Some people may say that The Sims 4 Build Mode is 'easy' and 'intuitive' and 'fast'. Personally, I find this comment subjective.
I have never had any trouble with TS2 building or TS3 building, and in fact, it really helps that TS3 building has a lot of similar functions from TS2 building + more. Some functions in TS3 (such as the buydebug cheat code) are completely non-existent in TS2, but they may be carried over to TS4. Actually, I think the similar functions between TS2 and TS3 are what makes TS3 easier for me to build than TS4; there is a lot of carry-over. However, with TS4, it is a new blank slate. Whatever worked for TS2/TS3 does not work for TS4 anymore. You have to do it completely differently in order to achieve the same effect - sometimes, not even easier at all.
Finding the right objects to decorate a TS4 room is a bit trickier than in TS3, because TS3 has Create-A-Style, which really helps in customizing the room colors, and TS2 at the very least has normal-looking color options. I just want cheap furniture, but the good ones are kind of pricey. However, where TS4 excels at is the interior design and clutter. Usually, TS2 and TS3 houses would feel very bare and minimalistic, because there is a limited number of slots on certain objects or maybe because the routing and playability must be considered. In TS4, you can place tons of paintings on the wall to form a collage, and there are tons of slots on objects. You can also use cheats in TS4 to add more clutter onto objects.
The Sims 2 tutorials mention that you can build foundations in TS2. That means the predecessor, The Sims 1, has no foundations. With foundations in TS2, you can build basements, and some pre-made houses really do have basements. In The Sims 3, you can build basements like how you did in TS2, but there is also the basement tool, introduced in World Adventures and base game patch. To experience the full functionality of basements, you may still want to purchase World Adventures, because that expansion pack has the tools you need to build your own custom adventure tombs! You can theoretically build a complex underground maze in TS3, hide hidden treasures there and let other players solve the puzzle. As a result, TS3 is the only game with 2 very different style of basements. One is TS2 style; the other TS4 style. With that said, the main problem that I find in TS4 Build Mode is that the room is directly attached to the foundation. This is by design, because TS4 allows you to adjust the height of the foundation easily. However, the disadvantage of this is that the foundation itself cannot be used as a room anymore. If you want a basement in TS4, you are forced to use the basement tool and create a completely underground basement. It is simply impossible to create a walk-out basement in TS4 with a slope going down to the basement door, because the basement is COMPLETELY underground, and the foundation is attached to the room above it.
In TS4, you can change the wall height (low, medium or high), but the main problem I have with this is that the wall height applies to ALL WALLS for the same floor level. This can be very annoying, because sometimes I just want one building to be taller than another, not every single building on the lot. In TS3 and TS2, there is definitely a lot more customization. With the ConstrainFloorElevation cheat code, you can make a very short wall to make a chicken coop, like so.
In regards to lot type, TS2 has only residential and community lot options. These are base game options that you can easily access. With the Ultimate Collection, you have to use a cheat code to convert a residential lot into an apartment lot, community lot, dorm or whatever you want. The Sims 3 lot types are numerous and can be interchangeable, and I think that's because TS3 has a lot of cross-over from TS2. You can also add a lot of rabbitholes on a community lot, and they will actually work. However, to get custom rabbitholes, you do need some computer graphics and programming skills. However, I think TS3 lot types are still better than TS4 lot types, because the base game at least allows you to create a basic community lot that anyone can visit and can do stuff on, like in TS2. In TS4, most of the lot types have requirements, and if you choose the Generic option, then there may be no visitors. On the other hand, TS4 lot traits are very useful if you want a different gameplay experience on each lot you build.
Finally, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 both have customizable maps. For TS2 base game, you can go shopping for groceries, clothes, magazines and games; or you may use the community lots to hang out and socialize. Normally, you cannot sleep on community lots. However, if you own The Sims 2 Bon Voyage, then you can place a tent on a community lot and make your Sims sleep in it in an unmodified game. With mods, you can definitely make your Sims sleep on a real bed on a community lot or even a park bench. I own the Sims 2 Ultimate Collection, so I can make a Sim own a whole community and place an earned career reward on it so that the Sims in the neighborhood can go to that community lot to train for a career. That's how I build career-oriented community lots in TS2. However, to make these lots actually useful, I have to have a mod installed to allow skill-building on community lots. Otherwise, Sims can't actually skill. The Sims 2 maps are also large enough to store a ton of career-oriented community lots and residential lots. The Sims 3 comes with Sunset Valley, and that one is essentially a town with career-oriented community lots. Meanwhile in TS4, none of the base game worlds are customizable, so if you want a new world, then you have to pay a new pack for it. The EP world will not be customizable either, but on the bright side, you get more lots to build on! With some creativity, you can turn an existing world into a business district or a residential district or an ethnic enclave in TS4.