Half doors have officially come to the new Jeep Wrangler JL. The half-door option was recently added to the Jeep configurator, meaning the symbolic and useful half-door feature is finally a factory option for the newest Wrangler, the JL generation. Once upon a time—say, when the two-generations-ago TJ Wrangler was on sale in the 1990s and early 2000s—half doors were standard on the Wrangler, with so-called full doors and their framed roll-up windows, were optional.
The JL Wrangler Dual-Door Group, Explained
There are actually two half-door options for today’s Wrangler: the Dual Door Group with Premium Uppers and the Dual Door Group with Base Uppers. The difference between the two has to do with the materials used for the removable (pull-straight-off) upper section. The Premium Uppers are made of fabric-like twill that match the premium soft tops nicely, while the Base Uppers are made of plastic-like vinyl that correlate to the base tops.
The Dual Door Group is not currently available for the Jeep Gladiator, the Wrangler’s pickup-truck sibling, in case you were wondering.
Some equate half doors to a sense of freedom—the freedom to feel more fresh air, freedom to see technical obstacles with greater ease, freedom to feel more connected (yet less constricted and caged). They’re safer than ditching doors altogether. On the downside, you don’t have the convenience of roll-up windows. Wanna drop the window? You literally remove it. Once you do, it’s easier to throw an elbow over the top of the door and peer out at the terrain below.
How Much Do the Half Doors Cost?
Half doors are cool, but they come at a cost. On a two-door 2021 Jeep Wrangler, the option adds $2,350 (Base Uppers) or $2,550 (Premium Uppers) and seems to lock out some of the fun paint color options. On a four-door, the option adds $3,995 (Base Uppers) or $4,395 (Premium Uppers). Certain four-door half-door and top combinations can approach $8,400 (if you somehow wanted half doors with the $3,995 Sky One-Touch sliding power cloth top).
That’s a ton of cash, but there are good reasons to consider the Dual Door Groups beyond a desire for merely getting less door on your Wrangler. For starters, on lower trims that otherwise don’t offer power-heated door mirrors and speed-sensitive power locks, the Premium Uppers represent the only way to get those features (the Base examples still bring otherwise unavailable power locks to entry-level Sport trims). Also, you technically receive more door with the Dual Door Groups—because, in addition to the half doors, Jeep throws in a complete set of the full doors (two or four, depending on which body style you’ve chosen), with fully framed wind-up windows, just like you get on a normal Wrangler. Customers can swap as they like.
That the half-door option popped up now is not a surprise, really. JLs with half doors have been spotted testing, and Jeep has offered half doors in the past on various concept builds and the previous-generation Wrangler JK.
The Jeep Wrangler 392 concept, although not equipped with production half doors, rocked what Jeep then referred to as: “the latest iteration of the JL half doors that have been shown at various times since the JL was announced. This most recent design doesn’t have the hole in them like the early ones did, and the interior panels are more refined, matching the JL’s interior perfectly. We love the height of the doors while driving, allowing your elbow to fall in a natural place. “
Jeep soon won’t be the only player in town offering the feature, either. There is now competition in this segment. The new Ford Bronco is promising a similar setup, perhaps applying some pressure for the Jeep camp to come forth with these half doors. Could this imminent competition force Jeep to reduce the jaw-dropping “Wrangler premium” that the Wrangler has thus far commanded with relative ease?
Less is more with half doors, though—remember, you get twice the number of doors! Are Wrangler customers willing to pay top-dollar for this type of feature? Will they see it as advantageous? Or will the half-door option appeal more to second and third JL owners who might be more willing to swap doors and risk dirt and water intrusion? Maybe try not to overthink it, or the idea that Jeep Wranglers are getting wildly expensive these days, and leave it at this: Half the door, double the fun!