you do. So this obstacle, like I said, probably the
most hardcore one that we’ve hit. I hit this with my TJ the last time we were
here and then tried it with a four-door JK and it was definitely a little bit more difficult. So right along the right-hand side here is
what we’re gonna hit. I’m gonna hop in the two-door and try it first. It should make it. Again, a TJ made it. This is roughly the same wheelbase. And then we’ll give it a go in the four-door. [00:10:54] [music] [00:11:28] So that was still a little bit sketchy in
the two-door, but we were able to make it. We weren’t dragging the bottom of the Jeep
over anything. It was really just difficult because of the
loose dirt and the snow on the rocks, but we were still able to make it. I think we’re definitely gonna do a little
bit more dragging and it’s gonna be a little more difficult in the four-door, so let’s
give it a go. Now, like I’ve been saying all day, this thing
is armored up. It’s gonna slide over obstacles a little bit
easier, which is definitely nice, but I still think the long wheelbase is just gonna be
too much for this obstacle. It’s pretty sheer. It’s pretty steep up at the top. But hey, let’s give it a go and see what happens. I can already tell you I am way more into
this tree than I was in the two-door. [00:12:13] [music] [00:12:29] I definitely felt that. I’m sure you guys heard that when we came
down really hard on what looks like the rock slider here, and that is a prime example of
two-door versus four-door in a hardcore wheeling example like this. The two-door did not have the same issue as
the four-door. It’s a longer wheelbase, you’re gonna get
hung up more. Make sure you have your armor in place before
trying something like this. All right, so we got hung up pretty hard on
that rock slider. We’re gonna go ahead and back off this obstacle
here. [00:12:59] [music] [00:13:17] Well, when you’re going up an obstacle like
that, the real danger comes in when you start spinning tires and you can get yourself sideways
and end up toppling back down the obstacle, which is certainly something we didn’t wanna
do. We probably could have stacked some rocks. I could have tried a different line. We could have hooked up a winch line. There are always ways to give you a better
shot, but what this video is all about is really illustrating the differences between
your two-door and the four-door, and I think that right there did it. We came down hard on those rockers because
this thing has a longer wheelbase. The two-door made it through without a problem. So that’s gonna do it for this video. I think we did a really good job of pointing
out the big differences between the two-door and the four-door JK. And if you’re doing some more hardcore wheeling,
I would say that the two-door is going to take it. It makes it over those obstacles that much
easier than that four-door is going to. If you have the proper armor and the proper
gear on your four-door, you can slide over those obstacles, where you’re gonna clear
them a lot easier in a two-door JK. With that being said, if you’re just running
those fire trails, you’re getting back and forth to the campsite, you need to carry a
lot of gear and have a lot of people, obviously, the four-door is gonna take it. So in the end, it’s really up to you. It just depends on how you’re gonna be using
your Jeep. And the most important thing is that you’re
in a Jeep, you’re off-road, and you’re having a blast. So make sure you subscribe to our YouTube
channel. You’re gonna be able to check out more comparison
videos like this, a bunch of product review videos, and the best Jeep videos out there.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It felt more of a 4 door hate video then an actual comparison. You didn't show any advantages the 4 door had over the 2 door like steep declines to name one. All I got from the video is the 4 door is a dirt road car and the 2 door will go anywhere

  2. Would like to have seen an example of how a longer wheelbase of the 4 door can actually benefit you sometimes.

  3. I agree generally speaking that the maneuverability of the JK is better. However there are situations where the longer wheelbase of the JKU is an advantage. To me it was down to how I intended to use it. I could not carry enough supplies in the 2 door for even a short trip of 3-4 days. The Unlimited had to be the choice.

  4. i think i choose the two cause if you have friends you can use the four door and if you just you offroading you can use the two door a state my case:)

  5. I went 2dr for mostly economic reasons, but I also like the maneuverability. If the 4dr was the same price, I would probably have a 4dr. However, my goal is to have one of each. Even solo camping, I run out of space in the 2dr with the back seat removed. 🙁

  6. I think I'll be trying a 4 door despite the break-over angle. I need the extra space. My old 2 door was not great for camping, even for two people it was a tight squeeze.

  7. There is actually a very simple answer for this. When choosing which Jeep is right for you, ALWAYS go with a Toyota. 🙂

  8. I've had a 2dr Jk, a 4dr JKUR, and now a 97 TJ Sahara … the 4dr rubicon was the most difficult to wheel and you have to lift it higher to do the same obstacles … wheel base benefit on east coat isn't worth it imo from a strictly wheeling perspective

  9. Now this is a real put to the test. I hate those reviews where they claim off road but all they do is drive through mud and flat surface off road. You guys really know how to do a review off road keep up the good work.

  10. Attention! Extreme terrain has horrible customer service. I suggest reading these guys reviews before ordering from them.

