Which YJ Jeep is Better; the 2.5 or the 4.0

When you start talking to Jeep enthusiasts a natural topic will be the YJ with the 2.5 versus the YJ with a 4.0. 

The answer to which is better depends on what your priorities are.

Let’s look at both engines and try to determine you can determine which one is best for your personal needs.

2.5 Jeep YJ

White Jeep Wrangler

Highway Driving

These are not power-horse engines that are going to be the fastest or the best off-road driving. They are great for traveling around town, and for light adventure driving.

If you want a Jeep that you can drive to work, or to the grocery store, then a 2.5 engine is a great choice for you.

If you like to go into the country and see the parks and landscapes, but not cover extreme terrain or ford creeks, then this engine size will do what you want.



  • Less horsepower than the 4.0
  • When you increase the tire size the vehicle feels sluggish
  • Less comfortable than the Jeep TJ


Red Jeep Wrangler Suv on Outdoors

Highway Driving

The 4.0 is faster and more powerful than the 2.5, yet it is still a good choice for drivers who do a lot of paved road driving. They also have more power so passing other vehicles or climbing steeper slopes is possible.

The 4.0 gives you the power to travel over rougher terrain and to get across town a little faster when you are running late.


  • A 6-cylinder engine has added torque
  • Can handle larger tires
  • Has the power to drive on the highway or offroad
  • Available with an automatic or manual transmission
  • Has increased intake pressure
  • Gets 16 to 18 mpg


  • More expensive than the typical 2.5 models
  • Prone to exhaust manifold cracks

Buying Tips

If you want a vehicle that can go farther on a gallon of gasoline then you want to get the smaller engine. Surprisingly the differences between the miles-per-gallon consumed by these two engines is not that great when they are stuck. The fuel consumption starts to drastically change when you upgrade the tires or make other changes.

If you want more power when you step on the accelerator then you want to go with the larger engine. If you like speed and want your vehicle to get up and go in a shorter period of time then the 4.0 is the only choice for you.

If you want the look and abilities that larger tires can provide then you need to skip the 2.5 and buy the 4.0. It is relatively impossible to put 35s on a vehicle powered by a 2.5 but if you do not want a tire bigger than a 33 the 2.5 might still be an option for you.

If you are into rock crawling do not bother looking at the 2.5. You will need greater power and greater ground clearance that the 4.0 can provide.

The 2.5 engines often wear out faster than the 4.0 will. This is partially due to the fact that you have to push the 2.5 to its limit to climb hills or gain enough speed to pass a vehicle on the road. Merging into traffic while driving a vehicle powered by a 2.5 is also difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The 2.5-Liter Jeep Engine Good?

The 2. 5 is exceptionally good if you want great fuel economy.

How Much Horsepower Does a 2.5 Jeep Motor Have?

This is determined by the year model and style, but on average they have 117 hp to 190 hp.

Is The 4-Cylinder Jeep Motor Good?

These are excellent engines that when properly maintained can last to over 200K.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want a Jeep with a 2.5 or a 4.0 depends on your driving style and what you want the vehicle to be able to do. Both of these engines are reliable. Both of these engines get decent fuel mileage and provide you with a safe automobile. The 4.0 engine has slightly more power for people who want to drive a little faster or drive over rougher terrain. The 2.5 gives you the choice of on-road or off-road travel without a high sticker price.

About Brendan Burnett

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