Factory Jeep Wrangler JL Half-Door Review
The open-air experience is a driving factor for many who purchase a Jeep Wrangler. Having the ability to peel back the top, or fully remove it, and take off the doors is something many Jeep owners look forward to and take advantage of. However, an alternative to removing your doors altogether, but still achieving the open-air experience, is to replace your full-doors with a set of half-doors.
Factory JL Half-Doors
Wranglers have gotten more comfortable over the years, and quieter too, thanks to things like sound deadened hard tops, air conditioning, and heated seats. But they weren’t always this way, and once upon a time, actually came from the factory with half-doors instead of full-doors. Factory half-doors have been around since the days of the YJ—the first generation of the Jeep Wrangler—and have made their way into every model line-up yet, at least as an option. But, it wasn’t until just a few months ago that Jeep released its factory half-doors for the current JL Wrangler.
Many will argue that half-doors have been available for the JL since shortly after it’s launch. And that’s true—aftermarket manufacturers began producing them just months after the JL Wrangler hit showroom floors. While these options are certainly more cost effective, and “get the job done,” there has always been something lacking about them. They generally rattle (they're noisy), don’t seal with the door surrounds (poor fitment), and don’t come with soft upper windows or interior panels. They also don’t come painted, so if you’re hoping to achieve any sense of a “factory” look, you’re going to have to shell out some coin on a nice paint job.
The factory half-doors that come straight from Jeep address all of these issues, but come with a steep price tag. When we ordered our new Rubicon 392 a few months back, we opted for the “dual door group,” which, you guessed it, come with the standard full doors and a set of the factory half-doors as well. At a price tag of $4,395 for the 4-door, are they really worth it? Read on to hear our thoughts now that we’ve had a chance to install them and try them out.
Superior Fit and Finish
Given that the half-doors are a factory option from Mopar, the fit and finish is superior to anything else on the market. The first thing we noticed after installing our factory half-doors is the solid sound they make when shut. There’s no rattles or extra movement in the door. They provide a nice seal around the door opening, preventing water or mud from coming inside depending on the elements or terrain you find yourself up against. They also come painted to match with the vehicle, so there is no extra cost to get them to look like the rest of your Jeep. We found that the paint is spot on too, with no noticeable difference in shade or tone to the rest of the vehicle.
Adjustable Soft Upper-Windows
The Mopar half-doors also come with a set of adjustable soft upper-windows. These are made of premium, black-twill fabric and have a really solid interior frame that makes them far sturdier than anything else we’ve seen on the market. The windows zip out from side-to-side, allowing you to flip them down and into the vehicle, and the zipper is easy to operate as well. They also provide a nice seal to the rest of the door and top opening. Our favorite part—there is an adjustable set screw in each post, allowing you to adjust the windows to get a perfect seal. In the past, even with factory half-doors, it’s been challenging to get a solid seal with the upper windows. We love that Jeep thought this through and have found them to be much quieter once adjusted properly.
Jeep nailed it on the design of the interior panels. The fit/finish is spot on, allowing the half-doors to blend in with the rest of the interior nicely. They have a strap like handle to allow you to close them, which we thought was a nice touch. On the top of the door, there are removable rubber inserts to cover the holes where the soft-upper windows meet the door, leaving no odd gaps behind when the windows are removed. The interior panels also contain the same mesh storage pockets as the full-doors, which will come in handy for many people who rely on them for extra storage.
All the Same Technology
In addition to excellent fitment and finish both inside and out, Jeep packed these Mopar factory half-doors with some serious technology. We ordered our Wrangler Rubicon 392 with the proximity door sensors, which essentially allow you to unlock or lock your door without ever removing the key from your pocket. We were blown away to learn that Jeep carried this functionality over to the half-doors—genius! In addition to proximity sensors, the doors come with power door locks on the inside as well as pre-installed power mirrors (on the front doors) with blind spot monitoring. The only thing missing is powered windows, for obvious reasons. The Mopar half-doors truly come with all the same technology as your factory full-doors.
Worth Every Penny
All things considered, a cheaper price point is about the only advantage aftermarket half-doors have over Jeep’s factory half-door option for the Wrangler JL. And when you factor in the cost of a quality paint job, the difference in cost becomes much more minimal. With the same technology as the full-doors and superior fit and finish inside and out, it’s hard to go wrong with Jeep’s new dual door group. We love having two sets of doors to choose from, allowing us to change up the look of our Wrangler from time to time or even dress it up or down depending on the season. Our only wish is that the interior arm rests were leather wrapped like our full-doors, which is really a small complaint compared to the big picture. We think Jeep nailed it and that the new factory half-doors are worth every penny!