Buying a used SUV in South Carolina can become a complicated affair due to the wide variety of options on the market. Greenville, SC residents often have a lot of questions throughout the process. What is the difference between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive? How do used SUVs compare to certified pre-owned options? How many rows do I need? Is it even reliable? This article attempts to answer some common questions about buying a used SUV in South Carolina and highlights some of the options available to consumers.

Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep wants to help you find the perfect used SUV. That is why we make it easy to test drive your prospective ride or apply for financing. Located on 500a West Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greer, SC, we are the hometown dealer for customers across South Carolina and western North Carolina, offering local prices and service on brands from the US and around the world.

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Used SUVs in South Carolina - Can there be too much of a good thing?

Buying a used SUV in South Carolina requires the purchaser to make many different sorts of choices. This section examines some of the most important or confusing options which will confront buyers.

Used versus Certified Pre-Owned

Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep is proud to offer a large selection of both used and certified pre-owned vehicles. Though these terms sound redundant at first, there are actually a number of significant differences.

In order for a used car to classify as certified pre-owned, it must not exceed age and mileage limits determined by the manufacturer. It must not have been in any major crashes or have other red flags in its past. Then, the dealer must test over 100 components, verifying that they work correctly and replacing ones that do not.

Certified pre-owned vehicles provide the perfect compromise between used and new cars. Though often on the more expensive side of the used market, they are far cheaper than new cars. As a result of the extensive certification process, buyers of certified pre-owned SUVs can feel safe knowing that their new vehicle is safe and reliable.

Four-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive - What is the difference?

The terms "Four-wheel drive" and "all-wheel drive" come up a good deal in the SUV space. Though they may seem interchangeable, these are technically two different systems. And with 45% of vehicles sold in the US offering one of these two systems, it is important to understand those differences.

Both systems exist for a similar purpose, that of increasing traction in slippery conditions. They both work by distributing power among the different wheels via techniques such as differentials and couplings. And they both come in two variants, full- and part-time.

The most important distinction is that four-wheel drive is built to distribute torque among the wheels for maximum pulling power. Thus, this system is best when trying to clear a deep mud puddle or snowdrift. Off-road enthusiasts prefer part-time four-wheel drive, as they can choose to turn it on and off as conditions permit.

All-wheel drive, by contrast, distributes torque to maximize traction. As both variants of this system work automatically, it is best when road conditions are inconsistent. In these situations, it is helpful to have a system which can sense road conditions and react in less time than it would take for the driver to respond. All-wheel drive is most effective in a rainstorm or snowfall, when different parts of the road are more or less slippery.

While these systems are standard on some SUVs, most offer them as an option on certain trim levels. The systems do increase the car's weight and slightly decrease fuel economy. Also, in normal conditions, four-wheel drive offers a slightly rougher ride than all-wheel drive.

The Third-row Question

Another factor to keep in mind with used SUVs is that most models are configured to offer five seats in two rows. Some have a third row available, either as standard or as an option on certain trim levels. Before buying a used SUV, it is a good idea to decide if you require a car with a third row, which can be useful for transporting teammates, friends or extended family members.

A note on fuel economy

Generally, vehicles built later have better fuel economy than their earlier model-year brethren, due to advances in technology. While many drivers prefer efficient vehicles because they require fewer trips to the pump and are more environmentally friendly, those looking for sheer power and off-road performance may find that a less efficient vehicle offers stronger capabilities.

Top Choices

Now that you have some ideas about which features to consider when buying a used SUV in South Carolina, it is time to look at some popular models. This next section discusses a few of the options on the market.

Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee is a five-seat SUV offering front-wheel and AWD. It is a good off-road pick with a comfortable cabin and smooth performance on asphalt. 

The Grand Cherokee offers five seats with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive options. With the various options available, the Grand Cherokee has a slightly wider range of fuel economy ratings.

Jeep Wrangler

Drivers looking for an off-road machine with traditional Jeep brand styling know that the Wrangler is the perfect pick. The Wrangler offers four or five seats and is only available in four-wheel drive, a factor which slightly lowers the vehicle's fuel economy numbers.

Dodge Journey

The Dodge Journey is the only vehicle on this list that comes standard with seven seats. If offers front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass offers five seats and decent fuel economy numbers. All-wheel drive is available on some trims.

Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango is a five-seat SUV with an available third row on some trims. It uses rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and gets average fuel economy scores.

Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade is a five-seat SUV with solid fuel economy scores. It runs on front-wheel or AWD.


When buying a used SUV in South Carolina, there are many factors to consider. Fortunately, the used SUV lineup is diverse enough to offer many combinations of different factors. 

By gaining a basic understanding of your options and the relevant terminology in used SUV purchasing, you can get the most out of your used SUV shopping experience.

Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep offers a wide selection of used SUVs, as well as other used and new cars. Visit us at 500a West Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greer, South Carolina or call us at (888) 314-9408 to find the right vehicle for you and your family.


Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep

415 W Wade Hampton Blvd
Directions Greer, SC 29650-1538

  • Sales: 864-877-0161
  • Service: (864) 877-1291
  • Parts: (864) 877-0791


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