The U.S. supply chain issue has created a situation that might not have existed otherwise here at 4WAAM. Our latest two-door Wrangler is still stock while I sit here and wait several months for the parts needed to build it.
While I have been waiting for several items to arrive I have instead focused on general performance and small modifications to make stowing the soft-top easier and the Jeep more user-friendly. Check out my review of the BJD Customs soft-top window storage bag to see what I mean.
Fuel economy isn’t terrible.
The joke is always that a cow is more aerodynamic than a Wrangler. That’s probably true of older models and maybe still true in comparison to today’s Wrangler but you can’t deny that today’s JL offers better than average fuel economy in box stock trim.
On a recent, all highway trip my 2-door managed to return a tick over 24 miles per gallon. Not a number I expected to see given the windy conditions and historical data on Jeep MPG. Once I install a lift and 37-inch tires I also know it’s an efficiency number I will never see again.
Soft-top versus hard-top.
I have been back and forth on this in my life as a Jeep owner. At one point or another, I have been on both sides of this discussion. Today I am on team soft-top. Maybe it’s owning a 2-door maybe it’s just a different life stage but I have had the top open more this last 6 months than I did the previous 6 years. I think some of that credit goes to having half-doors.
There are downsides to a soft-top of course but for some reason, I just don’t care as much about it as I used to.
Half-doors should be standard.
Having half-doors has changed my life for the better. They’re noisier, sometimes leaky, and not cheap but I regret nothing about selecting them as an option. Every JL should come with them as standard equipment. As winter approaches I have thought about swapping the full doors on and I can’t bring myself to do it. They no longer feel right.
Age and wisdom come with heated seats.
When you combine half-doors with a soft-top you get a vehicle that is subject to the external weather temperature far more than most vehicles. I no longer stay warm just by breathing and the welcome addition of heated seats means even on the coldest day I am warm and comfortable.
I also have a heated steering wheel; again it’s something that is here to stay. Injuries and wear and tear on my body have left my fingertips sensitive to the cold and that heated steering wheel makes a world of difference. The JL steering wheel is perfect for helping to drive the chill from my fingers and allows my driving enjoyment to continue no matter the weather.
Is there a verdict?
The answer is yes. I still unequivocally love the Wrangler platform. Despite the flaws, the compromises, and the competition nothing can match the capability to go anywhere while also being tough as nails with body-on-frame construction, two solid axles, and enough gearing to make it all work.