A side by side comparison of the two JK’s on the trail.
Last weekend a few of us tackled some trails for the day at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in PA. It was a beautiful fall day, the leaves were changing and created exceptional colors in the forest. The air was cool but not cold and reached the mid to upper 50’s by mid-day.
The trip allowed us to compare a 4 door JK Wrangler to a 2 door JK Wrangler…since there were both kinds available. Two 4 doors and 1 2 door. A Rubicon of both types and all three were lifted with larger tires.
Specifics of the Jeeps
|Tyler’s 2 Door JK Rubicon||jeepfan.com 4 Door JK Rubicon||Christine’s 4 Door JK Sahara|
|35″ Toyo MT Tires||33″ Toyo MT Tires||33″ Nitto AT Tires|
|4″ Full Traction Ultimate Lift||2.5″ TeraFlex BB Lift||3″ BDS Lift|
|6 speed||6 speed||Automatic|
|Rubicon Lockers||Rubicon Lockers||Dana 44 Limited Slip|
Right off you notice the length difference of the two Jeeps. The 4 door is 20 inches longer than the two. The whole difference in length is in the center section of the Jeep. The approach and departure angles are identical.
Tyler’s 2 Door Rubicon
“lift those tires”
In this article we are only discussing trail characteristics. We are not going to cover street handling, cargo space, etc.
Christine’s 4 Door Sahara
Ground clearance, traction, and low gears are key to getting over the rocks without damage. It seemed that either model Jeep did just fine in the rocky section. A 2 door may have a slight advantage with a better breakover angle. An automatic transmission in a non-Rubicon model will ease the higher transfer case ratio.
Advantage – TIE
Ground clearance and traction are key here especially in the deep goo. Overall length of the vehicle doesn’t show any clear advantage or disadvantage.
Advantage – TIE
95 percent of the time a longer wheelbase will be king on the hills. Especially due to the fact that CJ-7, YJ, and TJ Jeeps all share the same wheelbase. Often ruts or ditches in extra tough spots on hills are exactly 94″ apart, this is where the 116″ shines.
Advantage – 4 Door
Tight Spots – Maneuverability
The reason you don’t see Hummers or full size trucks on Jeep trails. We thought the 4 door would suffer in this department but surprisingly the Jeep is very maneuverable. In spots where the 2 door could squeeze through the 4 door did it with a few extra backups.
Advantage – 2 Door
In the end what makes the true determination of which is better is your preference. Both models have their pluses and minuses but both are still true Jeep. Both models of the new JK are a pleasure to drive both on and off road. In the end regardless of the model the driver is probably the most important part of what makes a great trail vehicle.