2019 Buick Encore vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

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 Jeep Cherokee has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, 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.

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 Jeep Cherokee:

 

Encore

Cherokee

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

122

163

Neck Injury Risk

26%

43%

Neck Stress

298 lbs.

430 lbs.

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

37 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/313 lbs.

822/607 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

291

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

38%

57%

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

344 lbs.

Neck Compression

104 lbs.

166 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

249/289 lbs.

305/278 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 Cherokee:

 

Encore

Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

4 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.53/.33

.84/.45

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, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

 

Encore

Cherokee

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

176 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

255

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

37 G’s

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 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cherokee 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 Cherokee’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 Jeep covers the Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cherokee ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Cherokee’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. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cherokee.

Reliability

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 30 points higher than the Cherokee.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 72 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

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

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Encore (base engine) is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 4 cyl.:

 

Encore

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

9.4 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

17.1 sec

17.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Encore

Cherokee

 

2WD

 

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

25 city/33 hwy

23 city/31 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

26 city/31 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

V6/Auto

4WD

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138HP)/Auto

24 city/30 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

25 city/30 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto Active Drive II

 

 

n/a

20 city/27 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto Trailhawk

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cherokee with the 2.0 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 Cherokee:

 

Encore

Cherokee

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Encore’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cherokee’s 65 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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

The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Cherokee Limited 4x4 pulls only .79 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 Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The Encore’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 750 pounds less than the Jeep Cherokee.

The Encore is 1 foot, 1.6 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Encore has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Cherokee uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

The Encore has .2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Cherokee.

The front step up height for the Encore is 1.1 inches lower than the Cherokee (16.8” vs. 17.9”). The Encore’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Cherokee’s (16.8” vs. 18.1”).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Encore easier. The Encore’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Cherokee’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 66% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

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 Cherokee doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

Consumer Reports rated the Encore’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Cherokee’s headlights, which were rated “Poor” to “Fair” (depending on model and options).

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Encore with a number “5” insurance rate while the Cherokee is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Cherokee, including $59 less for a water pump, $287 less for a muffler, $246 less for a starter, $76 less for fuel injection, $233 less for a fuel pump, $106 less for front struts and $235 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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

 

Encore

Cherokee

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

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

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