2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The UX Series has standard Pre-Collision System, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the UX Series 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Buick is ranked 19th.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (169 vs. 138) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 200’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (169 vs. 153) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 22 more horsepower (175 vs. 153) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX 250h gets better fuel mileage than the Encore 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP) AWD (41 city/38 hwy vs. 25 city/30 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the UX 200 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Encore FWD 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP) (29 city/37 hwy vs. 26 city/31 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the UX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Encore doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

UX Series

Encore

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Encore (225/50R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The UX Series’ 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.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series 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 Lexus UX Series 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 UX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the UX Series 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 UX Series’ wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Encore (103.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.2 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

The UX Series has a much larger cargo area than the Encore with its rear seat up (21.7 vs. 18.8 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ available liftgate can be opened just by a gesture, leaving your hands completely free. The Encore doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series 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 UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series 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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the UX Series has a standard Dynamic Radar 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.

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

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