2019 Buick Encore vs. 2019 Ford Escape

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 Ford Escape has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the Escape 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Ford Escape:

 

Encore

Escape

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

122

243

Neck Injury Risk

26%

43%

Neck Stress

298 lbs.

396 lbs.

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

112 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

2417

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

38%

47%

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

175 lbs.

Neck Compression

104 lbs.

106 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

249/289 lbs.

453/192 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Escape:

 

Encore

Escape

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

107

113

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

25 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Ford Escape:

 

Encore

Escape

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

73

110

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

290

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

54 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

18 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 159 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Escape is not a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Encore comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Escape’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Escape. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Escape ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Escape’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Buick pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Encore. Buick will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Escape.

Reliability

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Encore (base engine) is faster than the Ford Escape turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Encore

Escape

Zero to 60 MPH

9.4 sec

9.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.5 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Encore

Escape

 

2WD

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/6-spd. Auto

26 city/31 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/6-spd. Auto

24 city/29 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escape with the 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Encore stops much shorter than the Escape:

 

Encore

Escape

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Escape.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Escape’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The Encore is 9.7 inches shorter than the Escape, 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 Escape doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 39% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

The Encore’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Escape’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

The Encore’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Escape and aren’t offered on the Escape S.

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 Escape’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Escape because it costs $135 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Escape, including $290 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Encore will be $312 to $937 less than for the Ford Escape.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Buick Encore, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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 Escape isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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