  11. You need to find someone that wheels a 4dr to show a real comparison. That's the stupidest video I've seen. Praise the 2dr long live the 2dr. That should be the name of thus video.

  12. JKU is an H2 wanna-be, they look like a bus and are way out of proportion unless it has 37+ tires. true jeeps are 2 door, go buy an H2 or an SUV

  13. Anyone else notice the rub bars on the JKU seemed loose? They flexed a lot. Is that normal? Or a word about the strength of their products?

  14. You included short climbs that cater to a SWB and their better breakover angle, but You skipped longer steep climbs.

    The JKU wheelbase is damn close to being perfect.

  15. All this effort and not a single fucking point about stability off-camber of the 2-door vs the 4-door. The 4-doors larger footprint overall makes it more stable in off camber areas, it also makes it more stable going up and down steep inclines than the 2-door which is much more prone to rolling forwards or backwards. Hell, bigger lifts and bigger tires solve a lot of the problems you had with the 4-door, no amount of changing those variables will change the length and width of the 2-door.

    Congrats on forgetting variables, while being smug as if you know all things. /facepalm Waste of my fucking time, you should pay me to watch your video.

  16. In my experience i seen CJ 5 similar set up go places i couldn't go with my JKU. And seen place I went he couldn't. I don't think there's the perfect set up for everything. Nice comparison and the importance of armor is well demonstrated. But i do enjoy my TJ in tight spots

  17. Great points on the downsides of long wheel base but you don't show the downsides of short wheel base where the 4 door is actually better. If your going to do a true test don't make biased and also learn to get over obsticals smoother then your hard breaking. Yes you want to slow down before you drop the body onto the rock but some rocks will roll you off if your not smooth with your deceleration.

  18. I also think what tire size/ how extreme you plan to build is a huge factor. That 2 door looked great with 35s but they looked small on the 4 door. So 35s or under I would go with the 2 door, but if I was doing something like swapping axles to D60s and running 40s and a taller lift… 4 door all the way. just my $.02

  19. Then a Samurai is more Jeep than all late model Jeeps after CJ3B? What about the longer wheelbase being more stable on short steep climbs? Y'all's experience of off-road vehicles shows in this video…

  20. I have a 08 2dr JK every vehicle I’ve ever owned has only had 2doors but change is good, now I have a 18 JLU Rubicon on the way and I don’t feel like it’s in anyway less capable, to each his own.

  21. I like the look of the 2 door better, and is definitely better off road, but I need a 4 door as a traveling musician. It’s still pretty capable though, and still looks great with a lift and tires.

  22. Would have been a better comparison stock or stock with slightly oversize tires. 4 doors are much worse closer to stock. That driver is bad with a manual lol.

  23. one thing that should also be mentioned it the turning radious. the 2dr is MUCH more nimble. If you're under 35 get a 2dr. if you're over 35, a soccer mom or a bro dad, get the 4dr.

  24. Great SxS comparison! I think the answer would be that all of us should have both😊 Solo Jeepin’ or family Jeepin’ whichever situation applies. Driveway full of Jeeps?… I see no problem😀

  25. This guy is the definition of when in doubt throttle out. In the west coast you’d be laughed at. This isn’t rock crawling he’s not picking good lines just trying every spot with slot of gas and praying he makes it

  26. This is not a fair video. If the 4 door had 37s on it, it would go over it a whole lot easier. A longer jeep just needs bigger tires.

  27. I love my 2 door, being only ever me and rarely a passenger. It's really all the size I need, that being said I want to get into overlanding. It would be nicer having more space for storage and Id love an ersa minor camper top if only they made one for the 2 door. But I do want to make my 2 door into an awesome little overland rig.

  28. I love my jk 2 door. It's stock, but I have bfg at tires. I get the gas mileage I wanted, and the off road capability I wanted. Perfect.

  29. Its easy, if you are going to do a lot of off road driving get a 2 door, if you think you will do off road driving at some point or intend to use the car as a family car or to move stuff get a 4 door.

  30. Why get a jeep if your not going off road. I love them and have 2 however to be honest they are far from the best choice highway ride

  31. 2 doors are feel authentic and natural, look beautiful especially if it opened top. and You know that breakover-angle is…. very important

  32. 4dr is not a Jeep period end of story Jeep lost its way with the JK. Now fiat has completely destroyed the Jeep name

  33. Awesome video , great tips . Do you have a video for tips on how to take on trails and obstacles with a 4 door Auto vs manual

  34. thats some sweet off road driving, could you tell me what you think of the ford ranger wildtrak off road , i know its not going to be a wrangler but just any info and your opinion on the land rover defender.
    cheers

  35. Most of people driving the 4 dr. would do just as well in the 2 dr. 99% of the time . I picked the 2 dr. , it is so much easier to park in a big city and easier to get through rough narrow trails. 2 dr. is less expensive , sucks less gas and has an original Jeep look. I give two thumbs up to the 2 door legend.

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