CC Outtake: 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport – The Fewer Doors, The Fewer Buyers


I don’t even need to bother searching for production figures — it’s clear that Jeep sold far fewer 2-door XJ Cherokees than 4-door, especially among the face-lifted 1997-2001 versions. It’s interesting to think that there was a time when the majority of SUVs available on the market only had two doors.

97 XJ 2door

However, once automakers started adding four-door SUVs to their lineups, particularly the onslaught of compact 4-door SUVs arriving in the 1980s and early 1990s, the buying public made them their preference and never looked back. During this time, the SUV skyrocketed in popularity, becoming America’s family vehicle of choice. 


As a family vehicle, two doors was just too impractical. Even for SUV drivers not shuttling kids around, having four doors was just more convenient for quickly throwing anything from a gym bag, sports equipment, or purse behind the driver’s seat. XJ Cherokee production ceased in 2001 (with the exception of China) and its Liberty successor was 4-doors only. Two-door competitors, including the Ford Explorer, Chevy Blazer, and GMC Jimmy soon met a similar fate, leaving Jeeps own Wrangler as one of the only 2-door SUVs left on the market.