2019 Buick Encore vs. 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

Compared to metal, the Encore’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a metal gas tank.

The Encore has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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

Warranty

The Encore’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Encore for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander.

There are almost 6 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability

The camshafts in the Encore’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Outlander GT 3.0 SOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Outlander’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Encore’s reliability 13 points higher than the Outlander.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 57 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Encore gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander:

 

 

Encore

Outlander

 

2WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

25 city/33 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

26 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

25 city/30 hwy

24 city/29 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Encore has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Outlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Encore

Outlander

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.6 inches

The Encore stops shorter than the Outlander:

 

Encore

Outlander

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Encore has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Outlander’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Encore has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Encore AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

The Encore is 1 foot, 4.4 inches shorter than the Outlander, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Outlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the Encore is 1.2 inches lower than the Outlander (16.8” vs. 18”). The Encore’s rear step up height is 1 inches lower than the Outlander’s (16.8” vs. 17.8”).

Servicing Ease

The Encore has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Outlander doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 31% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 21st.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Encore Essence, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Encore Essence’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Encore and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Encore is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Encore’s front and rear power windows all lower 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 Outlander’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

The Outlander’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Encore’s standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Encore has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Encore Essence is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Encore offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outlander doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because it costs $261 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Encore than the Outlander, including $83 less for a water pump, $134 less for a starter, $186 less for fuel injection, $188 less for a fuel pump, $44 less for front struts and $110 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Encore

Outlander

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore second among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Outlander isn’t in the top three.

The Buick Encore outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by over two to one during 2017.

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

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