2019 Audi Allroad vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Allroad have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Encore doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Encore doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Allroad has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Allroad has standard Audi Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Allroad has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Allroad. But it costs extra on the Encore.

The Allroad Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Encore only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Allroad and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Allroad weighs 467 to 588 pounds more than the Buick Encore. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Allroad the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

The Allroad’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

The Audi Allroad’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Encore’s diesel engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Allroad has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 12 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 110 more horsepower (248 vs. 138) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (248 vs. 153) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Allroad is faster than the Buick Encore:

 

Allroad

Encore

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

9.4 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

17.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.6 MPH

79.5 MPH

77.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Allroad has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (15.3 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Allroad higher (5 out of 10) than the Buick Encore (3). This means the Allroad produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Encore every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi Allroad, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The Allroad offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Encore doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Allroad’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Encore doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

Allroad

Encore

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.6 inches

The Allroad’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Encore are solid, not vented.

The Allroad stops much shorter than the Encore:

 

Allroad

Encore

 

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Allroad has larger tires than the Encore (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s standard 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Audi Allroad has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Encore has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Allroad has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Allroad flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Allroad has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Allroad’s wheelbase is 10.3 inches longer than on the Encore (110.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Allroad is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore.

The Allroad Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Allroad Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure-Eight” maneuver 3.3 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Allroad has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (6.5 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Allroad to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Allroad has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

The Allroad has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Allroad has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (58.5 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo design makes loading and unloading the Allroad easier. The Allroad’s cargo lift-over height is 26.1 inches, while the Encore’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Allroad. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Allroad has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Allroad uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Allroad is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Encore. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 21% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

The Allroad Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Allroad’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Encore’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Allroad the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Allroad has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Encore doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Allroad’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Encore’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Allroad to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Encore doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Allroad has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Encore doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Allroad Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Allroad has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Allroad offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Allroad has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Encore Essence. The Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Encore.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Encore doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Allroad has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Encore.

Both the Allroad and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Allroad has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Allroad Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

The Allroad will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Allroad will retain 50.32% to 50.79% of its original price after five years, while the Encore only retains 41.19% to 42.63%.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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