2019 Infiniti QX30 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 Infiniti QX30 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 QX30 has standard Forward Emergency Braking, 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 QX30 (except Pure) offers an optional Around View® Monitor 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 QX30 and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The QX30 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Encore’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 10,000 miles sooner.

The QX30’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Encore’s (7 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 13 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (208 vs. 138) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (208 vs. 153) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Infiniti QX30 is faster than the Buick Encore:

 

QX30

Encore

Encore opt.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

9.4 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

17.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

79.5 MPH

77.5 MPH

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Infiniti QX30, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The QX30 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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the QX30’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

QX30

Encore

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.6 inches

The QX30 stops much shorter than the Encore:

 

QX30

Encore

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the QX30 has larger tires than the Encore (235/50R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The QX30’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s standard 55 series tires. The QX30’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX30 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Encore’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX30 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Infiniti QX30 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 QX30 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the QX30 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX30’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Encore (106.3 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the QX30 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

The QX30 Essential AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The QX30 Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.5 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the QX30 has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (8 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the QX30 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The QX30 is 7.3 inches shorter in height than the Encore, making the QX30 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The QX30 has .5 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

The QX30 has a larger cargo volume than the Encore with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 18.8 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the QX30. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 26% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Encore Essence, the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The QX30’s front power windows 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 front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the QX30 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The QX30 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the QX30 Sport/Essential 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the QX30 Sport/Essential 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 see further while navigating curves, the QX30 Sport/Essential has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The QX30 has standard 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 QX30 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 QX30 and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the QX30 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 QX30 Sport/Essential offers an optional Intelligent 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.

The QX30 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional Intelligent Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

The QX30 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the QX30 will retain 53.6% to 54.72% of its original price after five years, while the Encore only retains 41.19% to 42.63%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX30 is less expensive to operate than the Encore because typical repairs cost less on the QX30 than the Encore, including $148 less for front brake pads.

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

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