When people see Saints Row 2 they instantly compare it to Grand Theft Auto IV. It's inevitable. The cars may not run as well on Saints Row as they do on GTA, mainly because on SR2 the cars have a very overpowered brake and handbrake, I'd also say that the amount of damage inflicted on the car is way under as it doesn't display much on the car itself whereas on GTA the damage is a lot more accurate.
Thankfully this is one imitator that turns out to be much more than a straight carbon copy. In fact Saints Row 2 takes GTA's gameplay but with a slight twist considering you can dress your character up in Hotdog Suits, Ninja Suits, Pimp etcc. You can also drive some pretty awesome cars from what I think is a Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and even a Monster Truck!
What does that translate to in terms of quality? Saints Row may not have the best quality compared to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto but SR2 is good because of its unrealistic features from an underground sex dungeon in the cemetery to an underground mansion as a gang hideout.
Saints Row 2 picks up a few years later after the events that occurred in Saints Row 1 which to remind you was your own gang setting you up to explode on a Yacht. Your character has been in a prison hospital stuck in a coma she he (or she) was blown up, thus badly burning his (or her) exterior. Luckily, that happens to open the door to the character customization. You can select from three male accents and three female accents (I prefer the second one) as well as the usual huge array of physical traits. Plus, later in the game you'll earn new personalities, taunts, costumes and fighting styles after defeating the gangs in Stilwater. It's quite hilarious to strap the hot dog suit or even the Borat bathing suit on your character and then watch some of the more dramatic cut scenes.
Overall, I would prefer you to buy this game as it has an enjoyable career mode and an even better free mode in the game, Just as GTA how you can do whatever you want whenever you want!