Kids. There’s your variable. It’s just that simple. Kids=4 doors. No kids=2 doors. Believe me.. you’ll appreciate the power of the 2 door compared the the relative lack of power on the 4 door. Test drive them back to back, and you’ll easily see the 4 door is a turd next to the 2 door. I considered for 4 door, mainly because of the theoretical better “value” it represents, but I bought a Sport and I’d never, ever, buy a 4 door vehicle w/o power windows and doors- even if they’re in the basement most of the year, like they are for my 2 door.
My wife and I picked up my dad to go out for dinner once. I rode in the back seat (I was surprised how roomy it felt, btw), but that’s the only time the rear seat has had a butt on it. Otherwise it’s been folded up 24/7. I may even remove it completely.
Yep, kids. I cast my vote for 2-door, because that's what I would prefer to have, but I currently have a 4-door out of necessity-- because of kids. As soon as my last kid goes off to college, I will be getting a 2-door one way or another. It might be my son's '97 TJ, as an extra Jeep when he's done with it, or I might trade my new '18 JKU on a 2-door JL. We'll see when the time comes.
For taking kids and 2 dogs around I prefer an Outback or Ford Edge (Cargo area dominates and great roof racks for stuff).
2 door jeep is fun, fun fun so zippy, so easy to park in city, so fun on the trail. With the 2 door its wife and I and we either take load of stuff or 2 dogs or 2 kids (pick one) in Jeep. If you get a hard top and rack you can use top for cargo and increase your options.
Rear seat out in the 2 door is like having a little convertible pickup truck.
We basically decided both vehicles don't need to be a bus.